If you work in the digital marketing or social media business for a living, then you probably became over-stimulated with social media at one time or another. Wanting to take a break from the online world doesn’t have to be black or white where you have to delete all of your content. Instead, learn how to temporarily deactivate your social media accounts and take a social media break!
To get a grasp of how much activity is occurring online at every given second, check out this amazing infographic … makes your head spin, doesn’t it?
A vast majority of the population lives and breathes online material in some form or another. At the same time, it is an acceptable and healthy response to take a break from all of this online activity, as well—something I am currently participating in with my Facebook and personal Instagram.
Why do you need to take a break from social media? Here are a few, scientific-backed reasons that you may relate to, and, if so, you really should consider hitting that ‘Deactivate My Account’ button now!
Why You Should Disconnect from Social Media
- Feeling Disconnected
It’s not surprising to discover that people who feel lonely spend much of their time on social networks in an attempt of ridding themselves of that lonely feeling; however, quite the opposite can occur:
“Both being alone and feeling lonely are on the rise, with an even sharper increase in recent years. We interact face-to-face less; we gather less; we have fewer meaningful connections. Loneliness isn’t just a mental state, either; it has physiological effects, too, such as weakening our immune systems.
Studies suggest that the “cause and effect” is reversed: People who are already lonely flock to social media. Any way you cut it, these studies generally boil down to the same point: Social media and loneliness are linked.”
- Unhealthy Competitive Urges
Receiving likes, positive comments, and shares feels good, but perhaps a little too good. When you start to see a lapse in interactions fon your content yet others are receiving attention for what may be meaningless stuff, it may make your blood boil some.
“Competition is in almost everyone’s blood, but many of us will fall prey to that drive to get as many likes, followers, etc. as possible — at least more than your friends. The real danger here is that we let it define our worth as human beings, which is obviously a bad thing. No social media post validates who you are as a person; so why do we stress about how many people “like” us?”
- Comparing Your Life to Others
We’ve all viewed photos of friends and family where they seemingly have the perfect life: Caribbean vacations, perfect family portraits and get-togethers, success in school and work, etc. How does such broadcasted activity make some of us feel? Pissed off at, not only ourselves due to comparison’s sakes, but at that person, as well. Is it a coincidence? Not really:
“While you might assume this effect of social comparison only occurs when you browse the pages of people you perceive to be more attractive, successful, etc., the same study found that the more time you spend on social media, the more depressed you can feel while browsing anyone’s page, regardless of whether you perceive them to be better or worse than you.”
- Point-Blank Addiction
Have you subconsciously grabbed your smartphone and typed ‘Facebook’ in your browser without even realizing it? Do you find yourself doing this second-nature action numerous times throughout the day? It may be time for a break!
“You can absolutely become addicted to social media, and it largely stems from something called FOMO: fear of missing out. People are posting some of the tiniest details of their personal lives online, and we have to see it. The inability to quit social media has even been labeled “social media reversion,” and in a study where people were challenged to stop using Facebook for 99 days, many couldn’t make it past just a few.”
The above list is from the Bustle article, “4 Science-Backed Reasons To Take A Break From Social Media”
How to Temporarily Disable Your Social Media Accounts
Locating the ‘deactivate’ button has become more complicated due to Facebook’s constant designs. However, it’s still there despite being tucked away under the ‘Legacy Contact’ option within the account settings:
- Click on the account menu button at the top right of Facebook.
- Select Settings.
- Click ‘General’ in the left column.
- Choose Manage your account.
- Underneath the Legacy Contact option, you’ll see the section titled, “Deactivate your account.” Click on the link.
- Re-enter your password.
- You have to choose an option for leaving.
There’s also the option to ‘Out out of receiving future emails from Facebook,’ which I choose in order to avoid any and all contact from Facebook.
- Click the blue deactivate button at the bottom.
Instagram’s ability to deactivate an account is way easier and upfront compared to Facebook, but you can’t deactivate your account from the app and have to go through a browser.
- Log into instagram.com on a browser either through your smartphone or desktop.
- Tap the profile photo in the upper-right corner and select ‘Edit Profile.’
- Scroll down and click on ‘Temporarily disable my account’ located in the bottom right.
- Select an option as to why you’re disabling your account, and re-enter your password.
- Click the button ‘Temporarily Disable Account.’
If you deactivate your Twitter account, Twitter will automatically start deleting your account after 30 days.
- Sign into your Twitter account through a browser, not through the app.
- Go to your Account Settings, and click ‘Deactivate my account’ at the bottom of the page.
- Click ‘Okay, fine, deactivate account.’
- Re-enter your password.
If you deactivate your Snapchat account, it will be deleted after 30 days.
- Visit the delete account page in a web browser.
- Login into your account and click continue.
Temporarily deactivating your Pinterest account is also a fairly simple process.
- Login to your Pinterest account.
- Click your profile button at the top of Pinterest.
- On your profile, go to the bolt button.
- Click ‘Deactivate Account’ at the bottom of Account Basics.
- Select a reason you’re deactivating your account.
- Confirm that you want to deactivate it.
At this time, there isn’t a way to temporarily deactivate your LinkedIn account.
There also isn’t a way to temporarily deactivate your YouTube account; however, you can make your YouTube Channel ‘invisible.’
Temporarily deactivating your accounts doesn’t mean you can never return to them, but it allows your mind and emotions a nice break, especially if your online habits are becoming unhealthy and controlling. When you return, try to minimize your use of social media and realize it’s not the real world. Good luck, I’m right there with you!