Four Steps to Delete Your Social Media Accounts
From endless, mindless scrolling to peace of mind — and it’s easier than you think
If you had asked me a year ago if it were possible for me to use four steps to delete my social media accounts, I probably would have laughed. It was honestly not something I thought I could do, not in four steps and especially not in the middle of a pandemic where everyone was connecting online more than ever.
Honestly, that might have been what ruined it for me. I started to realize that I hated the compulsive need to share my every thought with people who could never really understand my perspective anyway. It felt tiresome.
I do still have an Instagram account, but because I find having to share pictures to post there makes me a lot less likely to post more than a time or two a week at most. It’s allowed me to keep my social media usage to a healthy, minimal level.
It really only takes four steps to delete your social media accounts. Here’s how I broke my addiction to Facebook (now Meta) and deleted my account once and for all.
The Four Steps to Delete Your Social Media Accounts
1. Make sure the people you want to stay in contact with know how to reach you.
Whether that means giving them your phone number or other social media handles, being able to contact the people you care about in other ways drastically reduces the amount of anxiety that comes with deleting your social media accounts.
I found it a little strange going from Facebook Messenger to suddenly texting everyone’s phone number directly, but that’s probably just because I’ve been so used to my phone number being used mostly for 2FA, spam and calls from the doctor’s office. Thus far, I can’t say I have many complaints about going back to regular old SMS.
If you need to, find another SMS app aside from the default messaging system built into your phone. There are plenty out there that mimic apps like Messenger. One I’ve found so far that has both nostalgia and function is ICQ New, which I like because of the consistency between their phone and computer apps.
2. Deactivate your account for a temporary period of time, if such a feature is offered on that particular platform.
Facebook (Meta) specifically offers an option to deactivate your account, a feature that allows you to still use Messenger while keeping your actual profile page unviewable to anyone on the platform. I found that this was a helpful way to start. It really left the decision in my hands without immediately making a decision that couldn’t be reversed.
All it takes to reactivate your account is logging back in via the website or app. The determination to not reactivate my account turned into breaking my addiction, and thereby reduced my desire to use the platform at all. It was an easy step to take from there.
3. Save anything you want to keep before deleting your social media account.
Whether that means going through your account and individually downloading the photos you want to save, or using Facebook’s Download Your Information Tool to select specific types of information through a specific range of dates, I highly recommend this step as a way to prevent instant regret after pressing the big red nuke button on your account.
Even if you do decide again someday to make another account on that particular platform, knowing that you have access to the important information you’ve shared over the past few (or several) years can make or break your freedom from social media. Instead of needing to scroll for minutes or hours to find a particular photo, you now have everything you need access to on your own computer or phone.
I recommend using a personal computer for this process, because the files downloaded through Facebook’s tool can be especially large and take several hours to be prepared for download. My personal file was over 24 GB of information when it was all said and done.
4. Press the DELETE MY ACCOUNT button and walk away.
That’s it, it’s really that simple. Once you’re ready and feeling confident, press that button and know you’re doing yourself an incredible favor. When you’ve taken the final step, you’ll probably have mixed feelings for a couple days. If you find yourself trying to resist temptation to reactivate your account, find something else to occupy your time for a little while. I personally found that a mobile game or two and keeping in touch with friends and family helped a LOT.
Wherever you’re at on your journey, I wish you the best. I hope this article, Four Steps to Delete Your Social Media Accounts has been helpful to you in deciding whether or not deleting your social media account is the next right step. If it’s an addiction you’re trying to break, be patient with yourself. Whatever you choose and however you choose to get there, you’ve got this.
Adi Cat is a writer, gig worker, parent, wife, logical thinker, and frequent daydreamer. She attended the Florida Institute of Technology for Business Administration & Management and has owned several small businesses over the past decade. She spent nearly three decades trying to fit into the world before being diagnosed with ADHD & OCD and now completely understands the square-peg-round-hole analogy.
Adi is sharp-tongued and fluent in several “languages” including sarcasm, pissy political commentary, arguing, and yelling at the steering wheel during rush hour traffic because, of course, no one else knows how to drive.
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