Your Guide to Living Without Social Media

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So you’ve deactivated your social media. (Or you’ve decided you’re going to.)

Congratulations. This is a big step for you. You’ve realized you have a problem, whether that be wasting too much time or caring too much about likes, and have finally done something to fix it. Really, good for you. Give yourself a pat on the back.

But, now that you’re free…what now?

1. Be prepared to be forgotten.

Probably one of the rudest awakenings I experienced after deactivating all my social media was that I was someone who could be forgotten. To some people, if you don’t have Facebook or Twitter, you don’t exist. I ended up not talking with a lot of people simply because I no longer had a Messenger account.

Don’t be frightened by this, though – I quickly got over it because the people that forgot me, I wasn’t very close to. The ones I was close to, we were still able to make our friendships work. But be sure to realize there are people you’re going to stop talking to after hitting that deactivate button.

2. Make sure you and your friends have a different form of communication.

If you and your friends use social media as the leading means of communication, it’s time to change that. Texting is always a convenient option, but if your friend is outside the coverage area, e-mail is another great way to communicate – or you can download an app solely for chatting and talk there.

Of course, you and your friends can start sending each other letters! Come on, you’ve already deactivated your social media – look for more chances to live like it’s 1989! Letters are incredibly fun to write and to send, and receiving one always feels more exciting and personal than receiving a text message. Put that stamp collection to good use!

3. Find a different website to go to.

Just because you’re swearing off social media doesn’t mean you’ve got to swear off all websites whatsoever. After I deactivated, I became obsessed with reading blog posts and articles. I would go to MoviePilot and ThoughtCatalog every day, and I even made a WordPress account so I could follow blogs and write my own thoughts. Of course, if you’re not into that, you can always go back to playing online games – hey, Neopets is still awesome!

Oh, and this is a perfect time to sign up for multiple newsletters and actually read them. That way, you’ll have multiple contents to read when you open your e-mail every day. Try theSkimm for the news, or Dog-a-Day for cute puppies.

4. Have a hobby outside of surfing the web.

Everybody has a hobby, and if you have at least one hobby that doesn’t involve staring at a screen, even better. You’ll have more time to invest in these hobbies, and who knows – you might even get better at them! Even if it’s as simple as playing Jenga or reading the newspaper, make sure you have something to preoccupy you during a slow Sunday afternoon.

Ever since I deactivated, I’ve read more books, watched more movies, gotten better at playing Jenga, laughed my ass off multiple times playing Cards Against Humanity and Joking Hazard, wrote my own play, and even had a one-man show! Just to name a few.

5. Have fun!

Don’t let being social media less become a prison. You’re free! Free of likes and filters and being obsessed with getting that right Instagram post for the most hearts. It’s time for you to travel, to meet new people, and most importantly, to find yourself.

Well, good luck with your Facebook free life. Hopefully, you survive longer than I do – I only got to one year. But despite how pretentious it sounds, deactivating social media really does work wonders. So hit that button, delete that app, and start living.

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