For many of us, social media is an integral part of our day-to-day lives. Instagram is our photo album, Twitter’s our newspaper, and Facebook is that old friend we enjoy catching up with from time to time. These platforms keep us plugged in, yet they can make us feel so disconnected at the same time.
If you’re reading this, chances are you’re considering unplugging from the constant tweets, pings, and hearts that keep lighting up your phone. It might seem like the best decision right now, but deleting a social media account takes some preparation. It can even bear negative consequences, which you’ll need to mull over before taking the plunge.
In this article, we’ll walk you through nine things to consider before deleting your social media accounts.
1. Deactivate First
Deleting your social media accounts is a permanent and major decision, and one that you might regret later on. Try deactivating first.
Deactivating a social media account will give you an idea of what to expect should you delete it in the future. While deactivated, evaluate whether it brought any significant changes to your life. If you’ve reached the conclusion that you’re better off, you’re ready to permanently get rid of it. If you’re still doubtful, you can always reactivate.
Keep in mind that deactivating will be frustrating at first, kind of like withdrawal from social media. Don’t mistake this feeling for the certitude of keeping your account; we recommend staying deactivated for at least a few weeks to a few months so you’ll get used to it. This way, you’ll be able to make an unclouded decision.
When deactivating, remember that some platforms will permanently delete your account after a specific time period. For example, you can only stay deactivated for 30 days on Twitter.
2. Delete the App
If deactivating feels too dramatic, you can always delete the app instead. This way, you’ll get the same effect of deactivation—but your account remains unchanged.
There’s also no limit as to how many times you can uninstall and reinstall an app. Whereas with deactivation, there’s a waiting period on some platforms before you can deactivate again if you have back-and-forth contemplations.
3. Make a Final Post
Compose a final post for all your accounts to inform your mutuals that you’ll be leaving. This is so no one worries over your sudden disappearance, and it will also give you a sense of closure.
Only post once you’re certain that you want to delete the account. You’ll feel a little embarrassed if you announce your departure and come back a few days later.
4. Prepare for FOMO
The FOMO will be real. If you’ve deleted your accounts with the intention of quitting social media for good, you’re going to need a distraction. Otherwise, you’ll find yourself making new accounts to get back in the loop. Try picking up a hobby that doesn’t involve the use of your phone.
If you deleted your accounts in preparation for a fresh start with new accounts, you might still miss it. Your recommendations will be entirely different once starting over, and it’ll take a while for the app or site to learn what you’re interested in.
5. Consider Your Career
Even if deleting your social media accounts is a good decision for your personal life, consider whether it’s a smart move for your professional life.
Some businesses encourage employees to be active on social media, and they link their accounts to the company’s website. So, it might be a good idea to keep at least one account or make a new one that’s appropriate for work. Not having an online presence might also affect your chances of being considered with a new job application.
6. Take Accountability
For a lot of people, deleting a social media account is a way of bidding goodbye to a time when they were problematic. We’re all constantly learning what is and isn’t acceptable, so it’s only natural to want to part with your old self.
Nothing stays entirely hidden, however. Once you’ve posted something online, it can remain there forever. People can take screenshots and upload them somewhere else, even years have passed since you took down the post or entirely deleted your account.
Our advice is to own up to what you’ve said instead by admitting you were wrong, apologizing, and demonstrating that you’ve learned and improved. If people are aware of your problematic posts, and you delete your account upon getting called out, it will only reveal that you have no intention of truly taking accountability.
7. Download Your Data
Before deleting anything, you should download your data first.
Most social media platforms give you the option of downloading your data which includes things like status updates, photos, chat history, and likes. Even if you’re set on deleting your account, there might be something you’ll want to revisit in the future, such as an old recipe you’ve shared with your friends.
Downloading your data might not include the photos and videos that you were tagged in. So, you’ll have to save those one by one.
8. Make a Contact List
Some people are only connected through social media. When your account is gone, you won’t have a means of contacting them anymore.
Compile a list of emails and phone numbers of the people you wish to remain in contact with. Often, you’ll find that many of these connections aren’t even worth pursuing Still, you should make a spreadsheet before saving their details to your device; if you don’t want to stay in touch later down the line, you can delete them.
9. Update Sites Where You Use a Social Media Account to Log In
The single-sign-on feature allows users to log into other apps or sites with one social media account. This makes it easier to remember your username and password. The problem with this feature, however, is that if you don’t have access to that account anymore, you won’t be able to log in.
Take note of all the sites and apps where you use a social media account to log in and change it to an email address instead.
Are You Ready to Delete Your Social Media Accounts?
An unhealthy relationship with social media can harm your mental health. As such, deleting your accounts is something worth considering.
It might seem like your problems will magically disappear after removing your online presence. However, that is far from the case; you need to consider the consequence of deleting your accounts before doing so.
Even if you’re planning on starting afresh with new social media profiles, these points will still help you through the process.
Author: Nolen Jonker
Source: Nolen Jonker.” 9 Things to Consider Before Deleting Your Social Media Accounts”. Retrieved From https://www.makeuseof.com/deleting-social-media-things-to-consider/
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