Effortlessly Quit Social Media or Reduce It A Lot

Why Should You Quit Or Reduce Social Media?

If you are thinking about quitting social media, you are definitely not alone.

Common side effects are a certain Fear of Missing Out (FoMO), Anxiety, Stress and let’s not even mention the dozens of drawbacks regarding productivity, concentration and focus while working or studying.

Social Media is the source of a lot of negative emotions and unhappiness!

Quitting it is not as hard as you think, it’s actually pretty easy if you follow these following steps, which we will discuss in detail afterwards.

This article is inspired by the book “Atomic Habits” by James Clear. More on that at the end of the article.

Table Of Content

  1. Know Your Motivation & Goal
  2. Make It Invisible
  3. Make It Inconvenient
  4. Make It Unsatisfying

The following level worked great for me personally. I wanted to completely quit social media except for Instagram, for the sake of stopping procrastination.

Now I am here, not having even thought about going on Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, Tik Tok for years and I am only sporadically checking in with Instagram, but there I have set my own rules as well, which we will also talk about later on.

1. Know Your Motivation & Goal

Knowing your motivation and knowing your why sounds really cliché, but if you understand how to use this motivation, it can be a helpful further tool when deciding how much social media you want to actually use.

If something is logical to you – your brain and subconscious thoughts will automatically shift in the right direction.

So let me ask you:

  1. Why do you want to quit (or reduce) social media?
  2. How much social media do you still want to use?

As far as it goes for me, I decided some years ago that I really did not want to engage in most of the Social Media platforms out there.

To me, it was just a bad habit that needed to be stopped. I was unproductive because I checked all these newsfeeds all the time, my ability to concentrate was getting lower and lower, and above all, it did not even make me feel good. Fear of Missing Out, stress and anxiety were not uncommon to me.

Although there are some positive aspects when it comes to social media, e.g., staying up to date on what people around you are doing, messaging etc., the negative aspects seemed to be worse than the upsides.

It just felt like a bad deal: You stay up to date with your friends and other people (in reality it’s mostly perfect beach selfies or food pictures) and as a return, you get anxiety, stress and you lose a hell of a lot of time.

So, ask yourself again:

  • Why do you want to quit (or reduce) social media?
  • How much social media do you still want to use?

2. Make It Invisible

Now you’ve decided how much social media you want to use.

To illustrate the next steps, I will assume that you decided to reduce your total social media consumption by a lot and only check in with certain apps from time to time.

The first step now is to make them invisible!

If you do not see what you try to avoid, you will have one trigger less.

We often fall into those same patterns and use social media because we simply see the apps on our home screen. This is what we can directly cut out and avoid such a dumb trigger for that.

In order to make them invisible you can for example:

Delete Apps

  •  This is the by far simplest way of making them invisible. Just delete them! If you absolutely have to, you can for sure download these apps again. But you will most likely simply forget about them.

Delete Shortcuts

  • Same goes for bookmarks and shortcuts on for example your computer. Delete them. They are an unnecessary trigger for unwanted social media usage.

Disable Notifications

  • If you want to keep certain services on for example your phone then for sure go ahead! If it’s useful you can absolutely use it.
    Still, you might want to disable those notifications. Constant buzzing and beeping are not really helpful when it comes to using social media less.
    You want to use those services by your rules. So don’t let these apps determine when you use them or not.

Disable Email Newsletters

  • Again, decide for yourself when you are going to check in with websites and apps. Email reminders, newsletters and updates will inevitably disrupt you and make you use social media again and again. By also disabling emails from these services you eliminate one further source of distraction. 

3. Make it Inconvenient

By making bad habits inconvenient, you will automatically avoid engaging in them because there will be easier ways to do what you actually set out to do.

If social media becomes inconvenient, you will most likely look for something more useful when wanting to have a bit of fun or distract yourself like reading a book, listening to a podcast, or just relaxing a bit. 

Download it again and again

  • Congratulations, you already made a step in the right direction before even having read this paragraph.
    Deleting apps in order to avoid using them altogether. But on the other side of the coin it’s even more useful because when you eventually decide to use let’s say Instagram, Facebook or Twitter again for some five minutes, you will have to: go in the Appstore, look for the app, click on install, wait until its downloaded and ready and so on which will prevent you maybe even a little bit more from engaging in it in the first place.

Absurdly Long Password

  • Another barrier that might prevent you from using social media is to set a long, complex and by no means memorisable password.
    By doing exactly that, you will be forced to write it down somewhere in order to not forget it.
    Writing it down means, when having a sudden urge to check social media, you simply can’t do it, because although you broke all those previous barriers and downloaded the app again, you now do not know the password and therefore can’t log in, without consciously searching the piece of paper on which you noted the password for example.

Two Factor Authentication

  • Now we’re getting into advanced territory. The last possible barrier after all the previous ones would be to activate Two-Factor-Authentication.
    Go into the settings and activate this feature which is usually located under privacy.
    This feature requires you to download a separate app such as for example the Google Authenticator App, which, when connected to for example Facebook, acts as a key, which is in fact the only key, that can open the door of the social media house, thus which is the only way to log in into your account.
    After regularly tipping in your password, the app wants you to enter a unique code, which is located and generated within the Authenticator App.

    By doing exactly that you have created one big further barrier between you and the given social media service.
    As a bonus, your account is now also safer, as Authenticator Apps usually function as protective measures against unwanted access to your account.

4. Make It Unsatisfying

Now we will come back to the beginning of this article.
I asked you to really question your motivation behind quitting or reducing social media.

Let’s say you went out to buy a toaster on Black Friday, but eventually because of all those flashy and shiny advertisements in the store and the overly pushy employees you accidentally spent all your money on a new fridge, washing machine, vacuum cleaner, and a big TV – without having bought the toaster you actually intended to buy.

Social media is all about trying to keep you as long as possible on these websites and apps for you to see advertisements and eventually buy stuff displayed there.

But you play by your own rules. You decided for yourself what you want to do on social media and how much time you want to spend or rather not spend on there.

Make social media and your time there an experience that serves your needs and cut everything else out.

Like in the example given earlier you go in there, have a clear purpose in mind, for example, check your messages, check what other people are doing or post a picture and after that, you simply get out there.

You don’t want to get drawn into this never-ending stream of nonsense.

That means that you have to keep your social media experience as plain and unspectacular as it can get. You get in, do what you want to do and get out as quick as possible.

You have to decide for yourself what you want to do on social media. For me, it was checking in with my closest friends and posting every now and then some travel pictures.

Here are possible ways to make social media as unsatisfying as it can get:

  • Deactivate the newsfeed
  • Only follow people you really really care about
  • Unfollow any brands, it’s mostly just advertisement
  • Deactivate the story feature, e.g., Instagram Stories, Facebook Stories, WhatsApp Status etc.
  • Turn off the notification counter
  • Leave groups that are not important to you


Congratulations, you have successfully ditched social media – at least partly.

Finally, in order to reduce your time spent on social media platforms, it is important to:

  • Know your motivation and goal
  • Make social media invisible
  • Make social media inconvenient
  • Make social media unsatisfying

Inspiration: James Clear and Atomic Habits

This article was inspired by the author James Clear and the four laws of behaviour change in his book, where he described ways on how to implement new habits or quit others sustainably. It is a great book; you should really check it out.

Use a dumbphone!

I can also recommend you to at least try out to use a dumbphone for once.

It’s a radical alternative to using a smartphone and offers you a certain new awareness and mindfulness when it comes to our daily smartphone usage in order to fully understand the amount of time we spent on these little smart devices.

Click here to get to know what living with a dumbphone is like and which benefits it offers.

If you liked this article and maybe are motivated to try it out yourself, let me know in the comments what your thoughts are! Also make sure to subscribe to the newsletter to be always informed about weekly blog posts about self-development, mindful living, and exploring life.

That’s it for now, see you next week in another article about mindfulness, self-development and exploring life!


*Images from Canva

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