12-Step Program to Quit Facebook for Good

How to beat the social media addiction 15 years in the making

Source: The Next Web
Source: Digiday

Step 1: Acceptance (4–6 weeks)

Admit to yourself that Facebook is an unhealthy part of your life and you don’t want to be a part of it anymore. You don’t have to do anything at this stage; you only have to allow yourself to fully embrace and accept your decision to not have Facebook in your life.

Step 2: Understand your social media needs (2–4 weeks)

Give yourself space and time to truly understand what it is you seek from social media. For me, there were two things that I needed from Facebook: news updates and sharing pictures. I started to see that I didn’t really need to read or write diary entry length posts about my feelings or opinions on various topics. Eventually, I started a blog where I would write in-depth opinions on whatever I wanted (movies, music, food, travel, etc).

Source: Shutterstock

Step 3: Explore other social media networks (1–2 weeks)

Once I figured out what I really wanted from social media, I started exploring other options for how I could get those things off Facebook. One of the great things Facebook was able to do was amalgamate everything we could ever want from the internet in one place. In my experience, a little bit of fragmentation and separation is healthy, even necessary, when dealing with the internet.

Step 4: Start telling your Facebook network you’re leaving (1–6 weeks)

Now this is where shit gets real. You’ve decided you’re leaving, and you’ve planted the seeds to grow your digital identity on other platforms. By this point it’s been 2–3 months since you started the process and you’ve likely already noticed a decrease in your Facebook usage and activity.

Step 5: Disconnecting Facebook from everything (3–4 weeks)

Here is where you’ll realize just how integrated Facebook is with everything else you do on the internet. Chances are you’ve used the ‘Log in with Facebook’ button more than the ‘Sign up with email’ option when logging into sites like Spotify, Uber, Goodreads, AirBnB, Rotten Tomatoes, Etsy, Pinterest, Foursquare, Pocket; the list goes on and on.

Source: John Holcroft

Step 6: Save what you want to keep from Facebook (2–4 weeks)

By the time I was towards the end of my Facebook lifecycle, I had close to 80 different photo albums with over 1,000 pictures in them, and several hundred more pictures of me uploaded by other friends who had tagged me in them. For the most part, I had copies of those photos saved on my laptop too, but many photos that I liked were only on Facebook and I had to manually go through them and save the ones I wanted to keep.

Step 7: Decrease Facebook usage (1–2 weeks)

If you’ve made it this far, the rest will be smooth sailing. By now you should be familiar with and comfortable on the other platforms you’ll be using (for me that meant posting on Twitter and Instagram). You’re well on your way to establishing your post-Facebook digital identity, and you should notice a marked reduction in your compulsive, daily use of Facebook. Keep that momentum going, post less and less on Facebook every passing week, and try to post fewer personal updates and pictures on Facebook so you can reduce your emotional and psychological dependence on the platform.

Step 8: Put safeguards in place to prevent another Facebook (1–2 weeks)

Social media addiction isn’t only confined to Facebook; it can happen on any platform. Twitter and Instagram can be as toxic as Facebook if not used in moderation. But if you’ve managed to make it this far in the hopes of kicking your Facebook dependence, you’re more likely to be cautious of falling into similar patterns on other sites.

Source: Bigstock

Step 9: Delete Facebook App and bookmarks (1–2 days)

Delete the Facebook app from your phone, and remove the website from your shortcuts or bookmarks in your browser. Anything else you have saved that links back to Facebook (such as funny posts or videos), delete those too. You are almost home free at this stage.

Step 10: Deactivate your Facebook account (1 day)

Deactivate, not delete, your Facebook account and feel that rush of exciting possibilities that await you in your Facebook-free future.

Step 11: Make sure Step 5 was properly completed (2–3weeks)

Spend your first few weeks reorienting yourself in life. Trust me, even though you’ve spent months preparing for this moment, you’re still going to need time to adjust to your post-Facebook reality.

Step 12: Delete your Facebook account (30 days)

Facebook doesn’t advertise this option much, but deactivation and deletion are two different things. After you’ve been off Facebook for a few weeks while your account was deactivated, you’ll see that life after Facebook is possible, and it’s actually quite awesome.

Source: Yamonstro, Bigstock

Pakistani Canadian Freelance Writer