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Ask HN: Have you tried leaving social media
10 points by mraza007 4 days ago | hide | past | favorite | 14 comments
Have you tried leaving social media such as instagram, twitter and Facebook.

And felt fear of missing out.

How did you deal with that situation and what made you leave the social media.

My personal story: i have been using Instagram for about two years within those two I really tried hard getting off from it but still struggled and ended up back on Instagram. I decided to leave instagram for thirty days to see if I’ll be able to completely leave it but it was hard and ended up back on it

I would love to hear out from the community and there personal experiences and how did they coped with it.

Another last question has social media played an important role in your life






I periodically take breaks from social media and delete the apps off of my phone every other 3 months. It's not healthy to be indulging in "fakeness" and it definitely lowers your mental health. During my breaks, i like to indulge in other hobbies that I know bring me joy (like gardening, cross-stiching, and painting). the first couple times i did have FOMO. to deal with this i called up my true friends, actually had meaningful convos with them! Social media has its pros and cons, but if you aren't careful and realize its harmful effects, it can be such a cruel technology.

Our household quit facebook back in 2008.

Basically I only had it because I was working overseas a lot, and wanted to make it easier to keep in touch with friends and family.

But I hated it. So many pictures of other people's dinner, and the constant bragging need for attention from just about everyone. For the very few things that were worthwhile (and could have been done simply in an email), the sheer amount of time required to get through the crap was mentally frazzling.

One night I mentioned it at dinner and discovered I wasn't alone. So we all quit it over the period of a few days, letting all our connections know what we were up to.

After we cut the cord, the silence was deafening. But we found more productive things to fill the space. We only lost a small number of friends, but ironically they were the main brunt of people boring us to death with the constant "look at me!" type posts, so none of us felt like we were missing out for very long. We literally burnt out of watching everyone pretend they were celebrities, and grew appreciative of our ability to disconnect from it.

I eventually cut off Reddit because I was sick of absolutely every thread ending in cynicism and goofy memes, no matter how interesting the thread was at the start. Again the "silence" was only short term.

After being away from the things that drove you away in the first place, when you see it again you get a new "eye rolling" response, and realize there is no will to return to it.


I also quit social media. I've replaced it with other things that bring some quantum of use in my life, chess, learning a language, playing guitar, and other various projects. I find the time I would have wasted on social media is now time better spent.

The role Facebook (& YouTube) have played in my life, is putting my health at risk.

They do this by recommending and promoting fake news, corona conspiracies and the likes to family.

It has put politicians at risk, caused damage to infrastructure like 5G cell towers, hospital attacked, doctors threatened etc.

You can block in hosts file, but at ISP level would be even better


Totally agreed

Sounds like a serious enough problem for you and others to justify a twelve-step program approach. The way you describe it, it is as powerful an addiction as alcohol. It also sounds like your addiction could end up living your life for you.

Social media, as in Instagram, Facebook and Twitter has played almost no role in my life. Only read tweets when they are linked from other sources and present relevant content...a mini-blog post...or at the very earliest stages of major time-driven localized events, and then just to get better fact-based government links.

When I saw that the only people I knew who were into social media had addictive personalities, I passed it by. When I saw how psychologically manipulative social media had become, I went back to where it was, and posted a big sign “DANGER” and ran away.


I agree with your point of how social media can effect the way you think or how it plays a role in shaping your perspective

I think social media companies have been really clever on how they played with our brain


Depends on how you define social media. I grew up reading forums for hours every day and that habit hasn't gone away. HN is my latest addiction.

I couldn't care less about the "social" side of social media. Fb, instagram etc had their time but ultimately they're uninteresting. Twitter is so fluid and open ended that you can always find interesting conversations but it's too low signal to noise. Reddit communities can be potentially as good as hn but the company pushes too hard the other way.


Nope. No struggle at all.

But I also think people that do struggle to let go of social media most likely have underlining psych issues that should be worked out with a professional or counselor of some sort.

I mean that in a sincere way and not to just be an ass. There's a reason why you (or anyone) can't let go and whatever that reason is, it's unhealthy.

I honestly can't say social has had any meaningfully important role in my life that wouldn't have been possible without it.


I see Honestly if I look at social media it hasn’t really made any significant impact in my life I have only wasted my time by using it So i have been deeply thinking about leaving it or keep a minimal use

I quit FB, Twitter, Reddit some time ago. Haven’t missed it. I cut my Instagram follows and followers to family and close friends. Almost never comment. No drama, no FOMO. Ask yourself what you’re getting out of social media. You’re probably not missing anything.

So this turned into more of a rant so I apologize in advance. I left facebook and social media (excluding HN of course) in general 10 years ago. The sad reality is I lost every friend I had to that hell hole. The straw that broke the camel’s back was the day facebook notified me that a Serbian had accessed my account, so I scrubbed all my content, unfriended everyone, and deactivated the account except for one post warning not to trust any future posts.

I’m even considering leaving HN after taking a two week break from it. The problem with all online forums in general is that they sour once their population reaches the onset of chaos. This phenomenon is not as subjective as it might sound; it’s loosely related to entropy in information theory introduced by Claude Shannon, but that’s a conjecture beyond the scope of this thread. Humans historically work at their best together in small groups or tribes for the same reason why smaller classroom sizes produce better grades, meaning that our capacity for communication increases with our level of autonomy.

I’m frankly surprised why that fact isn’t salient among social media services today, but I’m sure there’s a good reason. I know Mastodon is taking distributed social networking seriously, but honestly Mastodon is very awkward, it’s kind of like being in a small waiting room alone with another person where you can only communicate in terms of orthogonal and pithy announcements, rather than form a natural conversation.

I’ve been thinking a lot about the elements that would make for a natural, healthy, and conductive social networking service quite recently, but my largest question is how much of a factor is the underlying platform technology itself a measure of success in engineering a social network?

I was surprised when my nephew told me not too long ago that his only friends are ones he meets in his video games; having grown up in the early 90’s this is bizarre to me, but also is provocative in the sense that it reminds me of how random sampling works. An individual may more likely to form a significant lasting social bond as part of a random sampling of a population of peers through a controlled trial process, such as a video game, than they would had the selection process been through biased selection events such as systematic population nepotism, proximity, or stratification. For example, I hate my neighbors, I don’t miss my facebook friends, coworkers and couples are a drag, and I could honestly do without relatives. I think that finding friends as an adult is hard for many logical or practical reasons, but may just be because in life we our forced to abandon our sports and adopt absurd “hobbies” instead. Having said this, I can take pity on my neighbors rather than hate them, because now I realize that sadly the only socially acceptable way to play as an adult these days is with annoying pets.


Ethical reasons: I could not see myself participating, supporting, or fueling an immoral business model. I could not contribute to lies and data selling that lead to terrorism, genocide, addiction, depression, wars, etc.

Practical reasons: if you are a working professional, you no longer need those mediums. Now everything is remote and with any app video conferencing or mainly texting is enough for virtual socialization.

As a millennial who grew up with it and later understood the implications of my actions, I deleted everything that had to do with social media. A clear conscience is more important to me than fickle dopamine hits.


I haven't. I have deleted some accounts, but a trail of forums, typically writing forums, with my email and some one-off password, has followed me for about half a decade. Honestly don't know how to fix that. Of the big ones, I have like a Facebook and a CraigsList, which I use for selling, plus YouTube for music.



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