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I want to take a social media detox to improve my relationships and mental health

Community Member
I have had a realisation that Instagram is negatively affecting my mental health and how I relate to others. I see idealised visions of reality that I want to fulfill. But the fact that they exist on social media is the point, to present something that exceeds reality. Obviously I want to cull Instagram, but should I do with other social media sites? How would I contact my friends? How would I interact with them besides sending memes? Most of my friends are internet friends and I vc regularly on discord. What would I do with myself? I know I could do hobbies but like. Most of my time is spent on social media. I need advice
9 Replies 9

white knight
Community Champion
Community Champion

Hi, welcome

I think I have the answer for you. I'm 65yo and with bipolar, depression etc etc I also have social issues that seem to cause conflict. So about 14 years ago I went off Facebook altogether. After 5 months I realised my friends did not take up the invitation to email/ring me and /or send my pictures that way that they placed on FB. Also family disappeared also. I needed a better strategy.

So, on the basic of two things-

  • Make Facebook or social media work for you, dont allow it to control you. Use the settings to make that work
  • Set boundaries.

So, I'd had around 200 Facebook friends when I placed my membership into hibernation. I decided to limit my friends to 80. I trimmed them down- 120 less and only one sent me a message asking why!! That says a lot. Even now 14 years later if I add a friend I look for one that I should defriend.

I changed my settings to friends only with adding stories to my profile. Who wants strangers in our lives? Not me. I use the block feature immediately someone tries to upset me. That is a Godsend. Dont hesitate. If I get upset with a dear friend I ring them immediately and most times its a misunderstanding- nip it in the bud.

Set your boundaries. If a friend is annoying you change their status to - have a break. As an example.

Social media is great if you regulate it. But cutting it out is too radical, the world runs on it.

Like anything in life moderation is the key. Limit your time on social media and take up some practical hobbies.

I hope I've helped.


Community Member

Hi op. l know the trap it can all be in so many ways l've watched it all going on with other people over the yrs and hear all the horror stories, baffles my mind. l don't use it at all myself, l have one totally empty fake fb acc l use only for buying and selling, that's it.

Do your friends use the ph , call or message ? l know but so many don't these days it's all sm, no thanks not for me. Although some people l know do use it, we still do normal things the old fashion way haha, phone calls , messages. lt might take time to train them but could you can start just calling or messaging instead.

l have no idea nor givadamn, what anyone l know are doing on sm, works for me. Mind you l know if your younger it could be quite tricky , my daughter tells me no one calls or even text , it's all over sm.


Thank you for your input. It's not really my friends that are the problem, since I have so few of them and have twice deleted my IG to get away from ppl at school. It's my explore feed that has all the couple stuff that I look at and wish that my relationship was like that, but I know it's divorced from reality, but I get sucked into it. Also models and stuff. I've been trying to follow more models that have a body like me. I wouldn't not use discord since it's way easy to tune out bullshit and its exclusively a chat room service. And Reddit I use for community and cat videos. And Facebook I use for community as well. It's just Instagram that causes me the most strife, even though I follow a lot of self help and mental health accounts and doll posts. The best thing I can do is unfollow what doesn't serve me but the problem is IG will stop you from unfollowing accounts if you do it too quickly which is a pain.

Yeah right , don't worry l know very few people either , not like l'm fighting of friends but the few l do have any contact with , well. But yeah l can well understand what your saying. l've only ever opened one real fb acc yrs back and 5mins later l'm looking through peoples lives and their friends and their friends and conversations, the pictures everywhere the pressures l could see people putting themselves through and on and on on into infinity it went. lt made me absolutely sick in the stomach and l knew l could well end up one of them if l stuck around.Few days later l closed it and never went back to any of them or IG or anything else. l could see them all trapped in this thing right there and that the same would go for whatever you were involved with or wound up drawn into through them and how bad for them it'd become.

Nice to know anyway you have the friends thing under control nice goin good for you but the other stuff yeah , good for you though in realizing you need out of it. But the stupid thing tries to stop you eh , that'd be right , and probably right when you do get the mind to try , it breaks it, their sneaky plan , it's pretty disgusting isn't it. Tony up there knows far more about any of it than l even will, he's got some good ideas there for a start could any of that help. You keep at it though ok , undo what you know in your soul is not helping you , you can do it, one way or another. Good luck hey.


Community Member

What's the problem? Detox from social media is a voluntary refusal to use social media for a period of time. Voluntary! What's stopping you? Is it difficult? If communicating with people on instagram is worse than communicating with them on Facebook, then instagram needs to be monetized and get paid for every comment. Or stop wasting time there and spend it on making money on instagram. Just being in social networks makes no sense, do the same with facebook.

Champion Alumni
Champion Alumni

Thank you for your vulnerability - As great as social media is, there is very much a dark side to it. 

I too felt that at one point, my social media was perpetuating a host of different insecurities and just leaving me feeling drained and disappointed with myself. It was consuming me - essentially making me yearn for all the things I didn't have. In all honesty, this mindset led me to start taking the amazing things I did have in my life for granted. 

For me, taking a break from most social media sites was a massive help. I deactivated my Facebook and deleted the Instagram app on and off for about 3-5 months. I used Snapchat, Messenger and calling/texting to stay in touch with my friends. During this time, I really focused on my mental health - why was social media making me feel this way? What things in my life don't make me happy and what things do? 


I found that I could really focus on myself when I wasn't constantly comparing myself to other people on social media. My relationships with others flourished, I realised how much time I spent consuming social media and used that time in other areas of life - e.g. reading, spending time with people IRL, practicing gratitude and mindfulness. When I did return, I removed all the people that I didn't feel I needed or were perpetuating harmful realities. I started posting and following what made me happy. I stopped comparing my circumstances to others. 


In my experience, not having social media gave me the time to explore and understand myself.


It sounds like Instagram is the one that might be causing you the most anguish so it could be helpful to delete the app for a time period and see how you go? Of course, this is might be hard so you could even try putting daily limits on social media apps - For example, you might set a timer for an hour less than your average time spent on it. You can then reassess after a week, fortnight, month etc. and see how you went and think about your next time target. It might also be beneficial to connect to a mental health practitioner in some form - you might want to discuss the possibility of a mental health care plan with your GP to see a psychologist. 

I really wish you all the best with this and encourage you to continue reaching out on the forums for support! 😁

Community Champion
Community Champion


I too have the same issues! 


Im constantly on my phone, on Facebook, instagram and playing random games.


My partner has also mentioned that im distracted by my phone.


So, somethings i have done..


I put my phone down at around 8, and i have let my friends know that i can't reply until the morning.


I distract myself by reading books and making ear rings, and if my partner is home, we watch movies together. 


Its not an easy thing to do, as in this day and age we are tied so much to our phones.


Well done on recognising this and trying to make yourself kick the habit! 


Id be interested to hear how you go! 


All the best 


J x

Community Champion
Community Champion

I think the answer is balance Facebook keeps meiosis to date with extended fami,y. 
If I am with a human I d Ont 

Community Champion
Community Champion

If I am with a human I ignore all social media and screens giving person attention. Facebook is for when I am alone. I limit the time I spend on social media. 

If you want to cut down you and can but you must be motivated and not doing it because someone says you should, . Do it because you want to.