There's no denying just how powerful social media truly is. Almost everyone uses it, and it's become part of our daily lives. But, there is a darker side to social media. Just ask these people.
People on Reddit and Quora share the reasons why they quit social media. Content has been edited for clarity.
"My grandma died recently. She was amazing and we were super close. I got my own Facebook account at 13. On every post I ever made she commented on. She wanted to make sure I never posted anything inappropriate, and that I would never post anything that I wasn’t comfortable with her seeing.
She never stopped commenting, even when I turned 22. Anyway, when she passed I deleted my account because I can barely face the rest of my life without her. Let alone handle a Facebook post she doesn’t comment on."
"I was about to leave my abuser and told my therapist I was exhausted by the idea of explaining it to everybody when they inevitably asked on Facebook. She told me I didn’t owe every single person on the planet an explanation for anything going on in my personal life.
I realized then that I was using Facebook as a crutch to validate every insecurity of mine. It’s been two years since I left my abuser and Facebook, and honestly, I’ve been living my best life without either."
"I was dating this girl who was very into social media. She was obsessed with likes, comments, friends, etc., and was heavily into Facebook. If another girl liked or commented on anything on my page, she would flip out and lose it on me. If my guy friends posted anything she didn't like, she would flip out and lose it on me also.
Having social media accounts became stressful because of her, and I told her that I was going to delete my Facebook. Once more, she flipped out on me. So I kept it because having it got me in trouble, but deleting it got me in trouble.
When I broke up with her, I deleted Facebook because it just stressed me out with everything that happened. My ex-girlfriend manipulated it so much that it was essentially not even mine. Also, I just wanted to spite her because I knew she would get upset since she couldn't do anything, about it and she couldn't keep tabs on me.
I just never got another one and my now wife doesn't care if I have it or not."
"I had already started to cut back in the late summer of 2019 but then...
One day I posted a picture of Asian food from a local restaurant. I was really excited to be eating there and wanted to show off my yummy food. It was delicious!
But then, one of my annoying 'friends', Kelly, shows up with a comment: 'That looks freaking disgusting. It looks like worms.' I ignored the comment and continued to enjoy my food.
Shortly afterward I posted that 'the lead singer' from a band high-fived me during a concert I had attended.
Enter Kelly saying, 'If you don't even know his name you don't deserve that high five.'
This time, I replied asking her where she was because I didn't see her at the concert. She came back with 'Brat, I've seen them more times than I can count. Not everyone can afford to go to every concert that comes to town. Doesn't make me any less of a fan.'
After private messaging her and informing her that I didn't think we needed to be friends on Facebook anymore if she couldn't stop commenting nasty things and getting blown upon, I decided this was it. I was done.
When people ask me why I don't do Facebook anymore, I just say, 'Kelly ruined it.'"
"A few reasons. The first being nearly every post was just recycled internet garbage. Just everyone posting memes or motivational pictures or whatever else they found on the internet. Almost, no one posting an original thought, or even if they did post original content, it was almost never worth the few seconds spent reading it. There were also never-ending baby pictures.
Second, I began to lose respect for people I had known and liked for many years because of how they carried themselves online. I really liked my cousin when I saw her a few times a year on holidays. Following her day-to-day life on Facebook damaged my opinion of her, unfortunately.
Lastly, I wasted far too much time on something that offered me little value in return. I was tired of checking my social media accounts nearly 50 times a day, and all I got in return was stupid memes and wasted time."
"About seven years ago, I realized how much visibility into my life I was giving to everyone. The final straw was a themed party I had at my house. One of my friend's MOM had issues with the theme and posted up a big stink (instead of just asking me about it in person), and realizing that my professional network (yes, big mistake) could see all this nonsense communication as well.
I also believe in the statement that I was looking at everyone’s highlight reel of starting to feel jealous when looking at a post, but found myself unconsciously embellishing to make my post more interesting/impressive. How freaking sick is that when you stop and think about it?
Just a toxic dumpster fire that did really weird things to my head for the year or two I used it. Never looked back, have never missed it."
"I deleted it about two years ago. I was in several Facebook groups for fans of true crime podcasts, one of which was a spin-off for fans of the show, My Favorite Murder, and Fans of Plants. It was called Planterinos or something.
Anyway, someone posted an angry rant that they were triggered by a post of a bug and demanded content warnings on all posts of any kind of bug moving forward. Someone had just posted a pic of a bug on their tomato plant or whatever and wanted to see if anyone could identify it. This is a group of people who enjoy plants AND hearing stories of humans being brutally assaulted and/or murdered.
But 13 out of 350 people thought bugs were gross or whatever, and thus demanded content warnings. When I pointed out how silly I thought this was, I was ruthlessly attacked by the group members. I was called a freaking ableist, and other horrific names. I had someone telling me their trauma about being stung by a bee when they were three, and how they have full-on panic attacks around bees now, and how dare I could be so inconsiderate?
I went back and forth with like three women about this for an hour before I just nuked my whole account in a fit of rage."
"I had a horrific experience being messed with. Somebody made a profile of my boyfriend at the time, and added our friends and family, and posted vulgar things. Before that, my sister was easily able to access my Facebook because she was able to hack into my account using my phone number. She read my teenage angst, 'my family sucks,' type messages and showed my father. We didn't talk for a year, and my father and I talk maybe two times a year now.
It made me very paranoid. The fake profiles would happen every year in the same month and then after that, I just got to a point where I didn't want anybody to know anything I was doing."
"People from my hometown never seemed to understand they could direct message me about something if they disagreed, so they always made their insults or accusations public on a post I shared that they disagreed with.
Then since they were rude enough to make it personal, I did the same and I was disgusted with how low I was willing to stoop to 'own' them. After a terrible one, I deleted the post and then a few hours later deleted my account.
Doing that was a great decision; I feel so much better and in-person moments with those same kinds of people in my hometown are all civil and fine.
People (including me) suck online."
"I was a very active user for several years. I thought several times about leaving, but convinced myself it was the easiest way to stay in touch with family and friends.
Then I began to notice that my friends and I had fewer and fewer things to talk about because everything got posted on social media
Then I began to notice all the ads and 'suggestions,' and because I was politically active, began to have my feed filled up with political posts.
Then I began to feel trapped by the need to keep tabs on everything going on in the world. I started unfollowing my friends' and acquaintances' posts because of their incessant and irritating posting habits.
The urge to leave grew, even as I became a more active user.
Then all the trash hit the fan in a big way in 2020, and I watched that social network documentary on Netflix and decided I was done. I deleted my account about six weeks ago, and in some ways, it's like it never existed at all. I miss nothing about it. Nothing. I talk more frequently and more directly with my friends and family. Even during all the madness, I feel like my personal anxiety is much lower and more manageable than it was. It was 100% the right decision. I'm so glad I bailed. Should have done it years ago.
I'm thinking Instagram will be next to go.
I cannot recommend scrubbing out the more poisonous social media accounts highly enough. It has lifted my spirits and reduced my anxiety, and is a net positive in almost every way."
"I ditched my profile when I lost my job over a comment someone made on a profile that I was in the picture of as part of a group.
I think they used that as a means to fire me. Despite my protests instead of the reason they actually fired me for (exposing a $100k hole in missing equipment) to cover their own butts.
If I didn't need the final paycheck, I would've fought for it. But in the end, the company went under and I found a better job, so it worked out in the end."
"I eliminated my account like two years ago, when suddenly, for no reason, I started getting like 500 to 800 friend requests every day. Let's say I leave my phone in the living room and I go to the bathroom. When I would come back, I would have at least 30 new friend requests.
Up to this day, I can't explain why, but most were super hot girls and random guys. The first days I didn't care, I thought that it will stop the next day, but didn't stop there.
Suddenly, I started getting messages from those 'new friends,' especially the guys; they were flirting with me. So, I blocked everybody and checked everywhere on my profile that can give me a hint of what's going on. Everything seemed normal, so, I manually started erasing every single post that I made during these years.
I unfriended every person on my profile, unliked every page, and publication. It took me a while, but I erased every trace of my profile there.
I was paranoid and didn't trust my account to do that for me. After I was done, I shut down my account. To this day, I have no idea what happened, and I never reopened it."
"I could not stand the constant drama.
Everybody was always in everybody else's business all the time. The last straw was when some girl who I had never even met in person messaged me telling me I was friends with her 'baby daddy.'
I had to go check my friend's list because I had no idea who she was talking about. She kept saying, 'Just be careful with that one,' over and over again, even as I was saying I had never spoken to him.
She knew full well that I had a boyfriend. Deleted it that day. This was almost a year ago and people still ask me why I blocked them on social media."
"I felt that I just kept coming back to it. Every time I logged in, I'd fire it up, and waste time on it. Both times I signed up for it, it knew where I lived already. It knew my high school, and college courses. It knew who my family was, who my 'contacts' were. It was pretty unsettling for something I was never a part of.
There was never a 'no' option to any of the dialogue, which was extremely unsettling. It was always, 'Ask me again later,' or 'Yes.' I felt like I had no control over my presence. I felt vulnerable about it. If I couldn't say no, and hide with a fake name... Just how much information could people gleam about where I was on it?
I wanted to know more about what my family was doing. But Facebook wasn't the source for it. All I got was Mom posting about how a man should have equal footing in a family court. And while I agree, and am willing to stand by my brother in his fight against (proven in the court of law) abuse against himself and his children, it didn't tell me anything about what was going back home.
People who I clearly wasn't interested in, were trying to find and add me. No, Cody Ross. I don't care about you. Leave me alone. We literally haven't spoken in 10+ years, and you were an aggravating little brat in middle school. Get lost.
Some friends I did have for round one were freaking stupid. Now that I think of it, for both times I tried to go on it. They, too, were freaking stupid in round two. I didn't want to have a picture of me hammered k in my current profession for any future employer to see. I know they check."
"I realized that all social media was basically a source of fake news about people's personal lives.
I saw one friend post photos of an event with the caption, 'So fun!' even though I knew he had been unhappy at the event and had not enjoyed it at all. I found out that another friend was divorcing her husband even though her account had been full of posts about the joys of her marriage and family life.
Seeing people try to portray their lives as non-stop fun, to 'market' themselves as successful and happy, is deeply depressing. If you take the posts at face value, you'll feel like everyone you know is doing better than you. If you recognize that the posts are a type of propaganda, you feel cynical and disturbed by how phony it all is.
I quit several years ago and have never regretted it for a second. I stay in touch with friends who matter to me in other ways, and feel much more connected and in touch with what's really going on in their lives."
"I was hacked. They sent a message to all my friends, about a 180ish people, asking for money. I felt like I wanted to leave after that.
Also, I didn’t want to lose pictures of kids and family and friends. I offloaded them all and removed the account. Refuse to have the stress put on me and my friends and family because of that unneeded nonsense."
"We had a massive fire in our hometown one summer, and a rancher went out to make a fire line and unfortunately was caught by the flames. He was older and trying to help defend his entire life's work. People started commenting on a news thread about it saying he was an idiot, and all these other negative accusations.
A man died defending his most prized possessions, as well as other people's homes and livelihood. He was scrutinized by people who have such a lack of compassion. These were people I grew up knowing and it made me sick to my stomach. I'll never invest my time into something that destroys my opinions of people based on a few words."
"When I first posted a video online, I received okay comments from strangers. However, people whom I used to know in my university (senior, my colleagues, and junior) decided to send hate comments. They even had private group chat messages, all saying negative things about me. My best friend is the one who told me about it.
Though they deleted their comments, I remembered their comments well. I fought with them online. I always stand up for various celebrities online, so when I stand up for myself, it is like hail fury. No matter how bad I am, do I actually deserve everything they were saying about me?
After a while, I couldn't handle all of the hate. So, I decided to take myself away from social media. I don’t want to hate social media, because it's meant to be a wonderful thing for people to stay in contact with others. But, I can't help but hate it slightly because of all the cyberbullying that can occur."
"I was tired of feeling outraged all day, every day, about everything. I stayed on social media so long because I wanted to stay connected to certain people. I loved seeing my friends happy posts. I loved baby pictures and pet pictures. I even liked seeing what people ate for dinner. But more and more, everyone just posted incredibly negative stuff. More and more it was bad news. I'd mindlessly scroll and would just be bombarded with one rage-inducing story after another. It was all rage, without action. THAT felt like a never-ending nightmare, and I'd carry it with me into my day. I was sad a lot.
Also, I had recognized for some time that I had a problem. I'd sit down at my computer to get work done, and instead, find myself scrolling through social media. I'd have no recollection of even logging in. I'd sit down to check my accounts 'for just a second,' and several hours later I was still there.
One day, I decided I just didn't want to keep doing this to myself. It was just kind of the spur of the moment thing. I logged out, and I've not been back in nearly three months now. I don't even miss it now. I did at first. I was shocked when I realized how much I wanted to go post a thought I'd had, or check-in where I was, or post pictures. It was as though if I didn't post pictures from an event, it didn't really happen. I hadn't realized how much I'd become THAT person--having to share every bit of my life online to make it valid. That feeling went away after a couple of weeks though.
I'm happier, so much less stressed, less anxious, and discovered that I can still check in with friends. So many people just started texting me. We have better, more intimate conversations that way. It's been awesome. I've even grown CLOSER to some of my friends since we started conversing in real life, and not through a screen."
"I realized how toxic I was becoming by rating my success based on what my 'friends' posted about their own lives
I worked with a woman who I didn't like because she made fun of me when I was 20 for not liking the taste of adult beverages l when asked if I drank. She laughed and said, 'Oh honey, you think people drink because of the taste?'
Then she would constantly treat me like a child. When she announced she was engaged, my reaction was Who the heck is marrying this nightmare of a person? Why can't she just freaking die?'
Another girl I knew in college was super popular and everyone kept singing her praises. Including my then-boyfriend, who was an abusive guy by the way. I was so jealous that I stalked her obsessively, and tore my own self-esteem apart because I wasn't as popular, beautiful, and talented as she was.
I started hating people for celebrating holidays with family when my family is only my mother. She works every holiday and I have to spend it quietly at home, drinking, and sleeping.
I was already, and still am, suffering from depression and PTSD from childhood abuse and neglect. So that combination of seeing perfect lives and success stories everywhere made it worse for me. I started drinking and secretly hating everyone.
I haven't deactivated my account but I deleted the app. I stopped going on it. I'm much happier. Still depressed. Still have PTSD. Still a drinker. But I stopped drinking so heavily. And I stopped caring about how perfect my 'friends' lives are."
"I had a breakup earlier this year and I took it pretty hard. I got tired of having the temptation of being able to see her or what she was doing whenever I wanted to. I was genuinely afraid of turning into some sort of creep. I knew that just unfriending and blocking her was only a temporary fix that could be undone whenever I wanted it to. I needed a more permanent solution.
I also got tired of all the negativity, stupidity, and drama from other people. I have enough of all three in my own daily life, I don't need other people's drama.
I deactivated my account like four or five months ago, and haven't looked back. It's done wonders for my mental health. I see no need to ever use it again."
"I left a long time ago. As a new mom, I was feeling very pressured to take the perfect pictures or post the best posts of my newborn. In reality, I was dealing with a lot of postpartum depression. I was spending so much time taking pictures and editing to make our lives seem perfect instead of enjoying the time with my newborn.
When people wouldn’t 'like' my picture, it made me worry that I wasn’t being a good mom. As soon as I deleted the app and my account, I was able to enjoy time with my daughter. I actually experienced her milestones without needing to post.
My daughter is three, and I do not feel like I have missed anything. My significant other will fill me in on anything I need to know, and my friends reach out offline for all invites and memory sharing. I do not miss it at all."