Congratulations! You’ve finally decided to ditch your social media addiction. We’re sure you’re going to enjoy your life free of the pressures that social media can bring, but you might be feeling some residual urges.
No habit is easy to drop overnight, so here are some things you can do to help quiet the urge to whip out that phone and overcome your social media withdrawal.
Have an Argument With Random Strangers
Without social media, how are you going to let people know how wrong they are? If you’re feeling the need to have an argument with a total stranger, why not head over to a local park or restaurant and listen in on other people having discussions?
That’s the perfect place to interrupt them with a “but actually” and explain both why they’re dumb and you’re right. Do note that people punch much harder in real life than online, but otherwise it’s really the same thing.
To really get the authentic experience, be sure to have your phone or (for more intimidation) an actual encyclopedia handy. You don’t have to follow your new debate partners if they decide to walk away. That’s a sign that you’ve won. Good job!
Stick Polaroids of Your Food on Bulletin Boards
What’s the point of even eating food if you can’t show people how great that food is first? If you’re feeling a little unsatisfied with your meals since getting off the ‘gram, why not invest in an instant Polaroid-style camera and pin those pictures on bulletin boards and other public places people are likely to see them. You can even hang around to hear their comments.
If you want to keep up your food photography hobby on a budget, you can hang around restaurants and ask people if you can take a quick snap of their food before you dig in.
Send People Inappropriate Mail
Have you spotted someone who strikes your fancy, but you can no longer slide into their DMs because you’ve given up on that? Don’t despair! You still have the option of writing a perfectly normal, creepy, inappropriate letter on paper. Put it in an envelope and literally slide it into their mailbox.
If you want to be really efficient, just make photocopies of the one letter and carpet bomb as many potential life partners with your solicitations as possible. After all, the more times you roll the dice, the more likely you are to hit the jackpot!
Buy a Megaphone
One sign of social media withdrawal is feeling a little lonely without the entire world hearing your every random thought. It turns out there’s a piece of technology that does pretty much the same thing. All you need to do is order a nice megaphone and then pick any street corner that looks comfortable. Somewhere with something to stand on to let your voice carry a bit better would be preferable.
This way you can shout any and all of your important opinions into the public domain. Letting the people of the world benefit from your unique take on current events. Even better, when the police do eventually show up, you’ll be on even footing with them as well, since your megaphone and their loudspeaker should be evenly matched.
Lurk in Public Places
Lurkers are a staple of social media. These odd folk like to watch and never participate in anything themselves. Believe it or not, lurking is actually a fine tradition that predates social media by, well, by a long time. So if you were a champion lurker online, you can keep practicing your hobby after kicking the digital habit.
There are plenty of spots to lurk about. Bus stops, subways, in front of convenience stores, the list just goes on. Be sure to dress for the occasion so that everyone knows you’re not keen on interacting. Long trench coats are a classic, along with a cap and a pair of dark sunglasses. Skipping a few showers is an effective pro-tip as well.
Take a Magazine to Social Gatherings
Social media is the perfect way to ignore the people who are literally sitting at the table with you in favor of the comings and goings of people you’ve never met in real life. The good news is that shutting people in your immediate vicinity out by rudely ignoring them was an art before Twitter was a twinkle in Jack Dorsey’s eye.
All you need to do is pack a magazine or newspaper in your bag and whip it out in the middle of a conversation. In fact, this is way better than getting distracted by Twitter, since you don’t even have to make grunting noises to fake your listening. With your nose firmly stuck in the gossip column, there’s no way your “friends” won’t get the message loud and clear.
Buy an Anonymous Mask
One of the best things about social media is that you can choose to use a fake name and profile, letting you say and do what you want without anyone knowing who you really are. If you miss that anonymity, consider buying a meme-worthy mask featuring something like the iconic “Anonymous” mask. This is sure to let people know you don’t want them to know who you are.
Don’t Actually Do Any Of This Stuff!
By now you’ve probably figured out that none of this is real advice! Isn’t it weird what sorts of behavior are perfectly OK online, but are undoubtedly creepy in real life? Social media is fine in moderation and if you use it in a healthy way, but the way it’s designed can also bring out the worst in people.
If social media is making your life worse, rather than better, you really should consider cutting down or eliminating social media from your life. Resources such as the Addiction Center can help you recognize and deal with social media addiction and withdrawal, or the negative mental health consequences of social media abuse.