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How to Delete Your Social Media Accounts

Are you feeling overwhelmed by social media and thinking about deleting your accounts? You‘re not alone. A recent Pew Research study found that over 70% of Americans feel worn out by the amount of content they see on social platforms daily. If you want to reclaim your time and online privacy, this step-by-step guide will walk you through permanently deleting profiles on every major social site.

As an online privacy advocate with over 10 years of experience in the tech industry, I know first-hand the frustrations of social media burnout. In this article, I‘ll use my expertise to provide tips and statistics to help you through the account deletion process. You‘ll learn:

  • The benefits of taking a break from social media
  • Step-by-step instructions for deleting accounts on all top platforms
  • What happens when you deactivate vs delete profiles
  • How to preserve your data before deleting
  • Expert advice for a successful social media detox

Let‘s get started taking back your online freedom!

Why It‘s Important to Take Social Media Breaks

Constant social media use has been linked to sharply rising rates of depression and anxiety over the past decade, especially among teens. A 2021 study revealed:

  • 68% of girls who use social media for over 3 hours daily have a higher risk of depression.
  • Heavy social media use can make girls 70% more likely to be depressed than light users.

For adults, the comparison game can take a toll on self-esteem as we constantly see filtered versions of friend‘s lives.

Additionally, social platforms are designed to be addictive. The endless scrolling feeds and pull-to-refresh make it hard to focus on work and family.

Other reasons you may want to delete your accounts include:

  • Improve productivity. The average user spends 2 hours and 24 minutes on social networks daily. Removing accounts eliminates this distraction during work.

  • Enhance privacy. Facebook, Instagram and others collect troves of personal data and share it with advertisers. Deleting this cuts off data collection.

  • Avoid toxicity. The negativity and polarization on sites like Twitter and political pages on Facebook can heighten anxiety.

As you can see, taking a temporary break or even permanently deleting your social media can provide huge benefits for mental health, privacy and productivity. Now let‘s go through how to delete profiles step-by-step.

Step-by-Step: How To Delete Your Top Social Media Accounts

Delete Facebook Account

With over 2.9 billion monthly active users, Facebook is the social media giant. Here is how to remove your profile:

  1. Click on the arrow in the top right and go to Settings & Privacy > Settings.

  2. In the left column select Your Facebook Information.

  3. Click on Deactivation and Deletion.

  4. Choose Delete Account and click Continue to Account Deletion.

  5. Enter your password and select Continue then Delete Account.

Once you submit the request to delete your Facebook account, it can take up to 90 days for them to completely erase your data. Avoid reactivating your profile during this time.

Delete Instagram Account

The popular photo sharing app has over 1 billion monthly active users. To delete your Instagram account:

  1. On a desktop browser, visit Instagram‘s Delete Your Account page.

  2. Log in and select the reason you are deleting your account.

  3. Click or tap Permanently delete my account.

After disabling your account, Instagram takes around 30 days to permanently erase all your data. The account remains disabled during this period but can be reactivated if you log back in.

Delete Twitter Account

With 237 million daily active users, Twitter is many people‘s go-to for news and updates. To remove your Twitter account:

  1. Go to Settings and privacy in the app or on the Twitter website.

  2. Select Deactivate your account under Your account.

  3. Enter your password and click Deactivate to disable your account.

Twitter will keep your account disabled for 30 days before deleting it completely. You can still reactivate it during this period by logging back in.

Delete TikTok Account

Over 1 billion people log into the short form video app TikTok each month. To delete your account:

  1. Open your profile tab from the bottom right of the TikTok app.

  2. Tap the settings icon in the top right and choose Delete account.

  3. Select Delete account again to confirm.

Similar to other platforms, your TikTok account will remain deactivated for 30 days before being permanently erased.

The process is much the same for other social networks like Snapchat, Youtube, LinkedIn and Pinterest. The account deletion or deactivation option is typically located under your profile or account settings.

Should You Deactivate or Delete Your Account?

When you deactivate your social media accounts, all your profile information and data is hidden but not erased. Your account essentially goes dormant and can be reactivated at any time by logging back in.

If you delete an account, it is disabled for 30-90 days before being permanently erased from the platform‘s servers. You usually lose access to your data.

Here‘s a comparison:

Deactivate Delete
Profile/data hidden Yes Yes
Profile/data deleted No Yes, after waiting period
Reactivate account Yes No, account lost forever
Information preserved Yes No, information erased

As you can see, deactivating your social accounts is best if you think you may want to return. Deleting is optimal for those seeking a clean break. Choose what best suits your needs.

What to Do Before Deleting Your Profiles

  • Download your data – Preserve photos, posts and other personal info by downloading an archive from each platform.

  • Save key information – Screenshot or otherwise save content you still want access to even without your profile.

  • Remove apps from devices – Deleting the apps removes temptation to reactivate accounts.

  • Notify close contacts – Let important connections know you‘ll be leaving social media and how else to contact you.

Taking these steps allows you to save the digital artifacts that matter before cutting ties with social media entirely.

Making the Most of Your Social Media Detox

Once your accounts are deleted, be mindful about how you spend time previously spent scrolling feeds or posting stories. Here are some tips to make the most of your break:

  • Spend time nurturing real world relationships with friend meetups, family visits or date nights.

  • Pursue hobbies like reading, arts, sports or gardening that social media may have distracted from.

  • Develop a meditation practice to build focus and reduce smartphone temptations.

  • Keep a journal to get more in touch with your thoughts and feelings.

  • Make time for self-care whether its healthy meals, massages or nature walks.

The key is replacing digital habits with more intentional living. Follow your joy and get more fulfillment from real-world activities.

Embrace a Fresh Start After Social Media

With this complete guide, you now have all the tools needed to successfully delete accounts on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, TikTok and other popular platforms. Remember to download your data, save key info, remove apps and notify friends beforehand.

Relish your newfound freedom from the comparison game and endless scrolling. Social media breaks allow us to reconnect with our true passions and the people we care about most.

Wishing you happiness and presence as you start fresh after social media! Let me know in the comments if you have any other questions.


Streamr Go

StreamrGo is always about privacy, specifically protecting your privacy online by increasing security and better standard privacy practices.