If you’ve been having trouble sleeping, feeling anxious, experiencing low self-esteem, getting distracted, procrastinating and/or wondering the meaning of it all, you can probably chalk it up to social media, and it’s probably time for you to go off the grid for a while. That said, I know how tough it can be to dismantle a habit so deeply ingrained, which is why I’ve outlined a time-tested approach to doing so below. I’ve witnessed several esteemed users execute these 15 steps with astonishing results according to their followup posts. I know 15 feels like a lot, but if you follow these closely, you just might find, nestled in the deepest corner of your psyche, the belief that you’re a genuinely good and possibly superior being to others. Good luck, and dog speed.
Step 1: Inform all your followers on social media that social media is really tiring you out, and that you’re considering taking a break for the sake of your sanity.
Step 2: Craft a relatable post to share across all channels that expresses why, exactly, you’ll officially be taking a break from social media.
Step 3: Share when you plan to return so your followers don’t wonder where you’ve gone (thus rendering you irrelevant), and so they know when they can expect fresh content from you. State a lofty duration of your break (this week, this month, this year) but with soft language like maybe, probably and at least.
Step 4: Check for likes, retweets, comments.
Step 5: Respond to the responses with thoughts and ideas about why you think social media isn’t good for you right now, or really anyone, probably, but no judgement.
Step 6: Check for likes, retweets, comments.
Step 7: Pen followup post that informs friends and followers how to reach you during this time so you can stay in as close of touch as you were when you were active on the social media, which you’re for sure taking a break from, like, very soon. Make sure people know they can reach you via text, email, LinkedIn (gotta stay up on work shit), Snapchat (doesn’t count), Skype (not social media in the strict sense) and WhatsApp.
Step 8: Pause hiatus to comment superfast about Kim’s new look then leave for real.
Step 9: In the days following, attend social gatherings and discuss how it feels to be off social media (great), while also recommending all your depressed and anxious friends give it a try so they can feel like you do (great).
Step 10: Peek over their shoulders as they show you funny stuff on Twitter and marvel at how much it totally doesn’t matter how much you’ve missed. Ask them to text you that gif tho.
Step 11: Hop on to tell your followers how good you feel — suggest they take a break too. Decide to start a social media movement! Imagine all the people you could reach! Initiate that hashtag #takeasocialbreak and then bounce.
Step 12: Don’t even check for replies; that’s how above it you are.
Step 13: After a long stretch of not logging back in and feeling borderline godlike, go to a really fun party that would kill on the ‘gram, aesthetically, and realize you’re ready to return. It’s before the end of the week/month/year, but you’ve gotten so much out of this break already that you feel ready to come back.
Step 14: Alert all channels that YOU’RE BACK BABY and that you’ve learned a lot, like a ton, and that you’ll share your learnings soon.
Step 15: Check for likes, retweets, comments.
Illustration by GraphicaArtis/Getty Images.