Our love of social media seems to have grown and grown in the past decade, but recent studies show the tide may be turning for some platforms, with young people in particular ditching Facebook. One study claims that more than 11 million teenagers left Facebook between 2011 and 2014. It’s been argued that they are swapping public platforms such as Twitter and Instagram for more private messaging apps like WhatsApp and Snapchat.
We asked young people whether they have quit social media and why, as well as what apps they are ditching. Almost all reported a greater sense of happiness after going offline. Here, teenagers and young adults switching off from Facebook and other social apps reveal how the change has affected their lives:
Ben, 21, Surrey: ‘I have a much more positive mindset now’
I’ve always found social media to be an environment in which people constantly seek attention and validation through one-upping people’s comments, and boasting over likes and retweets.
We’ve not needed social media for thousands of years and now it feels like people think your life is over if you don’t have it, which is ridiculous. I joined when I was 13, but I don’t feel like I really knew what I was signing up for and the platform has changed a lot over the years. There’s much more advertising on it now, for example.
I’m more productive and less concerned with what other people think about me – now, the only person I have to regularly compare myself with is me. I’m in a much more positive mindset without social media than I ever was with it. It’s let me see who my friends truly are, and who I was only concerned with simply because they were there on social media.
– Sarah Marsh