Every year, in January, it’s the same ritual. We promise ourselves to start exercising, to quit smoking, to call our grandparents more often or to save a little more each month. But for some of our Internet users, the resolution for 2023is to stop or reduce the use social networks. Waste of time, anxiety-provoking news, hateful climate… What are the reasons that push these French people to leave Facebook, Twitter Where instagram ? 20 minutes gave them the floor.
A “flow of futile information”
With 1 hour and 46 minutes per day average usage, social networks take a significant part of our daily lives. And it’s already too much for Virginie. Faced with an observation, that of a “loss of time and energy”, the young woman decided a few weeks ago to delete her Facebook and Twitter accounts: “I wanted to rediscover the taste for real family and friendly encounters, live more in reality,” she confides. Vincent “disconnected from Insta and Facebook on December 31. I was wasting a lot of time on these apps: as soon as I took my mobile, I scrolled like a robot! “. .
Yoann was “tired of constantly seeing people’s eyes glued to their pocket screen in useless situations or as soon as they have five seconds of inactivity: at the supermarket checkout, crossing a long corridor , walking on a sidewalk, waiting for the light to turn green”. Result, finished Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Messenger, he kept only WhatsApp. And for the moment, “no vital impact” on his social life.
After several years of presence on social networks, Yoann also got tired of this “flow of futile information”. “I got tired of endlessly watching mini-videos of teenagers doing the same challenge across the world or playing a mind-numbing game,” he adds. An idea shared by Jeremy. “At first, I thought it was going to be difficult. The fear of no longer being aware of events. Eventually, I quickly realized that important information was still reaching me. It allowed me to restore a real hierarchy in the information I receive,” explains the young man.
“It’s the race for visibility”
Since their creation, social networks, especially Instagram, have been regularly accused of dictatorship of appearance. A falsehood that annoys Laure: “During the Christmas holidays, it was a bit like the competition for the most beautiful photo. Everyone wanted to show that their life was better than that of others. This is the race for visibility”. This Internet user, who was tired of “putting himself in competition”, made the choice to leave Facebook and Instagram. “It’s been a few days since I disappeared from the web and I feel much better, I’m refocusing on my creativity and no longer the likes,” says this artist. It was after seeing the ski vacation photos that Mathilde quit social media: “This winter, I don’t have a vacation, and not a lot of money either, so I decided to delete Instagram. Seeing friends or influencers on vacation in great places made me feel sad, made me feel like I had a shitty life. I wondered why I was doing this to myself”.
More than the publications, it was the “falsely” maintained links on social networks that prompted Julien to take the exit: “I deleted Facebook and Messenger. I realized that 99% of the people I had as friends, it was simply to wish a happy new year or a happy birthday, ”he explains. Celine, on the other hand, spent some time watching the knowledge news feed. A waste of time for the young woman, who wanted to put an end to this “curiosity”. “Whereas the people I have real connections with, I call them, I text them or I go to see them,” she continues.
The other side of the coin, the suppression of social networks can put an end to social relations, as Jérémy explains: “By leaving Instagram and Facebook, my friendly and professional relations have drastically reduced, I have come out of the loops of evenings or meals”, he notes, before adding: “But at least it strengthens the ties with those who do not forget you”.
“I had to protect myself”
Coronavirus epidemic, inflation, yellow vests, war in Ukraine… The least we can say is that, in recent years, the news has not been the most encouraging. And for some, enough is enough. “Before, every morning when I woke up, I logged on to Twitter or Facebook, I saw a flood of depressing news, and I took a whiff of anxiety. I understood that I had to protect myself, ”recalls Nadège, who deleted her social networks. “I just chose to spare myself an anxiety-provoking climate,” she adds.
Especially since this anxiety-provoking climate on social networks is sometimes added to hateful content. For Vanessa, who deleted all her accounts, these “time-consuming” sites have become platforms of hatred and violence. “You just have to look at the comments on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram. There is racism, homophobia, sexism. Any publication is widely criticized, ”considers the Internet user.
May our Internet users be reassured. They are not alone. Like actor Tom Holland, who retired from social media this summer to maintain mental health. Before him, Selena Gomez made the same decision in 2018. The star with 343 million Instagram subscribers has given up on all social networks.
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For 2023, these Internet users choose to leave social networks
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