Want to do a social media cleanse? Here's how.

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Jordanna Kalkhof June 13, 2019

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How to Delete Your Social Media Accounts

 

It’s no secret that there are many pros and cons to social media. Staying connected with friends, family, and coworkers, sharing and documenting experiences, and real-time news updates are just a few ways social media benefits its users. Meanwhile, things such as procrastination, privacy issues, and online addictions weigh heavy on the cons list. Platforms have been trying to combat some of these issues with increased privacy controls that help users limit tracking and data collection and other features, such as screen-time limits, designed to reduce the amount of time people are spending on their mobile devices. For some users, however, these new controls don’t go far enough. Users who are dissatisfied with the current state of social media for various reasons are taking matters into their own hands and deleting their social media presence. If you’re considering cutting the social media cord, here’s a step-by-step guide on how to delete your accounts on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

Twitter

To deactivate your account:

Desktop

Go to Settings and Privacy > scroll down to Deactivate Your Account > Review the information and select Deactivate

Mobile

Go to Settings and Privacy > choose Account > Deactivate Your Account > Review the information and select “Deactivate”

After 30 days, your deactivated account will become permanently deleted.

 

Facebook

To deactivate or permanently delete your account:

Mobile

Click the Settings gear on your profile page > View Privacy Shortcuts > scroll down to Delete Your Account and Information

Desktop

Click the drop-down arrow in the upper right corner > Settings > select Your Facebook Information in the left-hand column > Deactivation and Deletion

Instagram

To deactivate or permanently delete your account:

Desktop

To deactivate your account, go to your profile page > select Edit Profile > Temporarily Disable My Account.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

To delete your account, click here > if you’re not already signed in, you will be prompted to sign into your account before continuing > select a reason for deleting your account

 

 

 

 

 

 

Will deleting your social media accounts keep you from being tracked online?

Unfortunately, protecting your online identity isn’t as simple as deleting social media accounts. While this will help limit the amount of  personal information companies have access to, it’s not an all-encompassing approach. Specifically in reference to Facebook (who also owns Instagram), here’s why: Facebook tracks almost a quarter (24.6 percent) of web traffic according to current These tracking scripts allow Facebook to gather and collect data outside of the platform itself. This is why you can shop for a particular item online and then see ads for that item on your feed almost immediately after. This data is valuable whether it can be tied to an existing account or not. Even when users don’t have a Facebook account, data is still being collected about them through the use of shadow profiles. “The tracking data contains unique identifiers (UIDs) that theoretically enable Facebook to link behavioral data to individual Internet users and to de-anonymize them very easily.” Deleting your account won’t protect you from this type of tracking. If you’re taking this initiative, we suggest going a step further and using anti-tracking tools in tandem with your other privacy efforts. Anti-tracking tools, such as Ghostery, identify tracking scripts on webpages and block them before they are able to collect your data, giving you a faster and safer browsing experience. Download the Ghostery Browser Extension for free to start blocking trackers .