Now that “Chief Twit” Elon Musk has officially acquired Twitter, you might be thinking about leaving Twitter but wondering where to go.If so, you’re not alone. While some users are valiantly staying on the platform in protest, others are jumping ship. According to a Reuters report, Twitter is losing its most active users — “heavy tweeters” make up 10 percent of users but account for 90 percent of the platform’s tweet. And now with Musk in charge, many users who are skeptical about his plans to curtail content moderation are saying they plan to quit Twitter altogether. If you feel you have nothing left to give to the social media platform and are ready to move on from this Musk era, you’ve come to the right place. Below is a handy wellness guide for how to leave Twitter and start a new life beyond the scroll of doom.
Know the consequences
Technically, leaving Twitter is called “deactivating” your account. You can deactivate your Twitter account by going to Settings > Your account > Deactivate your account. But before your take the leap, it’s important to know what happens next. When you deactivate your account, you have 30 days to reactivate it if you change your mind. After 30 days, all your data is deleted. That’s why this next step is critical to your Twitter exit strategy.
Download your data
There’s a way to download an archive of all of your tweets and data, so make sure you do that before you deactivate your account. Here’s a step-by-step guide of how to download your data. Note: Twitter says it may take up to 24 hours to process this request, so plan accordingly.
Explore Twitter alternatives
So you’ve got your data downloaded and you’ve deactivated your Twitter account. Now it’s time to fill the Twitter-bird-shaped void in your life. That starts with finding alternative apps to replace the ritual of scrolling through tweets until your eyes bleed. Here are some suggestions:
A decentralized network of social media servers.
Like a Facebook feed that’s more customizable, so you’ll have less engagement with your extremist distant relative and more contact with people you do want to be in touch with.
Essentially thematically-based chatrooms. Big with gamers.
If you miss the urge to broadcast your whereabouts, BeReal sends you a daily prompt to post a picture.
If you want a social media platform with less moderation than Elon’s Twitter is about to have, there’s always this right-wing ghost town. Heads-up though: No one, not even former President Donald Trump, is using the app.
If you still like your social media to be owned by an egotistical celebrity with no experience running a social media company, you’re in luck! Kanye West is buying the controversial app where “Stop the Steal” conspiracy theories that led to the Jan. 6 insurrection thrived.
Social media heavy hitters
Of course, there are also the more established platforms, too: Facebook, Instagram, Reddit, TikTok, etc. The point is, when you delete Twitter, it’s likely you’ll experience an intense urge to publicly voice your mundane thoughts and you’ll need to pre-empt this urge by having alternative social media outlets to satisfy that urge.
If the thought of leaving Twitter altogether is causing too much separation anxiety, consider making a ghost account. If you cherish that precious blue checkmark beside your verified account and the followers you worked so hard for, a solution would be keeping that account and making a new stealth account a la a “finsta.” That way you can check your Twitter lists and keep tabs on the goings-on without subjecting yourself to the Twitter feed hellscape.
Alternative coping strategies
In the case of an emergency — say, your WiFi goes down, or you haven’t found the right replacement app, or you simply miss the terrifying thrill of scrolling through Twitter — you need to have a backup plan for publicly sharing your opinions. For this, we recommend going out into the street and screaming what you might have ordinarily tweeted. Another option: hanging one of those digital signs out of your window and updating it constantly.
Go outside and touch grass
Maybe you’ve decided to leave Twitter not just because of the toxic wasteland you fear it’ll turn into under Musk’s leadership, but because you need a break from the relentless pull of social media feeds in general. In that case, we recommend logging off, going outside, and touching grass. “Though touching grass is an internet joke, is it time for us to silently step away and touch grass?” asks Catriona Morton for Mashable. “Can we take more from the advice to log off? And is it really possible to truly ‘touch grass’?”We’d wager that, yes, it’s possible and advisable. It can be hard to remember there’s a reality beyond the online world, so we recommend reacquainting yourself with it in baby steps. In addition to touching some grass, try smiling at someone, going for a walk, or maybe even licking a subway pole. When a stranger reciprocates your smile with a suspicious glare or you inevitably contract some heinous disease from that germ-infested pole, you’ll know you’re back in reality. Isn’t that wonderful?