I recently deleted my Facebook account, which is obviously the ultimate solution. However, this is simply not practical for everyone, and social media definitely has its benefits.
I've tried to order these methods ways from easiest to hardest. They are not necessarily ordered by effectiveness.
Publicly Declaring a Hiatus
Post that you will be offline during certain hours or days. Honestly people are too wrapped up in their own lives to notice if you violate your own hiatus, but at least for me, the thought of being judged is quite powerful. Despite all of my technological solutions listed in #TheSeonwooWay section, this method was the most effective one I tried.
Turn Off Notifications
Fairly straightforward. Turn off all email notifications. Turn off all push notifications in the mobile apps on your phone.
Keep Moving the App on your Phone
To thwart your muscle memory from absentmindedly opening the social media app on your phone, continually move the app so you don't open it as frequently.
Remove Mobile Apps from Your Phone and Only Use a Browser
This will eliminate notifications, and in many cases, will make the social media service somewhat harder to use.
On Facebook, you can unfollow your friends, which will remove their posts and comments from your feed.
On Twitter, you can mute accounts you follow. You will still get notifications if they tag you or reply to a conversation that you're in, but you will not see their tweets in your feed.
You can deactivate your Facebook profile but still keep your Messenger account active and receive event notifications.
Have a Trusted Individual Change Your Password
Giving someone else my password goes against all of my security protocols, but this may be best way for some.
For an equivalent solution that doesn't require you to trust anybody else, see the last section.
Adventures in #TheSeonwooWay: Blocking Social Media
Finally, what you've all been waiting for: adventures in #TheSeonwooWay.
Blocking via Browser Extension
Unfortunately, you cannot install browser extensions on iOS, though you can install Firefox extensions on Android.
Blocking via Hosts File
The hosts file on your computer can provide a mapping of URLs to IP addresses (which are the actual addresses used to send packets over the Internet). If you map facebook.com, for example, to 0.0.0.0, then your computer will always fail to access Facebook. On Windows, this file can be found at
C:\Windows\System32\drivers\etc\hosts. On Mac and Linux, it can be found at
On Android devices you can use an app like AdAway to edit your hosts file, though your phone needs to be rooted. On iOS, there may be apps that can edit the hosts file, though it will most likely require your phone to be jailbroken.
For either mobile operating system, there should be VPN apps that will let you block certain sites as well.
Blocking via Your Router
If you are able to block DNS requests at the router level, then you can remap social media sites to 0.0.0.0. By doing so, you will block all social media sites on your network, including your phones using wifi.
All of the Above Can Be Defeated
Unfortunately all of these technological solutions can be defeated fairly easily: browser extensions can be uninstalled, and by using a VPN, you bypass your hosts file and your router's DNS.
Fortunately, there's a foolproof technological solution.
Use Dashlane to Change Your Password
As I discussed in a previous post, you can set up emergency access for the free online password manager Dashlane. (Please read the previous post if you don't know what a password manager or emergency access is). We can use this to lock ourselves out of our social media accounts for a certain number of days.
Note: I have never employed this method before, but it should theoretically work.
- Create a temporary email account.
- Create two Dashlane accounts: one primary, linked to your primary email address, and one temporary, linked to your temporary email. Your temporary Dashlane account should use a random password that you won't remember. Write this down for the time being.
- Grant your primary Dashlane account emergency access to your secondary Dashlane account. Set the timer for emergency access to be whatever period you want to be off social media.
- Change the password to your social media account to something you won't remember (just let Dashlane generate a random password for you) and record it into your temporary Dashlane account.
- Throw away the password to your temporary Dashlane account.
- From your primary Dashlane account, request emergency access to your temporary Dashlane account.
After the time period set for emergency access requests in your temporary Dashlane account, you will be granted access to your temporary account, which should contain the password to your social media account(s). By having thrown away the password to your temporary Dashlane account, you won't be able to access your temporary Dashlane account before the emergency access time period is up.