Quitting social media has been found to offer health benefits. Some people, however, may first feel worse before they feel better. Experts at The Healthy describe the initial stress or anxiety that accompanies a social media cleanse as “neurological withdrawal.” Founder of the Center for Internet and Technology Addiction David Greenfield explains that “If you’re using social media addictively, which some people are, you have elevated levels of dopamine, so when you stop doing that, there is some withdrawal.”
However, the long-term effects of quitting social media may very well outweigh the initial discomfort of doing so. According to The Healthy, the need to be constantly connected can boost the production of stress hormones in the brain, which can negatively affect memory and increase the risk of depression. Abandoning social media lessens this risk, thereby enabling more feelings of focus and calm.