An already shaken nation was horrified on Monday when millennial leader Kendall Jenner deleted her Instagram account, but don't worry folks. The newly-minted 21-year-old promises to make a return to posting selfies at some point. She's just in the midst of an Instagram detox, and is using the opportunity to speak out on an issue ravaging her millennial following: social media addiction.
In an appearance on The Ellen Show yesterday, Jenner explained the situation.
"I would wake up in the morning and I would look at it first thing. I would go to bed and it was the last thing that I would look at," Jenner said. "I felt a little too dependent on it, so I kinda wanted to take a minute. It's a detox. I'll be back."
Going on a social media detox is the hottest fad in Hollywood. Rihanna, Justin Bieber, Taylor Swift and Selena Gomez have all given it a go. But when a Jenner or Kardashian promotes some sort of detox program, hordes of their followers are eager to try it as well. Kendall's detox, however, doesn't actually come with a step-by-step plan let alone some sort of weird tea. So we've tried our best to piece together a ten-step social media detox based on Jenner's wisdom.
1. Admit that you have a problem.
The most powerful step to starting a successful detox is to understand why you need to undertake one in the first place. Are you waking up every morning and obsessively checking all of your feeds? Do you freak out if you accidentally leave your phone at home even if you're just taking a ten-minute trip to the corner store? Do you start to feel sad or anxious when your posts don't get enough likes or followers? Well, maybe you too have a problem and need to remove yourself from the source.
2. Or at least admit that someone close to you has a problem and tell yourself you don't want to end up like them.
Even if you're still not sure you have a problem, you can of course always turn your disdain for others' habits into an excuse to better yourself. In Allure's September issue, Jenner revealed that she started to get annoyed at her sister Kylie's over-reliance on her phone during a family vacation. "Kylie wouldn't put her phone down," she told the magazine. "I'm like, 'That's so crazy to me that you're not experiencing this.' That was the moment it kind of clicked for me. And I didn't like it. So sometimes I delete Instagram or Twitter or Snapchat off my phone for a couple days." Trying to make yourself better than the rest of your friends and family is a time honored American tradition after all.
3. Delete the apps off of your phone.
Good, now you've put your spirit in a place where you've realized that a detox may be good for you. For mild cases of social media addiction, the answer might be to simply delete the apps off of your phone. For iPhone users that involved pressing down on any app icon until they all get shakey and then clicking the little "x" above the app in question. Android user can delete apps through their application manager. Out of phone, out of mind.
4. In more severe cases you may need to temporarily delete or suspend your account
Of course, if you're really jonesing for that sweet, sweet social action, there's still ways around it, ways like desktop computers. Hey, some people still use them. Either temporarily deleting or suspending your account may be the best way to remove all temptations. Plus it stops notification messages from popping up in your e-mail.
5. Inform your friends you're taking a detox. "My friends keep texting me," Jenner said on The Ellen Show. "And I was like, how does everyone know?" Of course, your BFFs will be the first to realize that you're gone. It might be best to give them a heads up before or shortly after so they're fully on board to support your new, exciting, spiritual journey. Some may experience a temptation to use the situation to figure out who notices your absence first and relish in the attention of all the worried texts, but you must fight that urge because, come on, that basic pettiness and need for attention may be half of your problem in the first place.
6. Just like, exist, in real life, and stuff.
"I'm away from my phone so much more," said Jenner. "You start to engage in real life." So, just engage in real life. Go for a walk. Clean your room. Get some work done. Read a book. Take baby steps at first to gear up for the next step. Do boring things you wouldn't even want to share on social media anyway.
7. Engage in behavior that might trigger an urge to post something and work past it. Cook a new recipe, but fight the urge to Snapchat it. Do your hair, put on some makeup and a nice outfit and accept the fact that you can't take a selfie of the result. Have a political thought, but don't post it on Facebook. Learn to embrace a full existence outside of the forces of social media validation.
8. Talk to people face-to-face.
"You have to deal with real people right in front of you, so it's kind of really nice to be away from it even if it's just Instagram," said Jenner. Yes, that involves actually talking to people. Sometimes people you don't even know.
9. Only once you're truly content with a life without social media can your return.
A successful detox only ends once you've actually removed all the former urges and patterns from your life. You can only return to Instagram once you've come to a point where you realize you have no real desire to.
10. Launch a sunglasses line with your sister.
Oh, wait no, that's not actually part of the cleanse, but Kendall and Kylie are launching a new sunglasses line next year. Good for them. Except, you know, Jenner likely will have to return to social media some day to promote the specs by the time they hit stores in February and you will have to return to social media as well, hopefully with a clearer mind and spirit.
Watch a video interview with W's November 2016 cover star Kendall Jenner: