About the Project

Quitting Social Media (QSM) is a research project that seeks to engage with people who have voluntarily quit, or considered quitting, social media. The project is based at King’s College London in the Department of Digital Humanities.

Through this research, we hope to gain insight into how social media users – and former users –  negotiate tensions and pressures around today’s connectivity culture. Amidst recent debates and consumer services addressing digital addiction and detox (e.g. Otto 2016, Löchtefeld et al. 2013, Portwood-Stacer 2013, Brabazon 2012), QSM aims to provide insight into the practices of and motivations for digital retreat.

Participants of all ages and backgrounds are welcome. We are especially keen to hear from anyone who:

  • has considered quitting social media;
  • is taking or has taken a temporary break from social media use;
  • has decided to permanently stop using a specific social media service(s)
  • has participated in a digital detox programme (formal or informal)
  • is concerned about the potentially negative effects of social media use;
  • has stopped using a smartphone.

We invite you to complete our short online survey, and/or participate in an interview. Participation is fully confidential. To learn more about how you can take part, please visit the Call for Participants page.


References and further reading

Brabazon, Tara (2013). Digital Dieting: From Information Obesity to Intellectual Fitness. New York and London: Routledge.

Fish, Adam (2017) ‘Technology Retreats and the Politics of Social Media’
Triple C 15(1). Available at http://www.triple-c.at/index.php/tripleC/article/view/807.

Light, Ben (2014) Disconnecting with Social Networking Sites. Baskingstoke and New York: Palgrave Macmillan.

Löchtefeld, Markus, Böhmer, Matthias and Ganev, Lyubomir (2013) ‘AppDetox: helping users with mobile app addiction’, MUM ’13 Proceedings of the 12th International Conference on Mobile and Ubiquitous Multimedia.

Otto, Daniela (2016) Digital Detox. Berlin and Heidelberg: Springer.

Portwood-Stacer, Laura (2013) ‘Media refusal and conspicuous non-consumption: The performative and political dimensions of Facebook abstention’, New Media & Society15(7): 1041-1057.

Sutton, Theodora (2017) ‘Disconnect to reconnect: The food/technology metaphor in digital detoxing’, First Monday 22(6). Available at http://firstmonday.org/ojs/index.php/fm/article/view/7561/6310.

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