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Life after social media: ‘I’ve realised people don’t need to know everything about me’

Platforms like Facebook and Twitter provided a lifeline for millions during lockdowns, yet others felt compelled to disconnect. Andrea Smith speaks to people who deactivated their accounts over the last 18 months — and never looked back

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Emily Foley says her entire day was consumed by being on social media. Photo: Daragh Mc Sweeney/Provision

Emily Foley says her entire day was consumed by being on social media. Photo: Daragh Mc Sweeney/Provision

Claire Fullam took a six-month break from Instagram after her address was shared online. Photo: Steve Humphreys

Claire Fullam took a six-month break from Instagram after her address was shared online. Photo: Steve Humphreys

Gráinne Walsh has more time now to spend with her real friends. Photo: Frank McGrath

Gráinne Walsh has more time now to spend with her real friends. Photo: Frank McGrath

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Emily Foley says her entire day was consumed by being on social media. Photo: Daragh Mc Sweeney/Provision

Like most 22-year-olds, Emily Foley from Galway spent a lot of time watching TikTok videos and following online influencers during lockdown. Yet at the start of the summer, after getting accepted on to a college course in Cork, she decided to give up social media for good.

I had it all, including TikTok, Instagram and Facebook,” she says. “My whole day was consumed with it, but I wasn’t learning anything valuable.”


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