I am sure I am not alone when I say I find myself in constant conflict with social media. Of course there is so much I love about it. It connects us with a community we may otherwise never have known (as well as stay in touch with friends and family who live afar). Also, it helps me stay informed about what is going on locally in my community. It allows us to discover and explore different places and inspiring people. And it can provide endless entertainment and laughs when it comes to TikTok, Instagram Stories, Facebook and Twitter.
But of course we all know there is a huge down side to social media too. Primarily that it can take up so much of our time. while taking us away from other meaningful engagements. And we may find that spending hours on end scrolling through various feeds can leave us feeling anxious, drained, or dissatisfied.
No matter how you are feeling about social media though, the truth of the matter is it has become a huge part of our modern life. And there’s nothing inherently wrong with spending time on social media. It more or less comes down to how do we best maintain a healthy relationship with our social media accounts. So why not consider a break to really help identify the negative habits and effects social media platforms can have on your life.
Social Media Detox
What Is A Social Media Detox
A social media detox is a conscious elimination of social media use and consumption for a set period of time. Generally, most social media detoxes are 30 days. However, it could be limiting your use on social media apps to 30 minutes per day. It could be assigning a designated day per week where you refrain from using social media. Any amount of conscious and significant time you set aside to eliminate and refrain from using social media sites counts as detox!
Why You Should Do A Social Media Detox
A Chance To Clear Your Mind
I am so guilty of reading or seeing something on social media and then allowing myself to get worked up about it for hours on end. It consumes my mind. It leaves me feeling stressed. Ultimately this leads to unnecessary mind clutter that really can take a toll on my daily mental health. Taking a break from social media gives you a chance to clear your head and regain a healthy mental space.
Provides More Free Time
Do you ever feel like there’s not enough hours in the day, yet you somehow still find time to constantly check Facebook? Or do you spend a large amount of time on social media when you should be doing something productive? How often do we hop on Instagram or TikTok and find ourselves going to down the rabbit hole of watching stories or videos endlessly? By detoxing from social media, you’ll regain time that is otherwise wasted. Find out how much time you spend on social media sites per day (more on that below) and then start using that time more productively. Go on a walk, read a book, catch up with a friend. I know I feel a much better sense of accomplishment in my day, the less time I spend on social media!
Causes Less Anxiety
My phone is the first thing I reach for in the morning and the last thing I look at before I go to sleep. I have created a habit where I feel that by not checking it, I am missing out on something! But by hitting the pause button on your social media apps, you start to reagin control of your time and mental health. What will happen after a week or so with more and more mental clutter out of the way, you’ll no longer feel consumed by the headlines, feeds or Trends on social media. This will help lower your anxiety significantly. There is so much evidence that suggests most of today’s anxiety comes from social media use and consumption.
Ability to Reconnect With Real Life Relationships
I am an introvert. So connecting with people on-line comes more naturally to me. Yet are our social media friends really the ones who we go to with a problem or rely on when we need to talk someone? Sure there is a sense of community on many on-line platforms but the relationships we foster in real life are far more important for our overall well-being. I get far more satisfaction and comfort meeting up with a friend for coffee or lunch then I do engaging with a virtual friend through social networks. We also often reference that social media allows us to stay in touch with friends and family from afar. And yes that is true. But is it at the expense of never picking up the phone and calling that friend or family member?
How To Do A Social Media Detox
The first step to taking a social media detox is to let people know! Tell people you interact the most with that you’ll be offline for a while. It will keep you accountable. If you’re back within a few days commenting on posts or uploading photos, the people you told will hopefully call you out on it. This will help you stick with the detox.
Put A Rubber Band Around Your Phone
I probably would be shocked to really know how many times a day I mindlessly pick up my phone. Consider then putting a rubber band around your phone. This simple physical obstacle snaps you out of autopilot for a second and encourages you to reflect on what you’re doing.
Control Your Apps
The best way to take control of your detox from social media is to identify and delete the apps that take up most of your time. While Instagram is a social media platform I rely on for my blog, Facebook is my ever time consuming downfall.
One idea is to download the app, Cold Turkey. With this app, you can choose to schedule social media blocks when you need them or simply reduce social media account interactions into a specified time window everyday.
Make A Plan For Your Time During Detox
First find out how much time you spend on social media. Just go to Settings > Screen Time and tap See All Activity under the graph. From there, you can see your usage and see how many times a device was picked up or received a notification! Then take that time and actually fill it with productive things to do! Read, cook, bake, write a letter, listen to a podcast, clean a closet!
Thanks for stopping by!