- Nancy Urbach
How to Detox from Social Media
Social media has become such an integral part of our lives that it's hard to imagine life without it. We use it to stay connected with friends, family, and acquaintances, while also documenting our lives. We use it to consume information and entertainment from multiple sources. However, social media can also take up all of your free time. If you find yourself mindlessly scrolling through your social media feed for hours on end, then it might be time for a social media detox.
Starting a detox is a private objective, however letting your loved ones know that you're taking a break from social media can help assist you. First, it will stop the concerning emails or texts from them saying, "we haven’t seen you post anything recently, are you ok?" Also, they can help you stay accountable, and may even decide to join in on the detox with you! Make sure to set a start date and end date to help you keep track of your progress.
If the apps on your phone become too tempting during your detox, you can simply delete them now and redownload the apps when you're finish with it. They will be out of sight, and hopefully out of mind! If the apps are not on your phone, you can't open them and start scrolling. Try to avoid other devices that may also give you access to the direct websites too. Remember, the detox is for all devices and you need a break from all social media.
Plan some hobbies or tasks to do during the time you normally scroll, so you don’t start thinking about it again. This is where you can rediscover a passion, start a new venture, or expand your goals now that you have time to consider your life. You will be surprised by how much is still going on in the world without looking at a screen. Some people have started gardens, wrote books, and even learned to cook during a social media detox. How will you spend your time?
When your detox ends, you can decide to keep it going or to return to social media. However, if you do, be intentional about it. Don't just mindlessly scroll through your feed. Follow accounts that inspire you or make you laugh. Post content that is meaningful to you. Be present in the moment and savor those interactions with friends and family that social media can sometimes take away from us. Most importantly, set a timer. Don’t lose track of all your free time just scrolling, give yourself a time limit and use some of your free time in other ways.
A social media detox can be good for both your mental and physical health. It's important to remember that social media is not “real life”. The highlight reel that we see on Instagram or Facebook is not representative of most people's day-to-day lives. Try to take a break from it often and use some of your newfound time in the “real world” doing something you enjoy!