Social media can be entertaining and fun but also time consuming and even addictive to some extend. You might not even realize that you are giving social media much more attention than it deserves. But this guide will help you identify what level of addiction you have with your social media accounts as well as how to reduce it.
Remember that you don’t have to cut your social media accounts completely. You just have to adjust your involvement and find a balance that will work for you and not against you. So, if you have been thinking about detoxing from social media, here is a useful guide to do that!
Social media detox
First of all, let’s define what a social media detox really is. You need to understand the process in order to be able to follow it completely.
Social media detox has to be a conscious decision to stay away from all your social media accounts for a limited period of time.
You can choose to not check your accounts for a week, a month or even a year.
Once your social media detox phase is over you can decide whether or not you should go back to some or all your social media accounts. Some people discover that they are much better and enjoy their lives more if they stay away from their social media accounts. But this is a subjective aspect that you will have to address when you finish your detox schedule.
Why you should consider a social media detox
Deciding if you need a social media detox is a personal decision. Most likely, if you came to this guide, you already know the answer to this question.
You might want to detox from social media because you feel your life is affected by it in a way you are not comfortable with.
If you spend too much time on your social media accounts, if you find yourself questioning your life decisions based on your social media activity, you might need a detox. Social media should remain a fun aspect of your life and not an activity that takes several hours a day.
How to detox from social media
Detoxing from social media might prove to be more challenging than you imagine. After all, you will have to stay away from all your accounts for a significant amount of days. If you were in a daily habit of checking your accounts, posting and interacting with other people, this will not come easy to you.
Here are the main things that will help you go through this detox phase in a constructive way.
Let people know about your social media detox plan
You should tell people about this process you are about to start. Especially those people who keep in touch with you often through your social media accounts.
By telling them you will also take your detox plan more seriously. If you fall back into your old habits of being active on social media, those people that know about your detox process might call you out on it. And falling back into the habit is extremely easy, especially during the first days.
Another reason you should tell people about your plans is courtesy. It is polite to let them know that you didn’t just disappear or started to ignore them all of a sudden. Even if you want to stop social media for a while, you might not want to stop all the relationships or connections you developed through your accounts.
Remove social media apps from your devices
The first and probably most important thing you need to do when you enter a social media detox phase is removing all your apps from your phone. You don’t have to delete your accounts as you might want to get back at them later. Remember that this detox phase is not permanent, or it doesn’t have to be. Simply remove the apps of all the social media accounts you have from your phone, laptop, tablet or any other device you might use to access them.
Once you do that you are halfway in the detox process. Everything might seem easier after that but you will also struggle with a feeling of emptiness at first. You will feel as if something is missing from your life. And ultimately, it is. But we shall address this side effect as it follows!
Rewire your mindset
If you have been using social media for a while, your mind might be wired to react to likes, notifications, new posts or comments and other similar aspects of this virtual world.
But since you are aware of this addiction you are one step further. Try to focus on rewiring your mind to find other sources of gratification than the ones social media had to offer you. Once you stop expecting likes, notifications and other virtual interactions, you will feel like a more free person.
Another aspect that will require you to rewire your mind is the fact that social media used to add unnecessary information to your brain. Most of this information was not even something you would be interested in. So, replace that kind of entertainment with a healthier one like books or movies of your choice. You will still have a good time but you will not be a victim of whatever your virtual friends are posting.
Rewiring your mind in these two aspects will offer you a sense of self-control and motivate you to continue your social media detox phase.
Fill your time with more productive activities
Since social media used to occupy most likely several hours of your day, chances are that you will have to fill that time with something else to do. You could use this time in a variety of productive ways.
Maybe you want to spend more time interacting with your real friends and relatives. Go outside and have some quality time with your friends and family, away from your computer, phone or other distractions. Human bonding moments are essential to our mental and emotional health.
Catching up on some pending work projects will also motivate you to stay away from social media. We might not realize how much time social media takes from our day until we stop giving it that time.
Create new routines
Your routines will have to change during this detox phase or you will not be able to complete it. If you are used to waking up and reach for your phone to check your Facebook, Twitter or Instagram while you spend another hour in bed, this is something you need to change. Creating a more refreshing morning routine might help you significantly.
You might have to change more than just your morning routine, assuming that you use social media throughout the day. If you check your accounts during your meals or when you are in the bus or subway you might want to replace that with a newspaper or a book. Eating without any distraction is the best option for your health so you should consider that for your greater benefit.
Once you created new routines you will be focused on implementing them and keeping them active. Routines are nothing unless you make them a constant part of your life. So if you managed to create new routines you should try your best to stick to them.
Advantages of social media detox
You will have more free time
One of the immediate benefits you will notice as you detox from your social media will be the amount of free time you have. Since you will not waste hours checking on your accounts you will be able to do something else. This free time alone will be a great benefit to add to your life. Whatever you were not able to do before due to the social media trap, you can do now!
Your mental health will get better
Too much time on social media contributes to high levels of anxiety. You might not notice it while you are in the heat of your social media time but you will surely notice less anxiety as soon as you stop it. Not only your anxiety and stress levels will get better but also your mood.
You will not feel overwhelmed by the amount of information you receive on social media. There will also be less pressure which will help you relax your mind as well. No more feeling the need to match the expectations of other people. No more comparing your social media posts with others. And you will not be trapped into comparing your life to other people’s lives either.
Overall, once you allow a few days to pass without social media, you will be more in control of the way you feel and think.
Your devices such as your computer or your phone will become useful in many other ways than to spend time on social media for hours. And you will enjoy better quality time with the ones that are important to you.
Social media should be a minimal part of your life, should you choose to invest any time in it at all. As soon as it takes over your life it might be time for you to go through a detox phase and allow yourself to break free from the harmful habit. So, give the tips in this guide a try and see how you feel once your detox phase is over. You might want to stay out of social media for good or go back to it under different rules that you self-impose for your own wellbeing.