There are many different reasons why someone may want to take a social media break. You might just bet over all of the scrolling, you need more time to focus on big projects, or maybe it’s another reason all together.
The fact that you are reading this right now should be a hint that a social media break may be just what you need. Fear not, I’m here to tell you exactly what a social media detox is, the benefits, how to pull it off, and more.
What Is A Social Media Detox? And Why Does It Matter?
Essentially a social media detox is just a time period where you are disconnected from social media. It can be a day, a weekend, even up to a year. While social media can be a great place to connect with friends and current events, there is also a negative side. From comparison to overuse, there are many ways that social media use can turn into a bad thing.
In this situation it’s a good idea to step back and do a social media detox, but there are also some less extreme reasons someone might want to get away from social media. Some of those may be that you want more focus for an extended period of time, you are on vacation and want to truly be present, or you just simply want less voices around you and more mindfulness of your own voice.
Whatever your reasoning, I’m glad you are considering taking this time away from all of the posting, scrolling, and watching. Odds are your body has been telling you it’s time for a social media detox before you even thought about it. In this next section I’ll be exploring the signs to watch out for telling you a detox may be needed.
Signs You May Need A Social Media Break
Pay attention to your mind, body, and behaviors and they’ll expose when you have been on social media too long and it’s starting to affect you:
- You have trouble focusing
- You are in the comparison trap more often than not
- You obsess over the number of likes and comments you get
- You get FOMO (fear of missing out) when you are away from social media for an extended period of time
- You get frustrated when you are unexpectedly unable to go on a social app
- Time slips away easily when you are scrolling
- Your screen time is at unhealthy amounts
- You get stressed if you can’t find your phone
- Your mood changes after you spend time on social media
You can find more reasons from Very Well Mind and Cleveland Clinic.
How To Start A Social Media Detox
If you are ready to try a social media detox keep reading. I’m about to share some tips on how to have the best transition to your period of unplug time possible.
Determine Your Why
It doesn’t matter if you are detoxing for a weekend, for a whole year, or anywhere in between, if you aren’t clear on why you are doing it, it won’t stick. Getting clear on why you are choosing to unplug from social media will help you during the times you are struggling to stay away. This is especially beneficial if you are finding yourself addicted to your phone.
Your why can be anything really. Maybe you’ve been noticing your screen time steadily rising and want a reset to bring it back to normal. You could just want to limit distractions while you are pushing for a big promotion or working on a lengthy project. Whatever it is, get clear on it, write it down, and keep it in the front of your mind.
Determine Your Length of Time
This is completely up to you. I would pick a period of time that feels challenging, but is still doable.
Another consideration to make is when you are starting your detox. Be mindful of times that you know you’ll want to be on social media, like maybe for a friends birthday party, or around the holidays. Don’t schedule your detox for a time that interrupts special dates and occurrences; that is a time where you’ll want to connect with others.
Prepare The People Close To You
This is similar to the previous point. In being prepared for your time away from social media you’ll want to make sure the people close to you know about it. This helps them not worry that something is wrong when they don’t see you in their feeds, and it will give you support when you need it.
Just because you are taking a break from social media doesn’t mean you have to be antisocial. Make sure your friends know you still want to connect with them through texts, calls, and even plans to hang out.
Start Your Detox
Now you are ready to start your detox. Don’t be nervous or dread it. You are going to do great and this will be a great learning experience for you. Here are some final tips to help ensure that you make the most out of this social media detox.
5 Tips For A Successful Social Media Detox
Delete The Apps:
Trust me, it doesn’t help just to have blockers. If you are like me and have low self control, you’ll want the social apps off your phone. You can re-download them after your detox is over.
As I mentioned before, a strong why will get you through the hard times when you are missing scrolling through TikTok and Instagram.
Chat with your friends:
If you are feeling a little too cut off from being on social media, call up a friend or make plans to meet. This helps you see that you aren’t missing out on the true reason social media networks started, for connection. It also takes your mind off the fact that you are on a social media detox.
Think Of All You Can Do Instead:
You won’t miss the scrolling if you are busy doing other things. Read that book you’ve been meaning to read, go on a solo date, watch a movie, there are so many things to fill your free time with. You’ll probably start to notice that life is more full without social media.
What To Do During & After Your Detox:
I’m a big believer in the power of journaling. I challenge you to journal throughout your detox if you are doing it for a longer period of time, like 30 days or more. Definitely journal about your experience before and after your social media detox is over though. This will help you see all that you have learned during this time, and can even help you in the future.
Are you ready for a social media break? Now you have everything you need to have a successful social media detox. Happy unplugging!