In a world where social media rules our lives, doing a social media detox can be greatly beneficial to your mental well being.
Social media is a huge part of our life nowadays. Standing in line at the grocery store, pumping gas, sitting in the waiting room…all perfect times to grab that phone and start scrolling through Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or whatever you poison may be.
But is this healthy? The constant need to see what’s happening on social media? The need to see likes, shares, comments etc.?
Seeing those notifications pop up on your phone may provide some instant gratification, but in the long run can make you feel anxious and depressed as you constantly wait for notifications to feel some type of validation.
It’s like an addiction. You just can’t stop checking it. And it becomes unhealthy. Which is why a social media detox may be exactly what you need.
What is a Social Media Detox?
A social media detox is when you take a period of time and completely eliminate social media from your life. It can be a period of 3 days, a week, 30 days, etc. Whatever period of time you choose.
Personally, I think 30 days is the optimal time to give your brain space away from the “need” to have social media.
Why do a Social Media Detox
Social media is a great way to connect with friends, share photos and stories with loved ones, and provide creative inspiration. However, it can have negative effects as well.
Sometimes it can leave us feeling drained, anxious and not at all relaxed. You know, you pick up that phone and start scrolling through pages and pages of peoples updates, ads, photos, etc. etc., but when it’s over you’re left feeling empty and dissatisfied?
You’ve spent an hour down the rabbit hole of social media, and have nothing to show for it but jealousy and FOMO.
Now I’m not saying ALL social media is bad. For instance, I have several Facebook business accounts. Given they are for my business, I cannot completely disconnect from them.
However, it is possible to perform your business tasks and then leave. No scrolling, no checking likes, no commenting on your friends posts (just call or text them!!).
That said, doing a social media detox allows you to step away from hourly (or even more) notifications that pop up, and allows you to be present in the moment. Instead of spending your time on social media, you will have more time for hobbies, reading, and just being present in your life to appreciate the simple joys of life and the people around you.
The Benefits of a Social Media Detox
Stepping away from social media can provide a lot of benefits to your mental well being. Social media eats up our time, gives us FOMO (fear of missing out) and can put our privacy at risk.
Stop Comparing Yourself to Others
When you’re scrolling through pages of your “friends” updates, all you see is the wonderful things going on in their life. Someone got engaged and the ring is giant, some friends are on a tropical island holding up their drinks and showing off a tan, or someone just got their new dream job.
There are plenty of situations on social media that have you comparing your life to others, and feeling bad about it. No matter how much we tell ourselves it’s just the highlight reel we’re seeing, it can still be hard not to compare.
Stepping away allows us to eliminate these comparisons from our life. We can focus on being happy with what we have. And we all have things in our life we should be grateful for.
Start Living in the Moment
When you’re staring down at your screen all day looking at what others are doing, you’re not living in the moment. You don’t see what’s going on around you.
You’re not really enjoying that day at the beach because you’re spending all your time on social media posting about how great the beach is.
But are you truly enjoying it, or just telling others to get those much needed likes and comments?
When you put your phone down and start living in the moment, you’ll realize how great life really is. You can focus more on yourself, your family and your friends.
Have More Free Time to Pursue Interests
Have you ever thought how great it would be to start doing something, let’s call it making DIY crafts to sell, but never seem to have the time?
Usually, you do actually have the time, you’ve just been spending it on social. Once you cut social out, you will see how much more time you have to pursue the things you really love.
How to Detox From Social Media
I highly recommend doing the detox for at least 30 days. If you run a business that requires social media, outsourcing it may be a good option to free you up (if you can swing it).
If you can’t outsource it, schedule what you can in advance, and limit yourself to say 5-10 minutes a day responding to messages/questions that directly affect the business. Don’t do anything else if you want this to work.
Plan What You Will Do
Before you start on the road to detox, you’ll want to think about what you can do to replace the time you are spending on social media (which is waaay more than you think it is).
You can also start practicing some self care and pamper yourself. Phone free. Leave it in your purse or pocket. Just relax.
Uninstall all Phone Apps
By uninstalling all the social media apps, you no longer have it available to just open it up and start scrolling. It also eliminates notifications from popping up.
Block Social Media Accounts From Your Browser
You’ve uninstalled the apps on your phone, but you need to make sure your don’t “accidentally” click over to one of your social media accounts while you’re working.
You can block certain sites from your browser using Blocksite Website Blocker for Chrome. If you don’t want to block the sites, just make sure you log out so you have to make a conscious effort to log in and look at it.
I’m not trying to say all social media is bad. It does have many benefits as well. However, social media rules the lives of many people, and I think a break can be incredibly beneficial.
Once you’ve completed the detox, you can slowly incorporate social media back in your life, but maybe not to the extent you had it before. Everyone’s journey is personal, but I keep all notifications turned off and only log in to each account once a day.
I spend, at the most, 10-15 minutes on social media. And I feel great about it – I never feel as though I am missing anything.
Have you done a social media detox? Do you feel like you’ve regained time in your life and a sense of freedom, or has it left you feeling isolated and alone? Leave a comment below and let me know how it went!