Find out how to do a social media detox the right way. Tips and tricks to make your break from social media successful and fulfilling.
Social media is probably a big part of your life. From keeping in touch with loved ones on Facebook to checking out your friends' photos on Instagram or dance moves on TikTok, there are many great ways to stay connected with the people in your life by using social media.
But how often do you find yourself checking your notifications first thing in the morning? Or trying to get the perfect Instagram pic while missing what's happening in real life?
If you find yourself a little too attached to your phone or computer (the apps are designed to make this happen btw), it may be time for a bit of a break.
This small act is just one of the ways to stay healthy and stop feeling so busy and frazzled.
What Is a Social Media Detox
A social media detox is the conscious elimination of social media use and consumption for a set period of time. Your break can be 7 days, a month, or longer—whatever you decide.
Eliminating social media for a time is a great way to disconnect from your device and reconnect with your life outside technology. If that sounds like a fantastic idea, keep reading to learn how to detox from social media.
What Are The Benefits of a Social Media Detox?
There are several benefits to doing a social media detox, and you are likely to benefit from one or more.
- You take a break from comparing yourself to others. It’s likely unconscious, but you start comparing to other people’s lives when scrolling through social media. If you feel you’re not measuring up, this can cause anxiety and depression. When taking a break, you get to feel more satisfied with your life.
- You Improve your mood. Studies have discovered that the more time you spend on a social media site, the more likely you are to develop depression. There is a direct correlation between being on social and being more depressed and being off social sites and happier.
- You reconnect with the real world. We all benefit from connecting with others. How about doing it in real life versus through social media? Why not grab coffee with a friend, or call a family member you haven’t seen in a while.
- You gain a lot of free time. Check the stats. How much time are you spending on social media? You can spend your extra 2 hours a day doing something productive for yourself or your family. Get in some exercise, organize a room, play a game with your kids—there are so many ways to reallocate that time and do something you love that’s more fulfilling.
Here’s how to get started with your social media break
1. Understand Why You Want to Detox
Knowing why you want to take a break from social media will help you make the most of your time off the platforms.
Do you want to get away from the drama and negativity you see every day on the platforms?
Are you hoping to be more productive with your time?
Do you want to spend more quality time with your family?
Whatever your reason is, make sure to make it a priority once you start your social media detox.
2. Set a Time Limit
A social media detox doesn't have to be (and probably shouldn't be) an endless exercise. It's a good idea to set a time limit for your social media break for it to be successful.
Whether you give yourself a day, a week, or 30 days to detox from your social accounts, allow yourself to reinstall your favorite apps after the detox period is over.
3. Get Rid of Social Media
The first step toward starting your social media detox is to remove the temptation to check your social media accounts altogether.
Yep, that means removing all the social media apps from your phone and other devices.
IMPORTANT NOTE: Don't worry – you can easily add them back to your phone when your detox is done. The platforms store all your account information, so all you need to do is reinstall your apps when you're ready to use them again.
Removing the apps is an essential step in the social media detox process. By removing the apps from your phone, you're removing the temptation to take a quick peek at your accounts.
4. Find an Accountability Partner
To keep you on track during your social media detox, find someone that knows you well to help you stay accountable.
In addition to helping you stay on track, your partner can also be a person to talk to about your experience along the way. This real-life connection and accountability are invaluable.
5. Break the Habit
One of the most challenging habits to break during social media detox may be the temptation to grab your phone when you're bored.
Staying off social media is hard.
To avoid mindlessly scrolling or playing on your phone, make it a little more difficult to use your phone by wrapping a rubber band around the screen. This visual will remind you to think about why you're grabbing your phone and help break the habit.
Another visual reminder is to set your lock screen to remind you to question your motives each time you pick up your phone. For example, set a text screen that simply says, "Why?"
Once your detox is over, use the skills you learned during your break from social media to monitor your social media usage more carefully and mindfully. This way, you won't fall back into old habits after your break is over.