Put yourself at ease by protecting those you love
16 April 2022
Companies have tried their best to adjust to the new normal, allowing work-from-home arrangements instead of having employees come to the office. Students are currently taking online classes because of the health restrictions posed by the ongoing pandemic. Life milestones, celebrations, and hangouts are now done virtually. Everyone's trying to do their part to flatten the curve.
Amid these significant changes, social media has been instrumental in people's lives, allowing them to stay informed and connected despite the physical distance. Once you access your app, though, it isn't always easy to log out or not go back at it after a few minutes. It's been established that social media, after all, has been engineered to be habit-forming.
The inability to regulate social media use over time can leave you overwhelmed and mentally exhausted. If you have caught yourself spending too much time on socials and feeling stressed or anxious after, it may be a good time to hit the brakes and go on a social media detox.
What's a Social Media Detox and Why Should You Go on One?
Doing a social media detox means you consciously carve out time away from social media use and consumption for a set period. This could go on from between 7 to 30 days, or even a whole year if necessary. If you're serious about taking control of your digital habits, you will have to delete all social media apps on your device or even temporarily disable your accounts
7 Ways to Have a Social Media Detox
A detox will give you a chance to clear your mind so that you can channel your energy into the things that truly matter to you. Here are some tips on how to get started with your social media detox journey.
1. Be mindful of your digital habits
Maybe the first thing you do in the morning after the alarm goes off is to check emails or social media updates. At the height of boredom or procrastination, you may post something and eagerly wait for a dopamine hit in the form of a Facebook reaction, an Instagram like, or some other form of engagement from your contacts.
Perhaps you even bring your smartphone with you to the bathroom, or it's the last thing you check before sleeping.
Awareness of how and when you use your devices is the first step to taking control of your time. Try using mindful living apps to help break your digital addiction. Once you identify your patterns, you can then begin finding concrete solutions that will lead you to build better digital habits.
2. Limit your screen time
Algorithms on socials programmed to provide a steady stream of content curated for you make it even harder to stay away from the screen. Logging your screen time and active time will help you see the truth about how much time you are spending glued to screens. Designating screen-free zones at home where electronics are not allowed is also a great start to kick the unhealthy digital addiction.
3. Delete unnecessary apps on your phone
Being stuck at home these days may have reeled you into the habit of checking socials one too many times in a day. Deleting apps will make it harder to access your preferred social media platforms. When you remove the applications from your smartphone, you will have to be more intentional about logging in, and this will give you more time to think if it's truly worth doing so.
4. Have a life offline
Going on social media is a quick way to kill time or escape from the mundanity of everyday life, but doing things that don't require being plugged into the matrix brings much more fulfillment. Set clear daily routines, and plan activities that don't involve screen time throughout the day. Go on morning or afternoon walks, read new books, pick a new hobby like gardening, or talk over the phone with friends and family.
5. Absorb quality content only
It's so easy to get lost in the wild, tangled mess of memes, news updates, and all sorts of information on your feed. As you go on a scrolling spree, you are also consuming way too much information in short periods, causing you to lose sight of how these posts impact your emotions.
If you can't quit social media cold turkey, be at least more intentional about the content you consume. Read about the news and updates about the pandemic, cases, and vaccination programs. Find a cause you want to support and dedicate a part of your day to learning more about it and how you can help.
Maybe use it to access workout videos or online tutorials that will help you gain new skills. This way, you'll get some sense of fulfillment for spending time online.
6. Avoid temptations
Choosing to use different devices for different activities can help you set boundaries and be more mindful of your digital habits. For example, you can use your laptop exclusively for work and your phone for playtime.
Another great tip is to invest in an actual alarm clock instead of using your smartphone to wake you up. If possible, don't keep your phone in the bedroom when you sleep. This way, you won't be tempted to check social media first thing in the morning.
Meditation helps you relax and yields long-term benefits if you practice it regularly. With focused effort, you can start being more self-aware, so you do not dive headfirst into self-destructive habits like using and consuming social media content mindlessly.
You can sit or lie comfortably in a spot, close your eyes, and just observe your breath. Don't try to control its pace or intensity and allow yourself to exhale and inhale. When other thoughts fill your mind, return your attention to your breath. Do this for up to three minutes to start, and then slowly increase the time as the days pass.
Prioritize Your Mental Health
Boundaries on social media usage have blurred as the majority of work and social interactions have shifted online. Living through a global pandemic makes it extra challenging to steer clear of gadgets and devices, especially when we see that the people we care about are online.
However, going on a social media detox may just be the thing you need to get yourself in the right frame of mind. Keeping your mental health in check is one sure way to take care of yourself.
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