We all know that social media has become a valuable communication tool in our society. We use social media to interact with our loved ones, inspire people around us, access news, and discover new destinations and other cultures. However, social media can be a double-edged sword. There is a need to acknowledge the sad fact about social media addiction and how it is taking over our lives. You spend time scrolling on your feed and seeing your friends’ or strangers’ accomplishments, and the next thing you know, you find yourself second-guessing your life and having unrealistic expectations.

Many studies suggest that heavy social media use may increase the risk for mental health disorders such as depression, anxiety, loneliness, lack of self-confidence, and even suicidal thoughts. (1,2,3)
In case you feel like social media is ruling your life, and you are completely dependant on it, these might be signs that it’s time to take a break from social media. If you are reading this, I guess you are ready to take the next step to your social media break. So read on for an ultimate guide to social media detox.

How do you know you need a social media break?

Here are few signs that you need to disconnect yourself from social media ASAP, at least for a while.

  • Social media is the first thing you check in the morning, and then you recheck your notifications many times throughout the day.
  • You get lost and frustrated when you can’t get on social media.
  • You spend hours scrolling through your apps, even at work or at school.
  • You feel upset when nobody comments on your posts.
  • You procrastinate on social media, which affects your productivity and performance in real life.
  • You love to stalk people on social media.
  • You spend time planning your posts.
  • You have a fear of missing out (FOMO) which is a feeling that others are living better lives or experiencing better things and are happier than you are.

Related:5 Insanely Toxic habits to quit immediately

What is social media detox?

A social media detox is refraining from using social media. It is simply taking a break voluntarily and conscientiously for a period of time. How you do your social media detox is completely up to you. You can choose whether it’s for a day, a week, a month, or even a year.

“The reason we struggle with insecurity is because we compare our behind-the-scenes with everyone else’s highlight reel.” Steven Furtick

What are the benefits of social media detox?

1. You will stop comparing yourself to others

Taking a break from social media is the best way to focus on self-care and regain your confidence and self-esteem.

Related:50 Positive Affirmations To Boost Your Confidence

2. Your anxiety reduces

As we said early, social media use comes with a lot of negativity and anxiety. When you stop comparing yourself to others and take a break from all the negative comments, the bullying, and all the bad news you can come across every day, it will reduce your anxiety. It will also help you to overcome your fear of missing out.

Related: 50 Positive Affirmations for Anxiety

3. You will sleep better

Research suggests that heavy social media use, especially close to bedtime, is associated with poor sleep patterns. (4). A social media detox will allow you to spend less time on your phone at night. You will be able to go to bed at reasonable hours and get more sleep. Besides, with less anxiety comes better sleep quality.

Related:Positive Sleep Affirmations For A Peaceful Night

4. Meaningful conversation with your friends and loved ones

When you are hooked on social media, you can easily find yourself scrolling on your feed in the middle of a conversation, a meeting, or a diner without even noticing (that isn’t nice, by the way). You can eventually listen to others and engage in deep and meaningful conversations if you put your phone aside.

5. Your productivity will improve

Social media is the primary source of procrastination for many people. By taking that away, you will have more time to do important things.

6. You will feel more connected to the real world

A social media detox will open you to new activities like going to events, connecting with your loved ones, and even making new friends in real life.

Related:12 Ways To Practice Emotional Self-Care

How to do a social media detox?

It may feel like this is impossible, but these steps can help you unplug from social media.

1. Look at  your social media habits

Identify the apps you use the most and the amount of time you spend on their platform every day. Apps like Instagram have a feature to track your daily use. Write down honestly how you think social media affects your life, mental health, relationship with others, and your work.

2. Set your goals

The next step is to set your goals. How long do you want to detox? If you are really addicted, it can be helpful to start gradually. Why don’t you start with small goals?

3. Starting your social media detox

  • You can start your social media cleanse by reducing the time you spend on social media platforms. You can set a daily reminder to let you know when you reach the time you set for your daily use.
  • Set boundaries by choosing a time in the morning before when you are not allowed to be on social media and a time at night when you shut everything down.
  • Turn off your notifications.

4. Next step to your social media detox

  • You eliminate completely social media from your life for the period of time you choose
  • Replace the time  you usually spent online with new activities
  • It would be good to have a journal to document your progress and reflect on the time you spent away from social media.

Related: 70 Journal Prompts For Self-Discovery

5. After your detox social media detox

Now that you’ve been able to live without social media, you can easily create and maintain healthy boundaries concerning your social media use and stick with it. Here are few tips for setting boundaries on social media:

  • Use it with purpose: what role does social media play for you? Who do you want to keep in touch with? Friends? Family? Colleagues? What informations are safe for you to share? And with who?
  • Set time limits: know the amount of time you want to spend on social media per day.
  • Only contribute positively: do not engage in negative and harsh comments.
  • Cut ties with negative people and influencers or any account that make you feel anxious or raise doubt about yourself.
  • Unsubscribe pages that post insensitive contents
  • Schedule breaks: once every few weeks or months, disconnect yourself to refresh your mind.

What to do when you are detoxing from social media?

Social media detox quotes

Here is a list of things you can do during your social media break.

  1. Take a Nap
  2. Read a book
  3. Build a puzzle
  4. Call a friend or a family member and catch up
  5. Go for a walk
  6. Start gardening
  7. Do nothing, relax
  8. Watch a movie or a documentary
  9. Workout
  10. Get involved in your community
  11. Try new recipes
  12. Start a gratitude journal
  13. Organize your closet
  14. Make smoothies
  15. Watch a Tv show
  16. Listen to a podcast
  17. Start a Diy project
  18. Clean your house
  19. Do some yoga (Check out the top proven health benefits of yoga Here)
  20. Make a vision board

Related:40 Gratitude Journal Prompts to Cultivate Joy and Happiness

Final thoughts

Social isn’t good or bad; it’s just a tool. You are the one who can decide what you want to make of it. The important thing is to learn how to use it with purpose and in a healthy way. You should constantly reflect on the effect of social media on your life. If at some point you think that it is affecting your life negatively, then it’s time for a break.

Best of luck on your social media break!!!!

References

  1. Social Media Use and Its Connection to Mental Health: A Systematic Review – PubMed (nih.gov)
  2. “THE IMPACT OF SOCIAL MEDIA ON MENTAL HEALTH: A MIXED-METHODS RESEARCH ” by Sarah Nichole Koehler and Bobbie Rose Parrell (csusb.edu)
  3. Social Media Use and Adolescent Mental Health: Findings From the UK Millennium Cohort Study – ScienceDirect
  4. https://www.sleephealthjournal.org/article/S2352-7218(19)30145-7/fulltext

 

 

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About the Author

Hermione M.

My name is Hermione. I am the founder of WomenH and I write about women's health, wellness, mental health, and personal growth. I created this platform to inspire women to take care of themselves mentally, physically, and emotionally to become their best selves. Thank you for stopping by.

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