How to Take a Break from Social Media
No one can dispute that social media is a big part of our modern lives. Similarly, no one can dispute that using social media is a fun way to relax sometimes. However, spending too much time on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter definitely has its downsides.
There is a decent amount of research that shows that too much social media can lead to loneliness, depression, low self-esteem, and anxiety. You might be on the road to experiencing these side effects if you:
- Scroll all the time
- Scroll without thinking
- Always compare yourself to others online
- Feel separation anxiety when you’re disconnected or unable to check your accounts for longer than a few hours
- Feel annoyed by everything on your feed
- Post about everything you do IRL
If you think this describes you, what can you do?
According to one study, limiting social media use to 30 minutes per day can lead to greater well-being and mental health, in addition to decreased loneliness and depression. I have to admit, 30 minutes a day is a lot less than you think, and it can be super hard to drop down from hours to minutes. That’s where a social media detox comes in.
Like when you do a juice cleanse to get rid of toxins, you can do a social media detox to cleanse your system of the need to scroll. Here are some tips for how to take a break from social media:
- Track your usage – Most phones, tablets and other devices are automatically outfitted with app time tracking so you can find out exactly how much time you’re spending on your social media app of choice. Tracking your time is a good place to start when it comes to a social media break because you can’t take a break unless you know which apps you need a break from. Having a baseline for the time you’re spending now will also help inform you as to how much you should cut back.
- Designate social media time – Just like you schedule a workout or a business call, set aside time for social media on your calendar. Maybe that means some scrolling on Sunday mornings while you drink your coffee, or ten minutes at the end of your daily lunch break to see what your favorite influencers have been up to.
- Put a rubber band on your phone – Any kind of physical reminder around your phone will make you more aware of when you pick it up and start to scroll.
- Change up your lock screen – Find a quote, photo or pattern that reminds you of why you’re reducing your social media time and make it your lock screen. This way, whenever you pick up your phone you’re reminded of why you’re setting these goals in the first place.
These are just a few of the many, many ways you can take a break from social media. Honestly, your own detox can look like whatever you want it to, whether that means a total break for 30 days or reduced time. The goal is simple: using social media with intention so you can focus on your own happiness and mental health.