There is no doubt in the fact that social media has taken over the world. Over the last decade, the effects of social media has left its mark on society: in some good ways, and in some bad ways. According to Statista, “In 2018, an estimated 2.65 billion people were using social media worldwide, a number projected to increase to almost 3.1 billion in 2021”. There are now more reports than ever on the negative effects that social media can have on our mental health. Why is it that this number continues to increase? In this post, I will be discussing how to take a social media detox, the benefits of a social media, what to do while on a social media detox, and if participating in a social media detox challenge is right for you.
The Benefits of a Social Media Detox
While scrolling through social media looking at instagram models and fitness gurus, there is prime opportunity for self comparison. As women, throughout our lives, it is not uncommon to through challenges of comparing yourself to others.
This doesn’t always have to mean just celebrities and models. Most of the time we can find ourselves comparing ourselves to the people closet to us.
With social media, we aren’t just limited to photos. We are able to compare the lives of others to our lives. If you think about it, each social media platform provides a different angle to this. For example, with Instagram, we are able to see the very best pictures of others, snapchat allows us to see others at the very moment they record, twitter allows us to virtually read the thoughts of others and so on and so forth.
Social media gives us access to every single aspect of people’s lives. Why wouldn’t we be prone to at some point engage in comparison?
Improve your mood
Did you know that a detox from social media can actually improve your mood? Studies have shown that social media usage has been linked to causing depression. In fact, people that use social media excessively are around 2.7 times more likely to develop depression compared to people who use very little social media.
When we are spending our time comparing ourselves to others, developing FOMO, and judging others, it can be easy to imagine why social media can be a mood drainer.
Letting go of social media will allow us to spend more time developing positive emotions and thoughts about the people in our lives, and more importantly, ourselves.
Also read: Daily Habits to Instantly Boost Your Mood
Have extra free time
The average person spends around 2 1/2 hours on social media per day. If you have an IPhone, this can easily be tracked through your screen time in your settings. What could you be doing during those hours that are spend scrolling through social media?
When I discovered how much time I was spending on social media, I was so shocked. I couldn’t believe that I was spending that much time of my day during absolutely nothing. I am a huge advocate of managing my time and using the time I have in my day towards productive activities. Here is the list I made of activities to partake in besides social media everyday:
- Working out
- Working on blog posts
- Spend time with friends
- Watch informational Youtube videos
- Listen to podcasts
- Meal plan
How to Take a Social Media Detox
With any change you are making in your life, it is important to start small and slow. When you drastically change something that you are used too, you will be more likely to be unsuccessful in your endeavor.
I recommend starting maybe a 3 day social media detox challenge, then 1 week, and finally pushing yourself for the 30 day social media detox challenge.
Taking something away from yourself for 30 days after you have been doing it for 10 years honestly sounds scary. So take it slow. You wouldn’t want to start a diet and start lighting the heaviest weights in the gym and instantly drop all of the food that you love. You will most likely injure yourself and give in on the cravings. The same applies to your social media detox. Slow and steady always wins the race.
Use time increments
At the beginning of your journey, it will be hard. I recommend giving yourself time increments to use for your social media. For example, only check your social media during your lunch break or during your evening wind down. I wouldn’t recommend the morning, and I will discuss why in the next point.
Using time increments gives you a sense of structure which allows you to have more control over the time you are spending your social media.
After your 3 day, 1 week, or 30 day social media challenge, I recommend to follow a time increment plan for your social media usage in order to prevent yourself from reverting back to your old habits.
Change your routine
For most of us, social media is a primary part of our everyday routine: We get up, check social media. As soon as we get to school/work, we check social media. We go on break, we check social media. When we get home, we check social media. We get in the bed, we check social media. And the cycle never stops.
In order to change your routine, find something else to replace the time you would normally spend scrolling on social media. For example, make a change to your morning routine. Instead of waking up and checking your social media, wake up and read, journal, or go to the gym.
Having a structured morning or evening routine will limit the amount of time you are able to spend on social media and prompt you to use your time towards things that are more productive in nature.
Turn your phone off
If you are like me and can lack self discipline at times, turning off the phone is the only thing that might work. Turning off your phone and putting it out of sight can truly work wonders and can help you be able to utilize the other tips mentioned effectively.
I recommend turning off your phone 2 hours per day. You can divide these 2 hours any way you would like. It could be 1 hour in the morning and 1 hour in evening or 30 minutes 4 times per day. The choice is up to you.
After doing this, you will realize that you don’t need your phone as much as you thought you did and might be prompted to turn your phone off for extended periods of time.
I hope you have found these social media detox tips helpful. If you have never considered taking a social media detox before and are now considering it, I am rooting for you!
Social media has taken over our lives even in the most subtle ways possible. Until we take a step back, we aren’t able to see how much our lives are surrounded by social media.
It is time to take the control back over our lives and change our lives for the better. I have faith in each and every single one of you!
Have you ever taken a social media detox before? If so, what was your experience like and what did you do to reach your goal?
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