10 Steps to Surviving a Social Media Detox
By: Sawyer Cecena
Social media can be an amazing tool to help you stay connected with your loved ones and keep up to date on the world around you. But spending too much time behind the screen can take a toll on your mental and physical health by causing depression, social anxiety, stiff necks, and insomnia. Taking a social media detox is a great way to recharge your mind and body by taking a break from all the likes and late-night scrolling. If you’re looking for a binge break, here are some tips to help you get started.
1. Set a SMART Goal. SMART stands for specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and timely. You are more likely to stick to a goal that meets these criteria than one that is unstructured and easier to manipulate in your favor.
2. Start small. You aren’t alone if you think quitting socials cold-turkey sounds too difficult. Some may benefit from first limiting the time they spend on socials every day and working their way to a long-term detox.
3. Turn your phone off. If possible, try going without your phone while you’re just sitting at home. Timers and clocks can be used to replace your set alarms, and you can check important things like email from a computer.
4. Deactivate, uninstall, and block. If turning off your phone won’t work, you can at least turn off your socials. Deactivating or uninstalling your apps creates extra steps to prevent you from giving in to temptation. If you use a computer, blocking websites like Facebook and Twitter will have the same affect.
5. Enlist a buddy. Nobody likes to disappoint others. Letting a friend or two in on your plan and allowing them to hold you accountable will be great motivation not to slip up. Maybe you and your pals can even do it together!
6. Pick a timeframe. Most experts say that 12 weeks or more is the ideal to break a social media addiction. But even starting by taking a few days or a week off at a time is a great place to start.
7. Occupy your mind. If you’re used to spending hours a day on Instagram, you’re going to find yourself bored quickly without it. Now is the time to take that dance class you’ve been looking at, or finally clean out that old storage closet.
8. Journal about it. It’s totally normal to feel a sense of loss when you’re giving up something you enjoy. Writing your feelings down – good and bad – will help you come to terms with them in the moment and reflect on them down the road.
9. Fill people in. If you’re worried about your absence causing drama, it’s okay to give a heads up ahead of time. That way, your little cousin won’t be offended when you stop responding to all her dog-filter Snapchats.
10. Reward yourself. By nature, it feels good when we are rewarded for our achievements. If you’ve successfully made it a whole week without Facebook or Twitter, do something a little extra special for yourself. You’ve earned it!