WELLBEING: How to Take a Social Media Detox
Social media has a way of making our world feel so much smaller. It removes the boundaries between us all and connects us, no matter where we live in the world. We have access to information like never before and can teach ourselves just about anything – including how to film, edit, and be a YouTuber, practice or learn a new skill, start a business, and even teach ourselves a new language. We can use social media to spread our message and reach millions of people, build an online community, share our talents, even access help when we need it.
But social media can also separate us; distance us from the people who are right in front of us, and leave us feeling out of touch with what’s most important. It doesn’t always give us the whole truth and can make us feel inadequate or jealous as self-comparison starts to creep in. It’s easy to get lost in this online world of likes, but what’s most important is that YOU like yourself and follow your own path.
It’s said that the average smartphone user checks their device every 6 and a half minutes. That’s about 150 times a day. I thought this statistic couldn’t be true until I started monitoring my phone usage and saw my screen time at one point exceeded 4 and a half hours in just one day! A month later, there was one day where I spent over 7 hours on my phone! I decided to start wearing a watch to try reduce the number of times I check my phone for the time and end up going on instagram!
We’re so used to constantly being stimulated that we get so restless and anxious when we finally stop. We’re afraid to miss out and too often, we’re running from our lives looking for an escape. But what if we checked in on ourselves as much as we check in on social media?
The sound of notifications pinging from emails and social media can leave us feeling overwhelmed but the internet was designed to serve us. It’s time to take back our power and realize that we control when we want information, not the other way around.
It’s funny but one of the growing solutions to help us deal with technology and being inundated with notifications, messages, and emails is technology itself. There are so many apps available to help us monitor our consumption, increase our self awareness, practice more mindfulness, and deal with the distractions of social media.
If you feel stressed and physically feel the urge to check social media, feel low or unworthy after scrolling through your feed or spend more time online than you do interacting with people face to face, then try taking a light social media break
The great thing is, you don’t have to go offline for very long to re-charge.
I love to take my dog for a walk, take myself out for lunch, or visit my family and leave my phone at home. Also, you’ll never find it nearby during dinner.
When I feel myself getting really overwhelmed, I put my phone away for the afternoon and know that things can wait and that it’s time to take care of myself first.
Also, unfollow accounts who don’t make you feel good and start consciously curating your feed. Just like we’re selective of who we let into our lives, be picky with who you let into your mind.
We all slip up from time to time – myself included, but you don’t have to quit social media or wait until you experience a brain fry to take a break. Instead, I invite you to try taking a light break more regularly and set boundaries for when to be on your phone. Turn off your notifications, leave your phone at home when you go for a walk or to a family dinner, make your bedroom and dining table phone free zones, and allocate one day a week where you won’t go on social media. Don’t worry about missing out. Everything will still be there and inspiration and connection is all around you.
Focus on putting more energy into the people around you and building your amazing life, not curating it. Nothing’s perfect and that’s what makes life beautiful.