Does social media run your life? Answer these simple questions to find out.
Within 30 minutes of waking up, do you check social media?
When you have downtime, does your thumb automatically hover over to an app icon (Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Snapchat) and click it?
When you’re on the computer, how much time per day are you spending on Facebook or scrolling through Pinterest/Twitter/Instagram?
We’re not saying that social media is a bad thing that you need to cut from your life. It’s an important piece of our lives now and a way to stay connected to far away (and close by) friends and family.
But do you find yourself distracted by it? Are you at work and find that you type “F” into the search bar and automatically click enter to go to Facebook? Do you use social media as a way to fill the lulls in your day?
Maybe it’s time for a short social media detox.
What is a social media detox?
Like any other type of detox, it’s a period of time where you abstain from using social media. No posting, no checking, no scrolling.
Here’s what to do:
- Delete social media apps from your phone
- Turn off all notifications if you don’t want to delete the apps (you really should delete the apps)
- If you post a lot, let people know you’re not going to be on for a week or 30 days so they don’t wonder what happened to you
- Find other things to do!
What’s the purpose?
The purpose is for you to fill those gaps of time where you would be checking social media with activities of meaning. You’ll be surprised to find how much free time you have when you’re not checking Facebook all the time.
It’s also a chance to reset yourself. Rediscover what you used to do all day without social media. Learn who in your contact list will actually reach out to you by phone or text to keep in touch, not just on social.
You will find yourself talking to people more and being present. You’d be surprised at how many times you are probably looking at your phone when you’re having a conversation with someone. Now you’ll start noticing everyone on their phones.
You will realize you don’t need the validation from people anymore. When we post on Facebook, as much as we hate to admit it, we want a ton of likes and comments. You’ll realize that you don’t need to be sharing so much information all the time.
Here are some activities you can do instead:
- Hobbies (painting, knitting, writing, etc)
- Go outside
When you finish your detox, whether its one week or 30 days. Take note of how you feel and if your social media habits are different now.
Did you crave checking apps during the entire period? Do you feel less anxious about constantly keeping up to date with everything on your accounts?
The purpose of this exercise is to relieve stress, get you feeling more present, and really reset yourself so you can remember what life before social media was like.
Here’s a great article on a 30 Day Social Media Detox and what this person went through every day.