Are you thinking about doing a social media detox? There are many benefits to being offline, and it’s not as difficult as you think! Keep reading to learn what is a social media detox, what are the benefits of a digital detox, and 7 easy steps to get you started.
My Relationship and Routine with Social Media
I have a love-hate relationship with social media.
As a blogger and influencer, it is literally my job to not just post on social, but also engage. There is nothing that brightens my day more than engaging with my Pink Fortitude community on Facebook and Instagram. Now that my puppy is a “big Instagram star” – find him @HannibalPugClub – I’m having fun meeting more people and connecting with fellow dog (and pug) lovers. I use Facebook groups and Instagram chats all day long to connect and engage with various tribes and communities. Right now I choose not to outsource my social media to a VA and instead handle it myself. It can be exhausting at times, but it’s both necessary for the growth of my business, and rewarding to engage with like-minded people. I simply like the personal connections.
For the personal side… I grew up in a small town and I love being able to stay connected to my roots. It was one of those towns where everyone knows everyone and even though we may not be close, I love connecting with my old friends and seeing what they and their families are up to. The same goes for friends I’ve made in college and throughout the years. Marriage, babies, milestones, and even random dinner pictures. I love it all.
I try not to engage with the one-uppers. There are so many people who post their perfect lives but the reality behind the scenes is anything but. The majority of the time, these people have massive insecurities and are trying to create a false reality. Did you notice during the Rona how NO ONE posted about their perfect lives as they were stuck inside under quarantine? Hummm… interesting!
Somewhere along the lines, social media… Facebook especially… went from posting the normal stuff about life to politics, hatred, and social divide. I find it emotionally draining. And I want nothing to do with all of that negativity. Hey… feel free to believe whatever you want and I completely accept that we have our differences. But when your beliefs turn to hatred and “if you don’t believe what I believe then you’re not my friend,” I have zero interest in honoring your emotional immaturity. Buh bye.
Oh and PS – In case you were wondering, FB memes are not a legitimate source of news. It absolutely cracks me up how people will post a meme and get all hot and crazy worked up about it and all it takes is 2 minutes of research you can learn that IT’S. NOT. TRUE. These people usually self-proclaim themselves to be the bastions of educating others on how to think. And I know you have quite a few in your feed!
Despite being on social media a lot during the day for work, I’m actually browsing for personal consumption just a few minutes a day. A quick check-in in the morning, afternoon, and evening. That being said… my biggest time suck is Sudoko. When I want to escape, that’s my go-to. Number patterns relax me. Guilty as charged!
What is a Social Media Detox?
It’s really quite simple. A social media detox is basically not consuming social media. Done and done. But is it really that simple? For most of us, just putting down our phone for a few minutes is daunting. How on earth do you expect me to detox for an entire week? Or worse yet, an entire month?
I’ve got you covered, my friend. And no need to stress. First, let’s examine the benefits of a social media detox, and then I’ll share 7 ways you can try it that works best for your comfort level and lifestyle!
7 Benefits of a Social Media Detox
Checking Facebook, Instagram, and other apps can be crazy addicting! Getting likes, comments, and seeing what everyone is up to is a legitimate dopamine hit. These platforms are purposely designed to keep you scrolling so that you will see more ads and they make more money. They have zero interest in anything other than profit.
Here are 7 benefits to think about if you are on the fence.
1. You are in control of your time and your day. You are not on someone else’s agenda.
2. You will have more free time in your day to be more productive doing the things that matter.
3. You will have less stress and anxiety.
5. You will be more mindful.
6. You will have more time to read, spend time with friends and family, exercise, or try a new hobby.
7. You will sleep better.
7 Steps to a Social Media Detox
I know that everyone is at a different level. Maybe you want to dip your little toe in the water. Maybe you are ready for a full-on detox. It’s ok. I respect where you are at. Here are 7 steps to a social media detox to help get you started – at any level!
Before you begin, ask yourself, what is your why? Why do you want to take a break? Make a list of your purpose and goals and what you hope to accomplish. Be sure to keep a journal of how you are feeling during your detox.
Are you stressed?
Going through withdrawal?
Missing the online connections?
Or are you more relaxed?
Enjoying more personal connections?
And be sure to revisit your goals after your detox and see how well you did!
One best practice that I recommend for any time, not just during a detox, is to remove all notifications. Do you really need to be notified when someone likes your photo? Or someone comments on a post? Regardless of where your detox will take you, keep this best practice with you going forward.
Are you ready? Let’s get started!
1. Set a timer. Set a timer (you can use an old school egg timer if you don’t want to use your phone) and block out 30 minutes, one hour, or more without social media. Hide your phone or put it in a different room and close out the apps on your browser. OR… you can also do this in reverse. Set a timer for 5 minutes or 10 minutes to scroll your feed to get caught up and then put it away.
2. No phones at mealtime. This should be a given for all family meals. But unfortunately, it’s not. I don’t care if you just stare at each other while you eat, other than extraneous circumstances, there is no need for phones at family mealtime. This is your time to come together as a family. Talk about your day. Get to know your family again.
3. Remove toxic people from your friends and followers. You can take a break for 30 days (snooze) or even unfriend completely. I can’t tell you how many people say they feel guilty about removing people from Facebook or other social platforms. And 9 times out of 10, these people aren’t even “real” friends. They are online acquaintances. Politics have divided us tremendously on social media. Have a soul searching conversation with yourself. Is this someone who has a different viewpoint than you do, but you still really connect as friends or family? Or are they “off the charts”? In your mind and heart, send them well wishes and a blessing and then remove them without any guilt or regrets.
4. No phones in the bedroom. The bedroom should be used for two things and two things only. One of them is sleeping. Get an alarm clock if you rely on your phone for the alarm. If you need your phone on for emergencies, leave it right outside of the door. For more information, read “Why Blocking Blue Light is the Key to a Good Night’s Sleep”.
5. 24 hours. Can you go without social media for 24 hours? Plan your day so that you have go-to activities for when you are searching for your phone. Plan special activities that you wouldn’t normally do. Take a walk. Read a book (a real book, not kindle). Take a bath. Meet a friend for coffee. You get it.
6. One week. If you survived 24 hours without going into serious withdrawal and think you can go longer, try one week. Again, don’t just quit cold turkey. Plan activities and make a list of what you are going to do instead when you want to reach for your phone to jump on social media.
7. Delete the apps. If you want to go all the way, consider deleting the apps. Make sure you know your password so you can log back on, but if you want to detox longer than 24 hours, and really make a go of it, delete the apps.
So let me know how it goes! Hit me up on social… um… when you’re back on of course!
Are you Inspired?
Love, hugs, and I’ll see you in a week.HERE.