If seeing that screen time notification has become something you dread, it may be time to try a social media detox. Here are five tips on how to get started.
Perhaps its a New Year’s resolution, perhaps its because your screen time grew to existential heights over Christmas. Whatever your reason is, there is no denying that a social media detox is beneficial to our mental health and a great way to kick off the New Year. Not sure where to start? Below are five practical tips on how to keep that screen dark and reconnect with the present.
Set a time limit and goal
Most studies say that a successful social media detox with the most benefits should last for 30 days. However, even a week long detox to get yourself back on track with your wellness habits at the beginning of the year is better than nothing, As well as that, having a clear goal as to why you want to take some time off will help you stay on track. Tailoring the experience to you and aligning it with your goals is the best way to make sure your detox is a success. Make this reason your lockscreen so that you are reminded of it every time you pick up your phone.
Don’t go cold turkey
Social media is a large part of our lives. We use is to connect with friends and family, to document our lives and some of us even use it for work. This is why going completely cold-turkey on your detox isn’t the most practical way of going about things. See it rather as a reduced amount of time scrolling instead of completely cutting yourself off from the cyber world. Meaning that, if you do end up on social media, try to spend that time productively to help with your overall relationship with it for good.
How can you stop yourself from falling into the black hole of endlessly scrolling for hours? Distractions distractions distractions. Throughout lockdown, when there was very little else to do other than spend copious amounts of time on TikTok, many of us developed unhealthy social media habits that we’re now trying to shake. However, with the world back up and running, there are countless ways to distract yourself from your screen. Meet up with a friend, grab a coffee, go for a walk, start working on those resolutions you were so excited about over Christmas.
If all else fails and you do end up on your phone, use it productively. Download Duo Lingo and learn a new language, use Headspace for some mindful meditation or create a vision board on Picsart. Getting creative with how you spend your time will help you to disconnect from the cyber world and may even lead you to finding a new skill or hobby.
Give your phone a new home
How many of us charge our phones on our bedside table? If this is where yours lives, consider giving it a new home out of arms reach. Whether this be on the other side of your room or in a different room completely, it will help you to avoid being on it before going to bed and first thing in the morning. As well as healing your relationship with social media, you may find an improvement in your sleep schedule and quality.
Lock yourself out
If your willpower is betraying you, apps such as Freedom can help you to enforce your detox rules. It allows you to set time limits on apps and will lock you out of them when that time if up. With the ability to sync up to your phone, laptop and tablet, any chances of being tempted to cheat are eliminated with this clever app.