Social media is a huge part of our lives but why is it making so many of us miserable? Here’s how to give yourself a break from the online world
We’ve all been there, mindlessly scrolling or swiping to find out who’s been where. Or trying to come up with a witty tweet in the middle of watching a must-see show. Or rushing to snap a picture of our dinner for “the gram”. Social media detox anyone?
Keeping up with the online world can leave us feeling like slaves and make us forget there’s a whole other world – a real one – beyond the screen.
If you want to take a break, cut down, or go full-on detox from social media, we’ve got some top tips to help.
1. Break the habit
Social media has been likened to an addiction and let’s face it that’s sometimes how it can feel. When a notification pops up on your phone, you can’t help but take a look. It’s like the tech version of a drug addict needing one more hit. You get a high from scrolling through, or from seeing the follower numbers, comments and likes rolling in. But it’s a short-lived high, which can often leave you feeling unfulfilled or inadequate.
If you’re reaching for your phone every few minutes then perhaps it’s time to cut down, which is easier said than done admittedly. Allow yourself only certain times of the day to look, such as first thing in the morning and for a few minutes in the evening. This small change will make a world of difference.
Also, turn off your notifications as this will stop you being tempted.
2. Take a day off
One day a week turn your phone off and take a social media break. This is a good one to do if you use social media at work so it’s not practical to avoid it altogether.
On that one day, don’t post or even look. Turn your phone off for the day to avoid temptation and enjoy the freedom that comes with it.
If there are people who make you feel bad about yourself, the beauty of social media is you can get rid of them.
Unfollowing or unfriending can be done in one simple click but is the simplest way free yourself from any negativity.
4. Live in the moment
When you’re enjoying a day out somewhere, having a meal at a swanky restaurant or shopping with friends, you don’t have to tell the social media world about it.
Living in the moment is so much more fulfilling and enjoyable without the pressure of capturing it on camera for “the gram” or Facebook.
5. Schedule content
If you need to post regularly for work or other reasons, then schedule your content so you only need to go on once or twice a week.
There are plenty of platforms that allow you to time posts to go up on a certain date or time so you can do the lot in one chunk.
6. Delete the apps
If you want full-on freedom, taking social media apps off your phone, tablet or computer means you can’t even be tempted to look.
Delete their bookmarks from your browser to make it more difficult.
If you decide you don’t want to go back, then you could go the whole hog and delete your accounts too.
7. Keep busy
Do things that make you forget to even check your phone.
Go out for a walk to remind yourself there’s a whole world outside and plan some activities to keep yourself busy, such as meeting up with a friend.
The time you spent on social media could also be put to good use by taking up a hobby, doing some exercise or learning a new skill.
8. Reward yourself
If you manage to break the habit a little then pat yourself on the back and buy yourself a treat, you deserve it. A little reward here and there is a great incentive towards your goals.
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