In today’s modern world, social media apps like Instagram, Twitter, and Snapchat have become an integral part of our lives, helping us stay connected and express ourselves. However, excessive usage can leave us feeling drained and negatively impact our mental health. Recognizing the need for a social media cleanse, author Catherine Price advises reflecting on our routines and assessing the impact of social media on our lives. So, let’s explore the amazing benefits of a social media detox and how to go about it.
The Benefits of a Social Media Cleanse:
Taking a break from social media can lead to some incredible benefits, such as:
- A significant boost in your mood.
- Lesser anxiety.
- Better focus.
- Increased creativity.
- Lesser FOMO (Fear of Missing Out).
- Improved social connections in real life.
- Better sleep quality.
- Reduced Eye Strain.
- Improved posture.
- More free time.
How do I do a social media cleanse?
There is no right or wrong way to break free from the internet. However, if you want to do a social media cleanse but don’t know where to start, we’ve got you! Here are some effective tips to get you started:
Delete all social media apps.
See it as an experiment. Delete all your apps for 12 hours and see how it affects you. If you start to feel anxious or restless, remind yourself that this is a temporary measure, and you can easily reinstall the apps. Observe your thoughts, behaviour, and mood during this experiment. Once it is over, the idea of a cleanse will seem much more doable.
Get a Detox buddy!
Buddying up for this detox will ensure that someone is holding you accountable. You are more likely to stick to your cleanse goals if you do it with a loved one.
Identify which app you use the most.
Break down how much time you are spending on particular apps. This will help you create a targeted plan for your cleanse.
Inform your friends and family.
It is both important and advantageous to let your friends and family know that you want to stop using social media. In a world where we interact mostly online, reassuring loved ones that you’re okay and not missing will ease any anxiety. Informing them may also be advantageous for you. You won’t need to often check your applications since they’ll be more likely to respect your time away from social media and get in touch with you by phone or text instead.
Change your phone settings.
Check your phone’s Do Not Disturb, Sleep, and Silent options. For you to evaluate your use of social media and make any adjustments, some smartphones even measure the amount of time you spend on each app. Social media applications also have a variety of options for your health. Users of Facebook and Instagram receive notifications when they hit their daily usage cap, which you establish.
Bedtime for your phone
Put your phone to sleep after a certain hour. Once it is at the charging station, consider it kaput until the next morning. Pro tip: try to keep the charging station away from your bedside. The less access you have to your phone, the less likely you are to reach out for it in the wee hours. The eventual goal is to have your phone outside your bedroom altogether at night.
Find a new hobby.
A social media detox will free up some extra time for you. Use this time to engage in creative and/or productive activities. By fostering creativity, increasing endorphin levels, and promoting a more thoughtful style of life, these activities have a favorable impact on our mental health.
Shift your mindset.
Change your perspective from one of negativity to positivity; urge yourself to view it as “regaining” lost time rather than “giving up” social media.
Great, but how do I return to social media after a break?
If you wish to return to social media after your hiatus, do it on your own terms. There is no rush. Take a moment to reflect on how the break helped you and what was good about it. This will help you become more aware of your motivations and be mindful while using social media.
Leah Rockwell, a licenced professional counsellor, advises setting aside specific periods of the day for social media usage, which is effective both before and after reintegrating your preferred networks. According to her, restricting your use to specific times, such as your lunch break and morning coffee hour, will help you retain balance and attention going forward.
At the end of the day, it is your choice how to go about your social media detox. However, the first step to a successful detox is simply trying.
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