Are you constantly checking your phone every 2 minutes? Do you find yourself looking for the perfect Instagram opportunity rather than enjoying the company of your friends and family? Then it is the perfect time for a social media detox!

A social media detox is voluntarily giving up social media for a set period of time. They usually last up to 7 days and act as a refresh button for your mind. Of course, the duration of your social media detox is completely up to you. 

Why you need a social media detox

Social media applications have been specifically designed to be addicting and are often compared to gambling slot machines. Every time we ‘pull to refresh’ this releases dopamine in our brains, making it a compulsive habit. Let us take back control of our online habits and declutter our minds! 

Constantly consuming social media can have negative impacts on your mental health. Studies have found a strong link between heavy social media use and an increased risk for depression, anxiety, loneliness, self-harm, and even suicidal thoughts. Instagram is not reality. Influencers airbrush and edit their pictures showing the best parts of their lives and rarely the low points. Unconsciously comparing yourself to these influencers can lead to feeling insecure and having low-self-esteem.

It can also help get over your FOMO (fear of missing out). Don’t be afraid of missing out on important news or events because if it was really that important I’m sure your friends and family would reach out to tell you! A social media detox can reduce anxiety and you might find yourself comparing yourself less to others.

A Step by Step Guide

Delete your social media apps – This might be the hardest step to take but it is the most vital one. Do not try to convince yourself to keep the apps and only check them occasionally. Trust me, you won’t be able to resist.

Get a detox partner – This will help you to stay on the right track and hold yourself accountable. Having a partner can make a world of difference. You will be able to share your experiences on the detox and are more likely not to get discouraged from reaching your goal. Alternatively, let the people around you know about your social media detox and they will call you out if you slip up. 

Plan what you will do during your detox -  Doing a social media detox will free up quite a bit of your time. You can use this time to be productive or pursue one of your hobbies. Instead of tweeting your thoughts, start journaling your thoughts.

Check your screen time – See how much time you are spending on specific apps. If jumping into the deep end of a social media detox doesn’t suit you here is an alternative. There are apps which can lock social media applications after you spend a certain amount of time on them. You can also lock apps for specific times such as when you are at work or spending time with your family.  

Social distance from your phone –Majority of people tend to always carry their phones wherever they go. Keep your phone at a distance so you are less likely to constantly reach for it. Ban your phone from certain areas like your bedroom or your work space.

Are you still hesitant to try a social media detox? Give it a go over the weekend or just for a couple of days. I promise you will not regret it!

By Pooja Depala

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