I remember when social media first emerged, it was all exciting for me and many others. It was an interesting experience to create an online identity and communicate with your friends through this new medium. Who would have thought that, fast forward, social media would become such a big part of our lives? Quite frankly, you can almost say it has replaced actual life for a lot of people. Most people I talk to, tell me they rack up several hours per day on these apps. As a blogger, it is part of my job to use my phone and maintain a presence on these platforms. That is why it is even more important to me to give myself a break every once in a while. Not only are social media detoxes beneficial for my mental health but they also free up a lot of time that I can now spend on something useful. However, this does not mean that you have to be completely excluded from the fun. Here are some tips on how you can limit your social media use without going too radical:
- Create a morning routine that does not involve your phone
One thing that has helped me a lot to reduce my overall use of social media apps was to shorten the overall window that I use my phone during the day. I guess you can consider it to be like intermittent fasting – just for your phone use. Clearly, one of the best life changes I have made is to NOT use my phone first thing in the morning. I used to wake up turning my phone on immediately. Not only was this a waste of time but it would also stress me out to read a work email or see some due bill right after opening my eyes. Now I put my phone on airplane mode throughout the night and take some time for myself in the morning to meditate, stretch, and drink some strong Cuban coffee in peace before my family wakes up. This sets a whole different tone for the rest of the day.
2. Set a bedtime for your phone
By the same token, I made it a habit to not use my phone anymore 1 to 2 hours before going to sleep. Back in the day, I would be on my phone until I would fall asleep. This usually led to poor quality of sleep and a fogged-up mind upon waking up. I rather calm down from the day now instead of reading some annoying news in bed that gets me all wired. I highly recommend using airplane mode at night as opposed to just putting it on silent so you are less exposed to the radiation from the device.
3. Break the habit
We are all creatures of habit. Once we are used to constantly and mindlessly opening our IG or Facebook throughout the day, it is difficult to stop this automated behavior. It takes about 21 days to break a habit so chances are that you won’t be able to quit cold turkey. But there a ways to transition away from it. I usually try to reserve some time where I get to check my social media apps. It is much more exciting to look at the app after a day or a few hours of not having checked it as supposed to be checking it non-stop zombie-style. In the beginning, I would still catch myself a lot opening and closing these apps. I slowly transitioned away by having other entertainment on my phone that does not require me to scroll or do anything, e.g. subscribing to interesting Podcasts that you can open when you’re bored and do something else in the meantime. Also, I really got into Audible and it helps me stay entertained without scrolling, liking, commenting, or otherwise being mindlessly entertained by the Zuckerberg universe.
4. Shut off notifications for social media apps
This one is a gamechanger and goes hand in hand with what I mentioned above. You will constantly open these apps and get suckered into them when you see notifications pop up. Just carve out some time during the day when you check whatever comments, messages, and tags people have left you. Trust me – these things can wait and do not have to be answered the very second they are posted.
5. Don’t take your followers’ engagement on your account personally
A lot of people take it very personally that some of their followers never engage with their content despite watching every single story. Personally, I think these are silly first-world problems and we should not waste any time on what other people do or do not do. I made it my own principle to NEVER check who views my story and/or who likes my stuff. Yes, of course, I have an idea of who is very supportive and who seems to be more of a hater. But life is too short to worry about why people are the way they are and I can find a better use for my time.
If you have any more tips, drop them in the comments and talking about social media, give me a follow on Instagram if you like.