For better or worse, social media has become a huge part of our lives. Staying connected to friends and family is now easier than ever, thanks to apps like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Social media also allows you to catch up on the news, discover events happening in your area and be inspired by images of beautiful places. You can even learn how to tackle various projects and shop for secondhand goods on social media.
There’s nothing inherently bad about spending time on social media, but you it is wise to be mindful of what you are consuming and how it impacts you. Despite all the positives of social media, dedicating too much time to it could have a detrimental impact on your health. If you feel anxious, depressed or drained after hours of scrolling, you may be in need of a social media detox. Sometimes, though, taking that step back can be difficult. If you need a break, keep reading to discover some helpful tips for doing a social media detox.
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1. Find Another Hobby
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Do you immediately grab your phone and start scrolling through social media when you’re bored? If so, it may be time to find a new hobby — like painting with diamonds.. While checking your phone may seem like an easy way to pass the time, research indicates that mindless scrolling actually makes boredom worse. And if you frequently check social media while you’re at work, the constant switching back and forth can make even simple tasks seem more daunting.
If you find yourself frequently picking up your phone to alleviate boredom, try picking up a new hobby instead. Creative hobbies like diamond painting are ideal because they engage the brain and give you something to focus on. There is a vast assortment of beginner’s diamond art kits available, so you are sure to find ones that appeal to you, and the technique is so simple that you’ll be creating beautiful works of art, even if you have no previous art experience. And when you buy one of the best diamond painting kits on the market, everything you need to complete your first masterpiece is included. Time flies by when you’re working on a diamond painting and you’ll feel much better at the end of a long crafting session than you would after several hours of scrolling.
2. Do a Social Media Audit
Many people aren’t aware of just how much time they spend on their mobile devices. If you’re trying to decide whether you need to take a break from social media, determining how much time you’re spending on it is an excellent place to start. Several apps monitor smartphone usage and provide detailed information regarding how much time you spend using certain apps. Start monitoring your daily usage and you may be surprised at just how much time you’re wasting on social media.
3. Find a Detox Buddy
No matter what goal you are trying to achieve, having someone to hold you accountable boosts your odds of success. Find a friend or loved one who is willing to detox with you, and come up with a plan for doing it together. Decide how you’ll both limit your usage and what you’ll do to decrease your dependence on social media. Check in with each other regularly and discuss how you’re doing. Having a detox buddy to lean on makes it easier to stick to your goals. Your buddy can also provide the support you need if you fall short of your goals.
4. Let People Know You’re Going Offline
If you normally spend a lot of time online liking and commenting on other people’s posts, suddenly disappearing is bound to cause some concern. Be sure to let friends and loved ones know that you’re taking a break to detox. This way, they won’t have to worry whether you’re okay and they’ll know you aren’t ignoring them.
5. Turn Off Notifications
Do you grab your phone the instant you receive an alert? It’s natural to want to know what’s going on, but do you really need to respond to everything instantly? When you start your detox, switch off the push notifications for all of your social media apps. It may seem like a small step, but it’s an effective one. When your phone isn’t going off every five minutes, you’ll feel less inclined to check it all the time. This keeps you more focused on the present while enabling you to establish boundaries instead of always being available.
6. Set Time Limits on Social Apps
If you just can’t seem to resist the lure of Facebook or another social media app, consider setting a time limit. Apps like YourHour and Freedom let you block other apps so you can only use them for a set amount of time each day. If you are really committed, you can even set up a “Locked Mode” that doesn’t let you extend or cancel your limits.
7. Put Your Phone to Bed
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Lying in bed staring at your phone isn’t a healthy way to end your evening. Doing so affects your circadian rhythm and makes it difficult to get a good night’s sleep. If you find yourself mindlessly scrolling for hours night after night, it’s time to give your phone its own bedtime. Decide on a time when your phone needs to go to bed and make it a rule that it’s off-limits until the next day. If you normally charge your phone next to your bed, consider moving your charging station elsewhere to make your device less accessible. Even if you keep it in your bedroom in case of emergencies, moving it out of arm’s reach reduces temptation.
8. Seek Inspiration Elsewhere
Social media is a great place to find just about any type of inspiration imaginable. It’s not the only option, though. Read books, flip through magazines, visit new places, spend time outdoors, etc. All of these activities will provide you with the inspiration you need without requiring you to stare at your phone.
Doing a social media detox might seem too scary at first, but it doesn’t have to be. Use the suggestions above to reduce your dependence on your smartphone and you’ll notice how much of life you’ve been missing out on while staring at your screen.