Updated: Jun 2
Social media can have a damaging effect on your mental health, but taking a break from social media can help you reset your boundaries and improve your well-being. If you're interested in quitting social media cold turkey or just taking a break from it, here's how.
15 Unique Ways to Take a Social Media Break When You Need a Detox
While social media platforms allow us to connect with others, they also negatively impact our mental health. When you realize how much time you spend scrolling social media apps, and what that does to the brain, you might know that it's time to block social media apps and take a break.
Whether you access social media sites on mobile devices or computers, here's how to get started on your personal social media detox.
Why Take a Break from Social Media?
The online world of social media is a great way to stay connected with friends and family. However, it's also fraught with stress and feelings of inadequacy. Comparing your life with the professional lives of colleagues and social media icons is enough to hurt anyone's self esteem.
Thankfully, a social media detox puts you back in control of your mental health. Your first social media detox will likely be challenging. But once you get used to eliminating all the noise that comes with social media, you'll discover a wealth of benefits.
The Benefits of a Social Media Detox
Not only will you have considerable free time, but you'll be able to focus on restoring your mental space in your spare time. Even people who only spend a few hours on social media a week can have negative effects on their daily lives.
If you're ready to enjoy the mental health benefits that come with stepping away from social media websites, read on to learn just what you need to do to regain control of your life.
15 Ways to Take a Break from Social Media
1. Set a Goal
Before you take a break from social media, take a look at your social media habits. How much time do you spend mindlessly scrolling through social media? Check your social media app screen time. This will let you know where you're starting from in terms of social media usage so that you can set your intention.
Do you plan on quitting all social media platforms? Or do you just have a certain social media site in mind? How long will the break be? Do you plan to completely delete any social media accounts from your mobile devices?
2. Clarify Why
In order to stick to your detox of social media apps, you need to get clear on your reasoning. How does each social media platform make you feel? How does it impact your everyday life? Does it affect your mental energy and focus? What about your ability to reach big goals?
Write down why you take social media breaks and keep that paper posted somewhere you can see it as a reminder to help you stick to your guns.
3. Buddy Up
Get an accountability partner to join you. The first week is going to be tough, and to make matters worse, social network sites are made to keep you mindlessly scrolling. Social media addiction is real, and sometimes fighting the addiction alone can be impossible.
ACHIEVE REAL-LIFE GOALS
By having a partner, you can both reach your goals and hold each other accountable when temptation is too great.
4. Take It Slow
Social media breaks don't have to be all or nothing. You can take things slowly by setting a time limit. If you have an iPhone, set time limits for each social media app. This way, you can check social media quickly and move on to something else.
KNOW YOUR LIMITS
The trick here is to accept when you run out of time for the day. Don't bypass the limit and keep scrolling once your time spent online is up.
5. Delete Apps
On the other hand, sometimes quitting cold turkey is best. If you have a true social media addiction, a full detox is on order. Deleting ever social media app entirely can ensure you aren't tempted.
MAKE IT COUNT
A true social media detox means eliminating social media use from your life. Even a seemingly harmless YouTube video can throw off your social media detox. So get rid of Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Myspace—whatever sites you typically visit. They all need to be part of your social media detox.
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6. Temporarily Disable Push Notifications
Push notifications act as another reminder to get on social media. Turn off social media notifications so that when you choose to open social media, it's with purpose and not because your phone tells you to.
CUT THROUGH ALL THE NOISE - BLOCK SOCIAL MEDIA APPS
Most people get notifications on their phone any time there's a social media alert. But even these can break your focus and chip away at your free time. Therefore, make it a point to turn off these notifications.
You can take it a step further by removing any social media sites from your home screen and address bar.
7. Find a New Hobby
What do you use social media for? Find a new hobby that serves the same purpose. For example, if you use social media to relax, take on a relaxing hobby instead, like going for a walk or drawing. Replace social media for entertainment with listening to a podcast, and so on.
8. Spend Time In Nature
Spending time outdoors can remind you of how big the world is - and how unimportant social media is. Plus, it's a great form of self-care as it forces you to get present in the moment, which can improve your well-being. All the more reason to consider a social media detox.
MAKE IT PERSONAL
With social media out of your life, you'll finally have enough time to enjoy the things that truly matter. Consider inviting friends to explore the outside world with you.
9. Stay Informed In Other Ways
If you use social media for news, you can help yourself stay off those sites by finding other ways to stay informed. Perhaps you listen to a news podcast or make time to watch the evening news with dinner.
There's a world of choices available for you to get your news—it doesn't have to be via your phone or computer. What's more, getting news from places like Facebook and Twitter often means you're getting misinformed.
You can still get your news online, but just ensure that it's not from social media sites.
10. Sign Up For a Newsletter
On the other hand, if you like social media for entertainment value, you can replace it with a newsletter. There are all kinds of newsletters out there, so sign up for one that suits your interests. It will serve you with the most popular articles and stories in a shorter period of time so you aren't scrolling.
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11. Prioritize Self-Care
Social media makes you feel stressed, anxious, and inadequate. It's a big deal. A huge part of a social media detox is to spend the valuable time you normally spend scrolling social media taking care of yourself. This is one sure way to notice the positive effects of a social media cleanse immediately.
PERSONAL CARE STARTS WITH YOU
Take up journaling, work on your skincare, or perfect your workout routine - whatever makes you feel good. In doing so, you'll start to notice that you miss Instagram and other social media less and less. That will soon equate to less anxiety, and you won't feel sad or depressed. That's real life change!
12. Talk With a Trusted Friend
If you're struggling to stick to your break from Twitter, Facebook, etc., reach out to friends. Perhaps they have relevant experience and can help you stay strong. Or, ask them to fill you in on the trending topics from social media.
PERSON OF INTEREST
Make sure this person is someone you trust to help you with your social media detox. You want the person you choose to be someone who won't tempt you with further online use.
13. Ask a Family Member for Support
Your family members can offer support in a variety of ways, from holding you accountable to distracting you with other things to do.
A WORLD OF DIFFERENCE
Spend time with them and notice the positive impact on your well-being, as well as on your relationship. The positive effects of a social media detox are endless.
14. Engage on Purpose
When you do end your social media break (if you choose to), be sure to engage with purpose. Social media use is a time suck, but you can still use it intentionally.
YOU'RE IN CONTROL OF SOCIAL MEDIA PLATFORMS
Do you want to see photos of your cousin's new baby? Send a nice note to a friend? Open the apps only once you set that intention.
15. Use a Browser
After your social media detox, you might want to continue keeping social media at a distance. You can do this by using a browser rather than re-downloading the apps.
REDUCE PHONE USE AND SOCIAL MEDIA APPS
The browser version of social media sites is often less appealing than the app, making you less likely to scroll. That also makes it easier for you to hop on with the intention of posting or checking notifications quickly.
As you can see, a social media detox can restore balance and meaning to your life. Your mental health will improve, and your self-esteem will resurface when you cut ties with social media sites. What's your favorite social media detox method? Leave a comment below and let us know!
Medical Disclaimer: The information on this site, including text, graphics, images, and other material, is provided solely for informational purposes and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other healthcare professional with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your specific condition.