Social Media Detoxing: How to Reclaim Your Time and Health

Hey Angels and Alphas,

Social media can be time-consuming and all-consuming—and not just in the obvious ways, like spending too much time posting, liking photos, and scrolling through your feed.

Even when you’re not looking at social media websites or apps, the notifications can still be distracting and drain your attention away from tasks that are more important than Facebook or Instagram (like looking up how to get rid of pimples on Google). To help you reclaim your time and sanity (not to mention your productivity), here’s what you need to know about detoxing from social media once and for all.

Why you should make the change

People today are glued to their screens and social media, whether it be their phones, tablets or computer. It is not uncommon for people to log in on Facebook as soon as they wake up, check Twitter at lunchtime, and then update their Snapchat story when they get home from work. While social media can be a beneficial tool for staying connected with friends, family members or colleagues all over the world, it can also become an addiction that harms our mental health.

A study published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine found that heavy usage of Facebook was linked to depression in young adults.

Before you start the detox

It’s time to detox from social media! If you’re like me, you spend hours each day scrolling through your newsfeed. You may find yourself feeling anxious, unhappy, or even worse. It’s time for a social media detox.

Some people think that by giving up social media they are giving up their life. This is not true! During the detox, you will have more time for hobbies and family members as well as more energy during your day-to-day activities. You can make the decision to continue using social media when the detox is over if it makes you happy but with moderation of course.

The first week or so

This week’s goal for your detox is to set a specific time limit for using social media each day. This will help you get control of your time without feeling the pressure of having to give up the sites altogether. It will also make it easier when you need more time away from them later in your detox journey.

The second week

  1. Keep up with business obligations during the week by sending emails or texting so you don’t have to take the time to check in on your phone or computer.
  2. Take a break from checking your phone every 5 minutes by putting it away while you’re working, getting ready in the morning, or driving.
  3. Engage with loved ones as often as possible in person instead of just through social media posts (this might involve turning off notifications on your phone).

The third week

  1. Uninstall your phone from any social media apps that you use. This way, it’s harder for you to log on while scrolling through your Instagram feed when you’re bored or lonely.
  2. Put your phone away in a drawer or somewhere where it’s out of sight, so that when someone texts you, the screen won’t light up distracting you from whatever else you’re doing.
  3. Log off for the day by setting a timer for 60 minutes or 30 minutes, whichever works best for your schedule and make sure not to exceed this limit!

Tips to get back on track

  1. Take a break from social media for a day or two by deleting the apps from your phone.
  2. Spend that time with family, friends, loved ones.
  3. If you need your phone for work, turn off notifications on social media apps (i.e., the app will not notify you of anything).
  4. Turn off email notifications on social media apps (i.e., the app will not notify you of anything).
  5. Spend more time with loved ones offline!
  6. Unplug every night at 9pm and spend some quality time in nature or doing something creative like writing/painting/sculpting/etc
  7. Use this break as an opportunity to refocus on what matters most.