How To Social Media Detox

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The last time I checked my screen time on my phone, it said 9 hours spent on all my social media platforms in a day… I was speechless but definitely not surprised. It made me think, is social media taking over my life? Is it time for a detox?

During the past year specifically, there has been an increase in the usage of social media, with TikTok being the most popular choice. With the number of people who have had to self-isolate, screen time on social media is bound to rise. TikTok was already flying up in the ranks in 2019 and became even more popular in 2020, when everyone else stuck at home decided to join in on the hype.

Now that restrictions are easing up, life outside has begun to look a lot more normal. However, it stops there. People are so used to being on their phones and laptops more often, that this level of usage is hard to let go of now. It is not made easier when nearly everything has become available online, all thanks to the lockdowns. Classes, work meetings and some club activities have all switched to being accessible from the comfort of our own homes.

It sounds like a luxury reading that last sentence actually. No one has to go to school, university or work, they can just do it all at home. The problem is, we end up spending too much time online because of this. A social media detox right when we are all beginning to go out more often, whether for work or for fun, is exactly what would balance out our levels of focus between real life and virtual life.

There have been a few viral videos on TikTok showing the before and after of a social media detox. It is very tempting to join in and do one of my own, but the problem is that social media is such a big part of our lives that it takes a lot of determination to step away and take a break from staring at our screens.

We are even searching through social media, and other parts of the internet to find ways on how to limit ourselves from being on social media and the internet, which is a bit of an oxymoron. When in fact we have the choice of picking up a book.

In the end, I decided to create my own version of a detox and started planning my days a bit more. Whether it’s vague or very detailed is completely up to each individual, but here is an outline of the most important things to remember:

  1. The biggest culprit of all, is the notifications bell. Picking a time in the day to not touch your phone is a good step. Still, to stop yourself from constantly picking up your phone every time it makes a noise, you will need to switch to vibrate or silent from time to time. There are options to allow certain apps to continue alerting you, but only use this if you think it’s very important.
  2. Make a list on paper of all the things you’d like to get done today. Do this every morning. This way, you’ll have a bunch of tasks to focus on rather than scrolling through Instagram. 
  3. Find a book, find a park and find a great spot to sit down and let yourself absorb into the pages. If reading isn’t your thing, then create a new playlist and go for a walk in the park instead. Do whatever you like to do but go out and get that fresh air.
  4. Now that places outside are opening up again, it’s time to start making plans with your friends and family. Choose activities, dinners or brunches, and have fun catching up in person.
  5. Even if there are no meet ups or plans with anyone, sometimes it’s nice to get dressed and ready for the day each morning. Use this time to do a lot of self-care.

Remember, use your willpower to take all these steps. The more you use your willpower, the stronger and easier it gets to plan and live your day with a good balance of how much time you spend online.

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