How To Take A Break From Social Media
Social media is TOO MUCH, and sometimes we need to just take a break from it. Don’t worry, we know it seems scary. We get it. And it can certainly be hard to detach. But, those are just more reasons why we should be taking breaks from social media.
If you are looking for a way out, or just tips on how to take a temporary break, here are some advice to help you along.
1. Set Your Goal
Before you start anything else, it’s important that you sit yourself down and figure out what are your goals and expectations. That way, you have a path and a direction to follow throughout the entire situation.
Ask yourself, why do you want to take a break in the first place? What are you looking to get out of this break? How long do you want this break to last? Do you want a break from all social media services or just a specific few? Which ones? What are the ways that you can best serve those goals? Having answers to these questions can help ensure that you follow through with the break.
2. Give Your Intentions A Follow-Up
After some time has passed, it would be a good idea to follow up on your intentions. Just as it’s good to keep checking back with life goals every few months or years, it’s a good idea to check back with your social media goals. Once you’ve taken that break, or maybe even in mid-break, check-in with yourself to see how it made you feel. Then, see what needs to be adjusted from now on. Can you live without being on Facebook? Do you need to keep yourself semi-signed in? How and why? These are important follow-up questions to ask yourself.
3. Accountability And Communication
Next, you may want to talk to a close one or two about your social media break. First, it’s a good idea to update close friends and family members. Though if they are really that close, it’s not like you will stall all communication with them. Friends and family tend to communicate off these apps and websites anyway.
Another reason to reach out to them is to see if they can be accountability partners with you. You can ask these close ones to help make sure you don’t fall off the wagon. Or, they could take a break with you. If you do both take breaks, just know that you are both on separate journeys with your own personal rules and circumstances.
4. Self-Care As Distraction
But what happens when you end up getting “the itch” or “the urge” to get back on Instagram? Well, then you can use self-care as a distraction. Distract yourself by going on a walk, a hike, or a bike ride. Distract yourself by cooking a good meal… maybe even your favorite meal. Call a friend. Call your mother. Or, write in a journal for 15 minutes. Use self-care as a distraction and guide to a better life.
5. Schedule Your Hours
If you don’t want to do a total break, you can set time limits for yourself. This way, you have benchmarks and limitations to make sure you don’t ever go too far. You can figure out how much social media use is too much for your mental health. You may also want to play with setting a schedule and then dialing that back and forth depending on your needs. Or, you can use a separate app to work as that accountability partner we mentioned earlier. There are many apps that limit your social media usage based on the time of day. If you don’t trust yourself to limit yourself, maybe another program will.
6. Create Virtual Boundaries
Notifications are a clever invention by phone and app companies. They entice us with sounds and little visuals. We then feel a little dopamine boost and decide to click on their programs. Then, we end up spending an unnecessary amount of time scrolling. It’s an endless loop.
If you are trying to take a break from social media, take a break from that loop too. Turn off notifications from social media apps. Also, organize your phone’s set up, so that these apps aren’t the first thing you see when you open up your phone.
7. Set “Free Zones”
Another great idea is to set up spaces and times of day when you cannot have your phone in your hand or on your person. For instance, hanging out in front of the tv with family or at the dining table tends to lead to random scrolling. Now, you don’t have to. Instead, set those places as free zones. You could even have your phone charging on the other end of the room when it’s time to go to bed. That way, you don’t end your day, or start your next day, looking at your phone.
8. Schedule “Social Media Free Days”
Perhaps you aren’t ready to get rid of social media apps and services cold turkey. That’s ok. That’s why we recommend that you set goals and expectations at the start. That way, you know what you can accomplish and what is asking too much of yourself at this time.
With that, you might find that scheduling specific days can work for you. This is like the scheduling times in the day idea, but this time we are expanding the thought into days. Maybe you want to be off social media on the weekdays so you can focus on work. Maybe, it's better to only be on social media on Saturday. Whatever day(s) works for you but still challenges you on this much-needed issue, should be the day(s) that you go with.
9. Delete Social Media Apps From Your Phone
Or maybe you’re ready to get rid of dating apps on your phone. The problem with app addictions and doom-scrolling is the fact that these programs are right at our fingertips. One way to stop ourselves from going on them so frequently is to remove them from our phones.
Keep in mind, you can set the standards and rules for yourself. If you don’t want to take a full break from social media apps, you can always get on them through your computer. Or, if you’re brave, block the websites on your computer using a program. The levels at which you use this step are up to you.
In the end, we hope that our readers out there take the time for themselves and take a break from social media apps. We all know the dangers they can cause, and we all know a break every now and then would be healthy. So, it’s time that we did it! We hope this list of tips can help.