From interacting with friends to mindlessly browsing, we tend to spend a lot of time on social media. But sometimes, all that online engagement can leave you feeling a bit digitally fatigued. If you feel like it’s time to take a step back, check out these tips for putting down the device and taking a break from social media.
Make a realistic social media detox plan.
A goal without a plan is really nothing more than a wish. If you’re serious about your social media break, lay out exactly how it’s going to go. For example, first you should identify the platforms that you’re using the most. Then, decide exactly what you want to accomplish. Do you want to cut out social media completely? If so, for how long? Or would you rather set time limits and only use social media for x amount of time per day? Once you’ve decided what your social media break is going to look like, you can dive in.
Leave the devices in another room.
Let’s face it – if your cell phone (or tablet or laptop) is in arm’s reach, you’re probably going to scroll through social media solely out of habit. One easy way to avoid this is by simply relocating your devices! If you’re guilty of mechanically scrolling through your feeds at bedtime, leave your phone in the living room overnight. If you do most of your liking and sharing while eating breakfast, leave your phone in your bedroom and pick up a book instead. When it comes to taking a social media break, out of sight and out of mind is an excellent strategy.
Set a daily social media time limit.
When you start keeping brutally honest tabs of how much time you spend on social media, you might be shocked. It’s way too easy to open Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook and accidentally zone out for an hour… or two or three. Eliminate this risk by setting strict time limits for your social media usage. If you’re confident in your willpower, you can go the old-fashioned route and simply set your phone timer to alert you when time’s up. If you need a stricter approach, download an app like Flipd or Freedom to set time limits and even lock the apps when the clock runs out.
Keep busy with no-wires-attached activities.
As you can imagine, it’s much easier to forget about social media when you’re happily distracted with other things. During your social media break, make it a point to try plenty of new, entertaining, and, most importantly, unplugged activities.
Plan an entire “No Electronics” day, and get busy. Take a fitness class, challenge your friends to a round of mini golf, or hone your culinary skills by experimenting with new recipes. During down time, replace screens with things like books and puzzles. When all else fails, just get outside and soak up the sunshine!
Another way to forget about your phone? Sign up for a painting event at Painting with a Twist, where you can sip, socialize, and embrace your creative side! One of our instructors will walk you through the creation of your masterpiece, so you can focus on the fun. The hardest part might just be resisting the urge to post your paint party creation all over social media!
Turn off those notifications (or delete the apps altogether).
It can be even harder to break the habit of checking your social media apps when pop-up notifications are continuously alerting you to comments, replies, retweets, and so on. After all, how can you just leave a notification sitting there unchecked? When it comes to kicking your social media or smartphone addiction, one of the most effective tips is turning off those alluring notifications or deleting the apps from your phone completely. Out of sight, out of mind!
Prioritize connecting with friends off social media.
While there are some negative aspects of social media, it does offer an easy and fast way to connect with friends near and far. But luckily, social media is far from your only option nowadays. Schedule a FaceTime call with your long-distance BFF or catch up with local friends over a coffee date or a long walk. Start wishing people happy birthday personally instead of through a comment or post. Instead of perusing Instagram, give your sibling a call. The more you connect with others outside of social media, the less importance it will hold.
Have an accountability buddy.
Sometimes, peer pressure can be used for good. Tell a friend you trust that you’re trying to cut down or stop using social media, and tell them to hold you to it. Once you verbalize your goals and let others in on the secret, you’ve added a whole new layer of accountability. Is posting that Facebook status or liking that photo really worth the, “What happened to taking a social media break…?” text you’ll get immediately after.
There’s inevitably going to be a big adjustment period as you get used to life without social media. But are you longing for friendly interaction after giving up screen time? Give those offline social skills some attention with a creative bonding experience, like a painting event at Painting with a Twist! You might even make some new friends #IRL (in real life)!