This article from Lifestyle Blogger Sophia Smith looks at ways to unplug from our devices and take a break.
Checking our phones has become a new norm, which isn’t a surprise considering that there are so many social media apps that are practically screaming for our attention.
Some of them, such as Facebook, can go further in their sneakiness, that they show up notifications when there aren’t any, just to make you open the app and spend time scrolling through the news feed.
But, we get it: life without social media can be quite isolating and lonely, which is why so many people end up using them.
Now, if you feel like your social media use has reached new highs and you think you could use a break, here are some tips on how to go on a digital diet and still feel happy and fulfilled:
Make a plan
Deactivating your social media and deleting apps from your phone sounds like a good place to start, but if you’re not prepared you might feel lost and bored, which is why it’s important to make a plan for the extra free time you’ll get. Not using Facebook is one thing, but spending time productively is a skill, after all. Therefore, if you plan to do a digital detox, you need to know what you’ll do instead — spending more time outdoors, reading physical books, going to the movies or learning a new skill are all perfect replacements that could improve your life and make you feel content and comfortable even if you’re not in the loop.
Don’t just go off the grid
Disconnecting might be tempting, especially since social media feeds our mostly filled with people with don’t that well, or we simply don’t care about, but before you decide to unplug, you should let people know that you’ll be away. That means exchanging your contact details with those you’d like to keep in touch with, so they’ll know where to find you. Also, it would be nice to post updates so people won’t unfriend you or unfollow you once they see you’re gone. Additionally, if you feel like going off the grid is too drastic, you can only deactivate your Facebook profile and keep the Messenger app running: that will give you a chance to stay in touch with others without actually knowing about their social media activity.
Use your time wisely
As previously mentioned, making a plan will make sure you use your time wisely, but it’s also crucial to stick to that plan and not fall into the temptation of reactivating your social media profiles. Let’s be honest: screens are addictive and apps were made to keep you glued in, so in order to have a successful detox, you should find opt for mindful hobbies such as meditation, reading and watching educational and relaxing YouTube videos and TV shows. Also, if you want to truly unwind from the pressure, you can organise a spa day at home once a week: just run a bath, get yourself a nourishing face mask and light scented tealight candles from Elume — chances are you’ll be ready for bed without having to check your phone.
Remember that it’s fine to miss out
If you love spending time online, then you know what FOMO is: fear of missing out, which is why so many people constantly refresh their feeds and check business emails even after coming back from work. Even though staying updated is important, there’s no need to obsessively check emails when you can use that time for something more productive and/or relaxing. Ignoring the email for a bit won’t cause anything bad to happen, in fact, learning to disregard the notifications can be a great lesson managing impulsivity, because, opening emails and notifications as soon as they pop up is definitely a form of instant gratification.
Think of what you could possibly gain
Digital detox isn’t about deactivating social media and spending less time online. If you ever decide to lower your online presence, there are so many benefits that wait for you around the corner, especially if you’re addicted to posting Facebook statuses and Instagram stories.
A lot of us love to post due to instant validation we get from likes and comments, which might sound rewarding in the short run, but it’s actually just a fueling tool for budding narcissism. Going on a digital detox can help you gain a new perspective and live in the present moment, which is the best reward that you can get.
You don’t need to get an older phone or stop reading emails altogether, instead, focus on exercising self-control and ignoring people who give you strange looks when you tell them you don’t use social media that much. Remember that changing your habits takes some time and that you should start with small steps instead of fully deactivating your social media profiles because the goal is to be comfortable with the amount of time you spend online, not to completely go off the grid.