Talking Points

10 tips for a social media detox

As the negative effects of an excessive digital presence continue to be analysed, you might wonder, ‘should I delete my social media?’

Of course, the answer is entirely personal.

Many people manage their social media usage effectively and find it doesn’t impact their day-to-day lives.

However, if you feel you’re in a space where your productivity or mental health is suffering because of your app usage, it could be time for a social media detox.

Taking a break from social media can be as simple as monitoring and reducing your app usage or deleting accounts entirely.

Whatever approach you take, here are our top tips for an effective and successful social media detox.

Turn off notifications

Turn off your social media notifications so you only see them when you log into the app. You’re less likely to think of or use social media if you’re not constantly reminded who likes, follows, or interacts with you.

Eliminating notifications will also prevent you from checking your phone every time you hear a ping or buzz, minimising the risk of falling into a social media rabbit hole.

Being more in control of app notifications creates a healthier relationship with social media, a key goal of your digital detox.

Tell friends and family

Telling your friends and family you plan to come off social media is both necessary and beneficial. In a world where we mainly communicate online, ensuring loved ones you’re OK and haven’t disappeared will prevent any panic.

Informing them can also work in your favour. They’ll be more likely to respect your time away from social media and use other ways to contact you, such as calling or texting, meaning you don’t need to check your apps frequently.

Utilise other apps

There are countless mobile apps to assist your ‘no social media’ challenge. From applications that track and limit your screen time to widgets that temporarily block your social media usage, these tools are great if you still need to be near your phone but want a detox.

These apps are designed with productivity in mind, encouraging a more efficient way of living and working while limiting your time on social media.

Top app recommendations:

Adjust your phone settings

The idea of a digital detox day is nothing new, and many smartphones now come equipped with settings to help users reduce their screen time.

Explore your phones Do Not Disturb, Sleep Mode, and Silent Mode settings. Some devices even track your time spent on each app so you can assess your social media usage and adjust accordingly.

There are also various well-being settings within social media apps. Facebook and Instagram prompt users when they reach their daily usage limit, which you set yourself. TikTok has a similar function, requiring users to enter their passcode to continue watching after 40, 60, 90, or 120 minutes.

Delete social media apps

Deleting social media is one of the most effective ways to reduce your usage and refocus your attention.

You can either uninstall the apps, meaning your account and information is still available if you login later, or delete your account entirely.

Be aware that the second option is more permanent, and you’ll lose access to photos, videos, and messages. If you are ready to take the plunge, give friends and family a heads up and download any items you want to keep.

Detox with a buddy

Facing challenges with a friend is always less daunting, and you may find that taking a break from social media is easier when you buddy up.

As you face the realities of being less online, you’ll have someone to share your difficulties with. It also helps to know you’re not the only one missing out on whatever is being shared. If you’re part of a larger group, you could encourage others to adopt a similar digital detox.

Find a new hobby

One of the benefits of a social media detox is that it frees up time to indulge in a new hobby. Having another activity to focus on also alleviates the temptation to log on and scroll — you’ll find that dark and empty evenings pass much quicker when learning something new.

Many choose to practice something away from a phone or computer, fitting with the digital detox theme, such as art, cooking, or sport. These activities positively affect our mental health by promoting creativity, raising endorphins, and encouraging a more mindful way of living.

Reframe your mindset

Shift your mindset from negative to positive — instead of considering it as ‘giving up’ social media, encourage yourself to think of it as ‘regaining’ lost time.

This small yet mighty reframe will noticeably impact your social media detox, allowing you to approach the challenge with optimism and positivity.

Once you consider all the ways a social media break can free up personal time and mental energy, you’ll be less likely to succumb to the calls of the apps.

Change your lock screen

If you look at your phone regularly, changing your lock screen to ask why you’ve picked up your device can be beneficial.

Create a design that asks ‘what’, ‘why’, and ‘what else’ — what have you picked up your phone for, why now, and what else could you be doing instead?

Many of us are guilty of looking at our phones out of boredom or habit, which can quickly turn into hours spent scrolling through social media apps.

However, by actively answering these questions, we are encouraged to rethink our actions and ultimately decide whether our time is better spent elsewhere.

Get an actual alarm clock

It can be challenging to do a complete social media detox if we’re still required to use our phones as an alarm clock.

Reaching for our phones first thing in the morning isn’t ideal — we’re more likely to stay on the device, check our notifications, and scroll social media.

This unnecessary device reliance is easily fixed by purchasing an actual alarm clock. Modern alarm clocks come with flashy functions, such as gentle wake-up settings, lights that mimic sunrise, and the ability to play your favourite morning songs. A simple switch that prevents us from being on our phones as soon as we wake up.

Enjoy a peaceful and relaxing break from social media as you unwind in a place to call home. Browse Pickard Properties’ range of professional lets and find the perfect place for your digital detox.

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