Social Media Detox

Do you find yourself comparing your life to others on social media? Do you sit and scroll mindlessly for hours, sometimes finding yourself spiraling into a rabbit hole of images? Do you ever feel “not good enough” after scrolling through your news feeds on social media? Constantly refreshing your notifications to see how many likes/comments you have on a new post?  If you answered yes to any of these questions, you need a social media detox!

From the beginning, technology was made and meant to serve us.  Technology, internet and social media, was intended to make our lives better.  Social media was created to allow us to stay in touch, connect, and share.  But is social media actually improving our lives or is it taking away {energy, time, self-esteem} from us? Surveys and studies have reported an association between social media and depression, and anxiety.

Here is my opinion on the topic: Social Media is a false reality. Most people and content creators are selective with what they want others to see.  We tend to forget that most of the content made is to flaunt a good side.  Overtime many people fall into despair when they feel they can't keep up with their friends and those who they follow. Images begin to bring along self-doubt, damaging self-esteem, and confidence.  When you start to compare your life, success, body, and image to others, you begin to enter a very unhealthy state of mind. I know that social media can be negative and mentally exhausting for many.  I also know that if used with the proper intentions, social media is truly a positive and beautiful thing.

The average person spends 135 minutes a day on social media.  This number is mind blowing, we could be using that time for so many other things! However, it is indicative of the current social and business culture.  Many of our jobs/businesses require us to check in or frequently update social media. With that said, it does not mean that spending time on social media is good for you. If your work requires it, it is important to mindfully pay attention to your usage over weekends and give yourself a break frequently when you can.  If your work does not require it, truly evaluating how you use it can really impact your overall health!

Here are some tips to start your Social Media Detox:

  1.  GO COLD TURKEY| This is probably the most challenging of all the tips but it can do wonders for your mental health.  Just delete all your social media apps off your phone, make a promise to yourself not to log in via desktop and go live. If you were using social media to just share special moments or pictures with friends or family, just text or email those people! Challenge yourself.  Use that time you would have used scrolling mindless through news feeds, doing something you've wanted to do or like to do. For example, read, spend time outside, cook something new, explore your city, indulge in self-care, start a new hobby, research things you are interested in learning about, spend time with friends... the list of possible things to do besides look at what everyone else is doing through your phone, could go on.

  2. DON'T TAKE ELECTRONICS TO BED| It might be time to invest in an old school alarm clock. Leave your phone out of your bedroom to avoid scrolling through social media before bed.  Keeping your phone on your nightstand may not seem like a big deal, but technology affects our sleep in more ways than we realize. The blue lightemitted by screens on cell phones, computers, tablets, and televisions restrain the production of melatonin, the hormone that controls your sleep/wake cycle or circadian rhythm. Make your bedroom a technology free zone and TRY to give yourself 30minutes to 2 hours of technology free transition time before getting into bed. If you struggle with sleep issues, this could really be beneficial for you!

  3. CLEAN YOUR FEED| Don't want to go cold turkey? I understand. Social media can be positive if you want it to be! Sometimes it is just as productive to simply clean up your feed. Try to curate your feed so that you are only following people you actually care about. Give yourself the gift of mental space and clarity. Delete anyone you compare yourself to negatively, anyone who makes you feel bad about yourself, or anyone who you find yourself checking up on for no reason other than self-inflicted “Fear Of Missing Out" aka FOMO.

  4. JUST USE YOUR DESKTOP OR LAPTOP| Make a pact with yourself. Limit yourself to only checking in on social media feeds if you are sitting at your computer instead of the usual, which is whenever there is "nothing else to do", while waiting in line or at red lights. This requires discipline and you must delete the apps on your phone. This could really help you be more present in your life!

  5. REPLACE YOUR APPS| Download other apps in place of social media.  There are tons of meditation, reading, coloring, health/fitness apps out there that could benefit and help you work toward an actual goal.  Some of my favorite wellness apps include, My Fitness Pal, Headspace, Calm,, Calmeleon, and Audible.

  6. CUT BACK| Reduce how much time you are spending on social media.  If you're posting hourly, make it daily, if it's daily make it every few days.  If you want a challenge, post only once a week.  Something I tell clients frequently is pay attention to your intentions and feelings when it comes to posting. Why are you posting? Do you simply want to share a pretty shot? Or do you have a hidden agenda? Is there someone you are trying to make jealous, impress or do you want to show off?  Be honest with yourself.  Are you living in the moment or only creating moments or going places to share it on social media?  These are really important thoughts and feelings you should be aware of & you should reflect on.  It is unhealthy to live in a mindset where you are constantly trying to please or impress others.

  7. STOP OVER SHARING| This goes hand in hand with cutting back! Do not snapchat every single minute of every vacation, concert, event, or day.  You are not inclined to snapchat every move you make. You also do not need to check in everywhere you go or alert your 100’s of friends of your travel plans, where you are, or what you just ate for breakfast. Consider your privacy and safety!

  8. TURN OFF NOTIFICATIONS| Don't worry they'll still be there when you open your apps! Turn off app notifications so your phone is not lighting up with notifications every 10 seconds throughout the day!

  9. REPEAT A MANTRA| Be okay with where you are.  FOMO is real. Social media does a great job of showing us where others are traveling to, what parties we were not invited to, and the highlights of others' lives. When you are home, or not involved in what you see you begin to filter other people's lives as awesome or perfect compared to your own.  Cut down on comparison by repeating a positive mantra, "Wherever I am, is exactly where I need to be", or "I am okay with who I am, and where I am in this moment". Remind yourself that social media only highlights the best parts of others' lives, people chose good photos to filter and share --- of course this gives you the misconception that everyone is living the perfect life. Do not let it get to you. If this is something you experience, try #3, #4 & #5.

  10. START YOUR DAY WITHOUT SOCIAL MEDIA |  I believe our morning routines could have a lot to do with how we set the tone for the day.  If you wake up each morning to scrolling through social media often times you will see images from news stories, political related posts, what everyone else is doing with their morning or what they did last night, what others are wearing or eating, etc.  Before you've even brush your teeth, or feel the ground on your feet, you've allowed images and others to influence your mood and your day... sometimes without even knowing it.  Start your morning off with something positive. Get ready to music. Set time aside time in your morning routine to set your intentions for the day by journaling.  Listen to a podcast that is inspiring. Do morning stretches or workout. Consider dedicating time to doing something positive rather than beginning your day by scrolling through images or posts, that let's face it, really do not add to your life or well-being.

I hope you enjoyed reading some ways you can detox from social media. Remember everything in moderation and with good intentions. Loved this post? Please comment & share with friends! Until next time...