Are you looking to break your habit of mindless scrolling or do you need a break from the unending cycle of bad news? It may be time for a social media detox. Given the unfortunate state that the world is in right now, it’s understandable if you just want to put your phone in a drawer and forget that it exists. However, given how dependent we have become on our smartphones and social media, tossing your device and forgetting about it is much easier said than done.
If approached in the correct manner, a social media detox really isn’t impossible. It may take some willpower and commitment to the cause, but it can definitely be done. In order to keep yourself from slipping and falling into the trap of constant updates about the world around you, here are five tips that can lead to a successful social media hiatus. Compiled with some help from GoodHousekeeping, this list is sure to help you kick your social media addiction.
1. Delete social media applications
The first step to detoxing is to delete those pesky Facebook, Twitter and Instagram applications off your phone! The apps are designed for convenience, and the added time that it may take for you to log into the social media websites through your browser may be enough for you to reconsider logging in in the first place. “Take social media off of your phone for 12 hours and remind yourself that you can easily reinstall it,” says Catherine Price, author of How to Break Up with your Phone.
2. Get a detox buddy
Even the most difficult tasks can feel easy if you have a friend to do them with. It also adds some accountability into the mix, so you can help keep each other on track. “Let’s say you intend on leaving your phone at home while you run errands one week. Once the week is over, check in with your buddy and let them know how you did,” recommends Price. Doing a detox with a friend also gives you someone to talk to who understands what you’re going through.
3. Put a rubber band around your phone
“When you reach for your phone, there is now a physical obstacle that snaps you out of autopilot for a second and encourages you to reflect on what you’re doing,” explains Price. Creating obstructions makes scrolling through social media much less rewarding and fun, so your chances of putting your phone away and doing something else actually increase.
4. Find an alternate hobby
Find something else to do that you actually enjoy! If you’re finding it difficult to keep your hands off your phone while sitting idle, engage in work that is fun and which can offer a distraction. Read a thrilling book, take a walk or cook something delicious for your friends and family. You’ll find that these activities will leave you feeling so much happier and satisfied since there is no guilt attached to them.
5. Think of your time as a valuable resource
“We need to get a lot better at being protective of our attention and be aware of the things that try to take it from us,” explains Price. “It’s like how we are careful when it comes to our money, but the stakes are higher because our time and attention are irreplaceable.”