Too much of something always yields bad effects that is why it is important to take a social media break every once in a while for our overall health. While it might be hard at first, there are simple and achievable ways to curb social media addiction.
Nowadays, it is too hard to keep our eyes off our phones and computer screens. If we log off for a couple of hours, we immediately feel left out of everything that might be happening in the world.
But while social media has made communication easier, it also impacts our emotions and physical health. More often than not, we feel less accomplished and more depressed after a few hours of scrolling on our news feeds. Using social media also resembles addiction as you always feel yourself craving for more; like stalking an ex’s new partner and ending on their cousin’s mother’s neighbor.
While it is easy to include a social media detox in our resolutions, putting it into action is actually challenging. However, there are doable ways to really push ourselves to stay off our social accounts and take a social media break.
1. Turn off notifications.
Whenever we hear that pop of a new message on Messenger or a “like” on Instagram, we feel that excitement and urge to check out what it is. That is not a surprise because these applications are actually designed that way to compel us to use them more often.
There is actually a study in Ford that showed 62 percent of adults develop happy feelings with likes and positive comments on social media. This, of course, closely feels similar to addiction.
2. Have a schedule.
Having a schedule of when to be online might be outrageous but it is actually effective. It only takes 21 days for developing a new habit and after you exceed that mark, taking a social media break will no longer feel like a mountain that is impossible to cross.
It is easy to get lost in scanning through our feeds that a “one last look” eventually leads to hours and hours of endless scrolling. By maintaining a schedule, say twice a day, you will make use of your time online into a more productive one before using up your self-imposed quota.
3. No social media during bedtime.
Many of us are guilty of using our phones right before we sleep. However, a study from the Brigham and Women’s Hospital revealed that using light-emitting devices before bedtime can actually have adverse effects on our health, alertness and body clock.
Moreover, development of a sleep deficiency might be at a higher risk for people who use their devices before snoozing. Doing other activities like reading a book or writing a journal are relaxing ways to ease our minds and bodies to slumberland.
4. Remove useless social media apps on your phone.
Smartphones have been an excuse for people to escape during awkward moments like, for instance when they feel left out in a conversation. They then pull out our phones and appear busy elsewhere in our own little bubble.
But when there are no apps to busy ourselves with, there would be a lesser reason to bore our eyes into our screens so we instead face the green-eyed monster of actually enhancing our socializing skills. This also brings us to make the hard decision of limiting our social media accounts.
There are Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, Tumblr, and many more platforms for sharing our daily whereabouts. Having all of them would mean a longer time needed in managing all these accounts. But do you really need all of them?
It is best to choose two or three that are most important to you and stick with them. Also, remove all the unnecessary social media apps because when they are out of sight, they are also out of mind.
5. Just log off.
Catching up nowadays might easily translate to group chats where everybody is present. Bonding may include Snapchat streaks with your best friends or tagging them at every relatable meme found on the face of the Internet.
Still, nothing beats the real connection of spending time with our friends and loved ones in real life. The laughter and stories shared cannot be compared to the hearts you give each other on Instagram.
And of course, be at the moment. Nothing is more annoying than finally having the time to see each other yet the other person’s eyes are glued to their phone. At the end of the day, the best way to take a social media break is to just log off and live in the now.