Like many others, you can be stuck in a rut on social media. Mindlessly, you check your feed every few minutes, hoping that something new has been posted. A respite from the steady flood of updates, images, and videos is what you’re after. If this sounds all too familiar, it may be time to do some housekeeping on your social network accounts.
Social media’s impact on mental health
There’s mounting evidence that spending too much time on social media is terrible for your mental health. According to research published in JAMA Pediatrics, adolescents who spend much time on social media are more likely to suffer from anxiety and despair. The authors conclude that more investigation into the mechanisms at play here is warranted. However, they worry that social media use can worsen mental health by fostering emotions of loneliness, envy, and discontent with one’s physical appearance.
According to other research, poor sleep, low self-esteem, and increased feelings of isolation and loneliness have all been linked to social media use. People who spent more than 2 hours per day on social media were twice as likely as those who spent less than thirty minutes on social media to report feeling lonely.
Why a social media detox could be beneficial
A social media cleanse could be advantageous for a variety of reasons. For one thing, it can help with stress and anxiety. A break from social media can help clear your mind and refocus your attention on what’s important. Furthermore, a social media cleanse can help boost your productivity. If you are wasting time scrolling through your feed, taking a break from social media can help you redirect that time to more productive activities. Finally, disconnecting from social media can help you reconnect with the people and things in your life that are truly important to you.
So, if you’re feeling overwhelmed or disconnected, taking a break from social media might be just what you need.
How to plan a Social Media Cleanse
A social media cleanse is an effective way to reconnect with the platforms and escape the constant barrage of information. You should do several things to unplug from social media for a while.
1. Unfollow any accounts that make you feel inadequate, which includes reports that only post harmful content or constantly compare themselves to others.
2. Put your phone away first thing in the morning and last thing at night. Instead, use that time to read or journal, allowing you to transition into and out of your day without interruption.
3. Allow yourself to take a break from social media. You are not required to inform anyone!
4. Take a break from your favorite app for the day and do something you enjoy instead.
5. Use the time you’re waiting to do something enjoyable.
6. Take out your phone and place it on the table next to your bed when you have a few minutes before going to sleep.
7. Instead of looking at your phone on the bus or train, look around and take in your surroundings.
8. Turn off your phone for a few hours in the middle of the day and do something you enjoy.
9. Turn off all phone alerts and use a timer or an alarm clock to remind you when things are due.
10. Put down your phone while eating and instead take the time to enjoy your meal.
How to reintegrate social media after the cleanse
Almost everyone has desired to disconnect from social media at some point. Perhaps you’ve tried a social media cleanse before, promising to avoid Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat for a set period. But you probably found yourself back on your favorite apps without realizing it. If you’re thinking about doing another social media detox or want a break, here’s what you need to know about reintroducing yourself to the world of Likes and shares.
When you’re ready to resume using social media, there are a few things to remember. First, be easy on yourself if you cave and check your accounts earlier than planned. Second, try to be kind to yourself. It can be challenging to resist the urge to check your phone when trying to avoid online distractions. But don’t be too hard on yourself if you give in. You are only human, and you were attempting to alter your behavior. You don’t have to punish yourself when you make a mistake.