Too much time online, wasting days and days on endless scrolling, aimlessly searching for something new. Yup, we’ve all been there. Especially this past year during the lock-downs, time spent on social media has increased significantly, unfortunately on account of our productivity. So, the first thing that comes to mind when you get in that evil loop is to have a social media break. Uninstall the apps, try to completely forget about them, and once you’ve restarted your mind, try to have a more thought out approach.
The thing is, not everyone can do this. Some of us who work in (digital) marketing agencies are obliged to spend at least half of our day online, creating content for our clients, answering the audiences questions, or even following what is new on the market. Marketing (especially digital) is a fast turning job and you can rarely allow yourself a big break. So what can we do in order go have a social media cleanse if a whole detox is not possible? Here are a few ideas.
Turn off chat notifications
You really don’t need to be the first one to reply to all your group chats. Most of the time, it’s just regular conversations or something that is not urgent at all (otherwise there would definitely be a phone call). So allow yourself some rest from the constant notification beeps and just mute all the conversations. Getting the opportunity to reply whenever you’re available can do wonders for reducing stress, and your free time. Trust me, I’ve tried it 🙂
Set a time limit after work hours
If you can’t control your work hours, at least try to control your free time. Limit the amount of time you spend online (or generally on your phone/computer) after work and give your best to stick to it.
There are plenty of apps that will help you in this process, and act as your conscience when you’re automatically reaching for that Instagram button. The App Limit function on my iPhone has helped me a lot, especially when I unconsciously try to open an app after I’ve passed the time limit (I set a time limit of 1h 28mins every day). It’s definitely not easy, the first few days can be really rough (I went through all of my photos, rearranged the apps and notes) but once you start getting used to it, it’s totally worth it.
Try to plan activities that would fill in that social media slot
We’re so used to spending hours on social media, that once you decide to have a break, you will need to fill a huge void in your everyday activities. So you need to prepare in advance 🙂 Find a bunch of activities that will help you pass the time, and do whatever you can to completely focus on them instead of thinking of social media. Clean out your apartment, do a (crossword) puzzle, read, write, paint, go back to the good old social media-less days and try to remember what made you happy. Your mind will get the needed rest and you will be happy you didn’t spend one more day just staring at a screen.
Tell everyone you’re having a social media break
Your social media break will not be very effective if your closest friends keep calling you telling you about the latest Tik Tok they’ve seen, or keep chatting about that amazing Instagram profile they just discovered. The support from your closest ones is very important, or at least the understanding that you need to cool down and change your habits. I’m sure that once they see you more relaxed and enjoying the offline world they will think about joining you 🙂
The goal of this post is not to go after social media, say that they are bad for us and ruining our lives 🙂 The goal is to motivate a bit more conscious approach to using them, and for all of us to “wake up” and think what are we actually getting from the time spent online.
Purposely using social media for personal growth or even relaxation is great, but we need to become more careful of the amount of time we spend and the effects they can have on our mind. So next time you find yourself unconsciously scrolling or even fighting online with a person you’ll never meet, on a subject that is probably not essential to your life, ask yourself, what else could I be doing right now that could make me feel happy 🙂