A guide to your much needed social media detox
From scrolling through Insta to watching your crush's Snapchat story, it's can seem impossible to do a day without social media. And that might be a problem—studies have shown that too much use can lead to depression, anxiety and just feeling bad about yourself in general. If that sounds like you, a social media cleanse may be just what the doctor ordered. But that's easier said than done, we get it. So we've created a step-by-step guide to help you refocus and recalibrate your mind with as few FOMO side effects as possible.
Identify the stressors.
Which apps do you spend the most time on each day? How essential is this app to your daily life? Consider each of these things when deciding practically which social media channels you use the most and what purpose they actaully serve in your life. By identifying what's causing you the most stress and why, you'll feel more motivated to take a break.
Set realistic goals.
Decided to go a month without social media? Uh, slow down! While it's good to set big goals, it's even better to set smaller realistic ones first and work your way up to the major milestones. By aiming for a weekend without social media first, you can then slowly increase to three days, etc. And in some cases, cutting yourself off from the Internet completely might not be super reasonable (you still have to do research for that history paper) but maybe you want to spend more time reading or exercising by limiting your time on the web. Starting out with a clear plan will make it much easier.
Tell your friends and family.
Before you go end your 100 day Snap streak with your BFF or disappear from the Twitter-verse, tell the people close to you about your cleanse. Social is the key word in social networking. If they know what your goals are, they should respect your decision and not tempt you to give up. There's nothing like a good support system to help you grow and mature–who knows you might inspire someone else to do the same.
Delete the app.
Turning off your notifications may not be enough. Deleting Instagram, Snapchat or whatever your vice may be is the best way to keep you off the feed. You can't be tempted to log on if it's not even on your phone. Now is the time to do the things that you've been wanting to do but been putting off like trying a new hobby, visiting your grandparents or planning your end-of-school bash. The possibilities are endless!
Reflect on your experience.
Whether you reach your goal or not, take some time to think about what you got out of it. Did your social media addiction reveal itself or did your realize how much free time you had since you weren't online? No matter the result, you took a step in the right direction to working on your mental health. And for that, you get a gold star.