Social media seems to rule our lives nowadays. We are on it, our friends are on it, and the entire world is on it. However, I don’t think that it’s the best to be on social media all the time, and think that everyone (yes you, who spends more time checking your friends Snapchat stories than you do reading books) should do a week long social media detox occasionally to stop getting so wrapped up in the internet.
Why should you do a social media detox?
I’d like to say that even though I think a person should go off social media every once in a while, I don’t think that social media is all bad. It can be a very helpful tool for keeping up with the world and communicating with others. But I do think that social media is best used in moderation.
Social media can overload us with stimulation and information if used for long periods of time. After all, it exposes us to what’s going on in the entire world all at once- and exactly what our friends think about all of it.
I know that others, myself included, feel information overload from social media. And so, I think that a social media detox for one week is the best way for taking a break from all this information.
The detox lifestyle
An important part of the social media detox is not completely going cold turkey, in that case it would be far too hard. Instead, it is first incorporating a good lifestyle with social media, then using it less and less.
The lifestyle you want to form with social media is one where your time on it is valuable and enjoyable. To do this, I suggest conscientiously monitoring the content you are consuming and how you feel about it.
Then, decide if the content is enjoyable. If it is not, recognize that and either do something else on it or get off it completely. For example, if you are watching an interesting documentary on YouTube where you are very enthralled in it, continue watching it.
If instead you are watching a video in which you are only half paying attention and are just watching it not to feel bored, maybe exit YouTube and do something else.
A helpful thing this mindset does is that it stops you from what I like to call The Rabbit Hole, which is where you endlessly consume content without even realizing it simply because you do not want to be bored. Stopping yourself from doing this can limit your experiences on social media to only the engaging ones.
The detox itself
Once you get the right relationship with social media down, set yourself a social media cut-off time daily, and make it earlier and earlier each day, until the last day when you don’t go on it at all. This makes it easier to limit yourself as you are not going off social media all at once.
However, you might find that the main challenge with detoxing is not that you cannot get off social media, is that you don’t have anything to do normally. I have a solution for this, find something you’ve always wanted to do and do it.
Write a book, paint, learn a new language, whatever it is. By doing this you are creating more life skills which can benefit you in the long run and make you more fulfilled.
But, if you can’t do anything or can’t find anything to do, there is one last thing you can do besides going back on: being bored! So often we scroll social media and fall down The Rabbit Hole just so we aren’t bored.
We avoid boredom like the plague. However, being bored can be worthwhile, since you are simply giving yourself a break from stimulus. This can recharge your energy, and it even a good tool for coming up with new ideas. Do not think that being bored is a waste, think of it as a well-deserved break.
In The End
I hope that you can get something greater from this experience than bragging to your friends about how you went off social media for a week. I hope that you have a better relationship with social media.
One where social media is not an escape from boredom. One where social media is not a time waster. But instead, is a tool which engages you and gives you a worthwhile experience every time you go on it.