Social media detox is the conscious elimination of social media use and consumption for a set period of time.
21 day social media detox may sound extreme but it was exactly what the doctor ordered. I struggle with bouts of depression and anxiety that manifest in some horrible panic attacks. Having hit my version of mental health rock bottom enough times to decide that I don’t like it there. So much so that I have decided to listen to my early warning signs that my body gives. They vary but some indications are: I feel not grounded like life is moving too fast, I start getting more anxious, I start having more feelings of dread. With the fast pace of life and I being the president of the procrastination club I usually put it off to deal with it another time. So one day towards the end of November I woke up feeling like I was in the midst of a panic attack. It was enough to let me know if I don’t do something about it, this was just the beginning of the spiral.
That morning I realized that I had been getting these little indications that I needed to slow down for a while now. Yet I was ignoring them and the main reason was social media. I am able to deep dive and emotionally invest myself in a Twar (Twitter war) or thread sometimes so much that it changes my mood or drains me. Social media has some good but most of the time it takes up so much of our time that we could have used to be otherwise productive. It has so much negativity and triggers that time away is necessary if not mandatory.
Preparing for the detox
I realized that I am way more addicted to social media then I would like to admit. This meant as much as the detox was needed I couldn’t start immediately. I needed to slowly wean myself off by cutting down my hours each day for about 7 days before my actual detox. Secondly I decided on a date. I informed my closest friends as to cause no panic and accountability. Thirdly a day before the detox I uninstalled all the apps. Another thing I decided was to intentionally not replace this time with series or movies. Instead I wrote in my journal, read books and spent more time outside and with family. A bitter pill to swallow is that social media has made us uncomfortable with silence or being alone.
Living in the Stone Age and the time of smoke signals- yes I am that dramatic!
The idea of a detox was easier than the reality of it. There were different factors for this some included that I am a bonus mom and the mom and grand mom wanted to video call the girls. As a result WhatsApp couldn’t be uninstalled. Secondly when I post blogs I share the links on my Facebook and I couldn’t uninstall it either. However to combat these issues, I would try and schedule the video calls. Additionally I would only go on to Facebook for blog related issues and I would limit my usage on these days. Other Apps such as twitter, Tik Tok and Instagram were uninstalled. A girl had to learn you can have a meal and fun and not post about it. I must admit it was weird not getting the constant alerts and not being able to mindlessly scroll on Instagram.
What if a complete detox isn’t feasible for you?
Most of us use social media for our various side hustles, work purposes or to keep in contact with family so a complete social media detox isn’t feasible. My advice is then try the following:
Go on social media every second day.
Try no social media on weekends.
Limit your time either by not going on immediately when you wake up or just before bed time.
Limit hours for social media, you decide perhaps not more than 3 hours and you decide how to split it up.
I really needed the detox and as much I am back on all my apps I am more mindful of my time spent on them. So much so that I am spending less time or skipping days. The detox helped me realize how much more productive and attentive to stuff happening around me in real time when I’m off socials. As much as I am in better control of my social media usage the moment I feel myself spiralling I will gladly detox. With much less anxiety. The world will not come to an end of if you switch off from time to time. Your goals will require more of you, do what’s necessary. Have you done a social media detox or are you considering it? I would love to hear your thoughts down below on the comments section. As usual please do not forget to subscribe to the blog to be notified when I next post (it’s free and I will not spam you).