In the past ten years, there have been huge advances in the capabilities of smartphones and other technologies. Nowadays, we use our computers and phones for a variety of functions, ranging from online banking to quick information to social media, easily the biggest of them all. For some people, social media is an addiction and for them, it is important to go on a social media detox every now and then.
However, despite the increased utility we get out of our assortment of smart devices, there’s been an ongoing public discourse that we use our technology excessively.
From checking your phone every 5 minutes to searching for Instagram analytics tools to developing back problems from slouching over a computer too long, the signs of technology dependence are plentiful. If all of this describes you a little too well, then maybe you would benefit from a social media detox. Here are a couple tips to get you started.
1. Small Steps First
Before you lock your phone away and try to brave the world with cellular, know this: even the most drastic changes began with seemingly insignificant choices. If you don’t think you can go a day without your phone, then compromise. Maybe don’t use it at work. Or even for a couple of hours. Or maybe just resolve to check it less. Do whatever you have to do to make the changes you want to see in your habits.
Most people with smartphones and social media have developed the mindless habit of checking their phone every fifteen minutes or so, if not more often. Understandably enough, lots of people wish to eliminate this unconscious action, or at least control themselves more. For such a deeply ingrained reaction, it’s alright to not see immediate results. Just taking the initiative to recognize your dependence on viewing social media is the first strong step in changing a habit.
2. Immerse Yourself In The Day
Now that you’ve set your own goals for reducing social media usage throughout the day, and taken the first step in your social media detox, that leaves more time in the day to focus on other things. Depending on your interests, what you do with that extra time will vary, but there are a few staple activities that almost everyone can benefit from. Spending more time exercising or being creative or tackling half-considered hobbies is the perfect use of freed up time. Not only do these activities allow a fuller life, but partaking in them may also result in you spending less time on social media overall.
Whatever you may be interested in, being more productive is always a safe option, especially since social media can tend to be a hindrance to that in the first place. Attempting to work on projects during a detox and seeing how much more you actually accomplish may just convince you to do the social media detox a little more often.
3. Rely On Scheduling
One of the reasons for such prominent social media dependence is that people these days spend a lot of time with nothing concrete planned. Basically, when you don’t have any present commitments, it’s very easy to take a seat and start browsing Instagram. And we all know that scouring social media can become a massive time sink if you’re not cautious. One of the best ways to avoid this scenario and others like it entirely is to schedule your day. It doesn’t have to be meticulous; a rough layout of your activities, responsibilities, and goals throughout the day should suffice for most people.
By creating a schedule (and sticking to it), you’re predetermining what you want to get done that day, which means you can leave yourself as much or as little lounging time as you want. Now, whether that lounging time is spent on social media is entirely up to you, but I can almost guarantee that scheduling your day out will result in more productivity, personal accountability, and ambition. By the end of it, you may not even have time to look at your phone, if you get really busy.
4. Know What’s Really Important
For many people, social media has instilled a feeling of connectedness with their friends, family, and the rest of the world, that no other service can offer in the same way. In addition, the feelings of satisfaction created by getting tons of views, likes, or comments is a pretty powerful feeling for lots of people. It may hold business value to them, or it may just fill them with a sense of personal happiness. Whatever the case, social media can create positive feelings which is why it’s insanely popular, and addiction, and is rapidly melding itself into other institutions like marketing and education. It is here that it is important to understand that it’s necessary to go on a social media detox every now and then.
However, no matter what validations social media provides, a day without your smartphone may just clue you into what’s really important. Instead of relying on positive feeling disseminated through social media, know that you should think that way about yourself anyway. Taking a break from social media can teach you a lot, from how productive you can truly be to how much more time you have in a day to how much better your life is without weighing your accomplishments on social media too heavily. Regardless of how your detox goes, taking part in a little less social media usage can definitely teach you a few things.
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