Earlier this month I decided to take a social media detox after I had a little surgery called a laparoscopic pyeloplasty. Its a keyhole surgery and the whole process is very non-invasive however as I was going to be taking a few days to rest after the surgery I started to realise that I had a 2 week period where I could step away from working and take a little staycation. To take this break on step further I decided to have a 2 week hiatus from social media a) because I have never really done it before and b) lately when I opened social media I instantly started to compare my feed with others and it was doing my head in. If you are considering a social media detox of your own, here are 4 tips to set yourself up for success.
1) ESTABLISH YOUR “WHY”
Why are you stepping away from social media? Has it become an addiction? Is it because you are spending time on there when you should be doing other things or is it like me, where you needed to find a little clarity and step away from comparison and envy? Figuring out your why will help you find your replacements in step 2 and honestly if you don’t establish your “why” it is easy to get caught up in other activities that don’t fulfil you, but simply fill the void of the action of being on social media. It reminds me of when I quit smoking and was conscious of not eating more to replace the action of doing something with my hands so I took up knitting and chewing gum in those initial months. My goal for this detox was to spend less time on my phone and instead wanted to do things that made my day better and me a better person.
2) PLAN AHEAD FOR REPLACEMENTS
This is a HUGE one. If you don’t have a plan for what you’ll do instead of crawling on social media it can be a big trap. My first couple of days were great where I read a whole book and washed my car but then after my surgery when I was resting in bed I found I was still drawn to my phone and played brain games, read news articles and blogs or watched Netflix or YouTube. It turned out that even though I wasn’t on social media, I spent just as much time looking at my phone which defeated the purpose of the detox and when I realised this I made a plan to put my phone down completely and replace it with something else. My replacements for that second week were cleaning my pantry and organising our kitchen, culling unwanted books from my library and reading novels and my bible. Choose some tasks to do instead and if you are still accessing the internet while detoxing from social media, I would suggest setting time limits for yourself.
3) DELETE THE APPS
Trust me when I say this – delete the apps from your phone including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and anything else that you think you might be tempted to spend more than 10 minutes looking at like YouTube, Pinterest, Blog Readers, Netflix. I didn’t delete my emails but I did move them to the last screen on my phone so I couldn’t see them and be tempted to read them.
4) LET PEOPLE KNOW HOW THEY CAN CONTACT YOU
I had a couple of people ask me if my detox meant I wasn’t on my phone at all and they weren’t sure how to get in touch with me. I had an out of office on my email advising that I was off-line until a certain date and my friends knew that I was still available via text and phone. I tend not to use messaging apps so it made it easy but if you’re on Facebook messenger all the time, its best to let people know you won’t be accessing them for a while.
LET’S GET DETOXING!
So you might be asking if it is worth it all? YES! Taking time away from my phone to do “physical” things or connect face to face with people was the best part of it all and I’m going to continue with being social media free 1 day each week. I don’t like the grasp my phone has over my life and I’d encourage everyone try a social media detox at least for a few days. It will help you experience the world in a different way, connect with people right in front of you rather and can even help you become more creative. Let’s get going!