How To Disconnect From The Digital World To Thrive In The Real World
Social media can be a good thing, but too much of a good thing can be bad for you. If you find yourself more involved in the online world than the real world, a social media detox can help you disconnect, to reconnect with your life!
People spend an average of nearly 2.5 hours a day on social media. Just think of all the free time you would have to do the things you ‘don’t have time for!’. You could start a new hobby, a new business or meet new people (in person).
Try disconnecting your social media accounts for a week, and you’ll see for yourself how freeing it is!
Looking for ways to keep busy offline? Keep on reading!
Related post- The Positive Effects Of Social Media
Why You Need A Digital Detox
I’m a recovering social media addict. I’ve always worked in media and so I have to stay active on social media, but it quickly became more and more a part of my personal life that I was consumed nearly every waking moment between work and personal use. I was miserable. Comparing my life to the lives I see on facebook and Instagram. Posting every accomplishment to try and measure up. But never feeling very good afterwards. I would wake up, and go on Facebook and Instagram to see what I had missed. Social media was sadly the first thing I saw in the morning and the last thing I saw every night. I was addicted. This went on for years before I decided I had finally had enough and have since learned to set healthy limitations. When I find myself relapsing, I stop myself before it gets too bad. I can always tell when I’m spending too much time in the digital world, because my mood is down. When I’m out, enjoying life without even thinking about social media, that’s when I feel great!
I grew up in the 90s, before cellphones were even a thing. I think my best friends dad may have had an OG cellphone, but there was NO social media. We went out and had fun for the sake of having a good time. We didn’t post about it to show others how much fun we had. We didn’t care. And we had birthday parties in my basement with homemade cake and mismatched party decor and it was great! We didn’t know, or care, that other kids had extravagant birthday parties in fancy halls with life-size piñatas and ponies. That didn’t matter, because it wasn’t posted all over town for everyone to see. We literally went about our own lives.
Social media opened the doors to everyone’s lives, but only the parts they want you to see of course- like the perfect parties, presents and good times. This puts a false-sense of reality out there and is what has sparked the increase in scarcity mentality many people suffer from today. We never feel good enough or that we have enough. When in fact, all you have to do is ignore what you see online and and pay more attention to what’s going on offline.
Dangers Of Social Media Addiction
Too much social media can lead to anxiety, depression and loneliness, a poor mindset, scarcity mentality and sleep problems.
Social media was created as a way to connect with people, but it’s actually making us lonelier. We have more meaningless connections through screens, than we do meaningful in-person conversations. And we have become more dependent on our cellphones as a sort of companion when we feel lonely. Most of us don’t go anywhere or do anything without our phones. When we are bored for even just a moment, our first response is often to scroll mindlessly through social media. This has become our default.
How Much Is Too Much?
How much time do you spend on social media each day? Is your social media usage higher than average?
If you’re waking up to Facebook and going to bed with Instagram and Snapchat, then you might be spending too much time with social media. While there’s no time limit, there are some signs that you may benefit from a social media detox.
Signs You Need A Social Media Detox
- You feel disconnected from real-life
- You feel anxious when you can’t access social media
- You check your social media first thing in the morning
- Social media is interfering with your work
- You do things just to post about it
- You can’t go a day without social media
A detox from social media can help break the cycle and bring you back to reality. You’ll start to see how much you love your real life and enjoy living in the moment rather than living on social media.
If you’re feeling the negative effects of social media and want to do a social media detox, here’s how!
How To Do A Social Media Detox
Realizing that you have a problem is the first step in recovery. Use this momentum to get you started.
1.) Take it slow. As with any addiction, you can quit cold turkey. Slowly limit your time on social media. You don’t need to quit completely, just cut your time by a quarter in your first week and then cut a little more and see how much better you feel.
Resist the urge to check your Facebook first thing in the morning. Allow yourself to just be with your thoughts instead of always scrolling.
Notice the positive effects of taking a break from social media. Use this to motivate you to keep going!
2.) Find new, meaningful distractions. What do you do when you’re waiting for your kettle to boil or friend to show up for coffee? You scroll through Facebook? Well, not anymore! If you find yourself turning to social media the minute you have a minute, all of those minutes add up! No wonder you’re addicted! Instead, try just looking around, planning the rest of your day or even daydreaming for a few moments. This is much healthier for your mind than scrolling.
3.) Connect with people. Although social media was created to help connect people, I think many of us have become too reliant on it as a form of connection. We often lack human contact and conversations. Visit your friends and family and make a conscious effort to not post about it or look at your social media, even if everyone else is (which is sad, but you can help engage them and see if it works!) Talk about your decision to unplug and how much better you’re feeling.
4.) Read a book. Nothing beats a good old fashioned book. Reading not your thing? Watch a new series or some movies!
Things To Do Instead Of Social Media
- Go for a walk
- Read a book
- Learn a new hobby (Check out hobbies for women)
- Cook a meal
- Clean out your closet
- Organize your shoes
- Call a friend
- Call your mom or dad
- Start a journal (Check out these journal prompts)
- Do yoga
- Meditate (Try these creative ways to meditate)
- If you’re out- people watch instead of scroll
- Plan your day
- Write a to-do list
- Plan a day trip
- Bake a cake
- Write down how you feel instead of reaching for your phone
- Find new recipes to try (Pinterest can help)
- Make a new playlist
- Put on some music
Social media addiction is a big problem in today’s society but recognition is the first step in making a change. A social media detox may be just what you need to reconnect with your love for life! You might even start a new hobby you love, meet someone new or find motivation to do things you never imagined possible!