Depression is a serious issue that can significantly impact a person’s life. And social media can be a huge contributor to depression, as it often provides an unrealistic view of people’s lives.
If you are struggling with depression, taking a break from social media can be really beneficial. It can help you focus on your own life and find ways to improve your mental health.
So how do you take a break from social media? This article will give you six actionable steps you can take to break away from social media. But before that, let’s take a close look at what a social media detox is.
What Is A Social Media Detox?
A social media break (or detox as it’s often called) is a period where you use zero social media. The idea behind it is to give your mind a break from the constant consumption of social media.
Signs You Need A Social Media Break
You may not be aware that you need a break when you’re addicted to social media. But if you’re dealing with any of the following, it’s time for a social media detox:
Being Constantly Annoyed
According to a Pew Research study in 2018, 71 percent of social media users reported encountering content that makes them angry. If you find yourself constantly annoyed by posts you see on social media platforms, it’s a sign that you need to take a break. Social media should be a positive experience, not a negative one.
Some examples of social media posts that can get you annoyed are :
- Political posts.
- Judgmental posts.
- Posts that are negative or complain a lot.
Spending Too Much Time On Social Media Sites
If you find yourself spending hours upon hours scrolling through social media feeds, it’s definitely time for a break. We all have things that we enjoy doing on social media, but if it’s taking up too much of your time, it’s not worth it. There are so many other things that you could be doing with your time!
One of the worst things about social media is that it leads to comparison. You see everyone’s highlight reel, and you end up comparing it to your own life. This can be really damaging to your mental health and self-esteem. If you find yourself feeling bad after looking at social media, it’s a sign that you need to take a break.
FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out)
Do you constantly check social media because you’re afraid of missing out on something? This is another sign that you need a detox. Social media should not force you to take an action just because others are doing so.
Benefits Of Taking A Break From Social Media
Here are some of the benefits of taking a break from social media:
When you’re constantly on social media, you’re not really present in the moment. This can lead to problems in your relationships. And while you may feel plugged in and up-to-date browsing social media or reading the newest story, losing focus on the world around you might lead to a sense of disconnection between yourself and reality.
Without the distractions of social media, our interactions with individuals we care about become more profound and engaging. You also find yourself having extra time to spend with them.
Better Self Worth & Mental Health
Because social media is a place where people post photographs of their greatest accomplishments and most fascinating activities, we may feel as though we aren’t enough. Social media may have a detrimental effect on how we see ourselves, whether it’s our appearance, career, present relationship status, or anything else.
Social media breaks help relieve some of the pressure and help us realize that we are where we need to be.
Because social media is so time-consuming, eliminating it will allow us to accomplish more in a day and have more hours in our week. According to statistics, an average user spends two hours a day on social media apps -while addicts can spend up to nine hours scrolling! Consider what you might accomplish with that time!
Besides this, social media apps act as a disruptor when we’re working or studying. If you don’t have distracting apps, your flow state won’t be disturbed, and you’ll be able to complete more in less time.
How To Take A Social Media Break
Now, let’s talk about how to actually take a social media break. Here are six actionable steps that you can take to break social media addiction:
Step #1: Pick A Length Of Time
The first step is to pick a length of time for your social media detox. Quitting social media cold turkey may not work in the long term, so it’s best to start with a short break. This can be anywhere from 12-24 hours. Once you’ve decided on a timeframe, it’s time to move on to the next step.
Step #2: Unfollow People On Your Social Media Accounts
If there are certain people on social media that you constantly compare yourself to, it’s time to unfollow them. Seeing their posts when you log on after the break will only make you feel worse about yourself. So take this opportunity to unfollow anyone who doesn’t make you feel good.
Step #3: Delete Social Media Apps
The next step is to delete the social media apps from your phone. This may seem like a drastic measure, but it’s necessary if you want to break away from social media. If the apps are not on your phone, you won’t be tempted to check them as often.
However, if you have a particular social media platform that is too important to be deleted (like LinkedIn), try turning off all social media notifications. This is a less drastic measure, but it will still help to reduce your social media usage.
Step #4: Tell Your Friends And Family
It’s also a good idea to tell your friends and family that you’re taking a break from social media. This way, they’ll know not to contact you through social media, and they can support you in your decision.
Step #5: Find Other Ways To Stay In The Loop
Just because you’re taking a break from social media doesn’t mean you have to be isolated. There are plenty of other ways to stay in touch. You can pick up the phone and give a family member a call or send them a text message. You can also meet up with them in person.
Steps #6: Replace Social Media with New Activities
Finally, it’s important to replace social media with new activities. This will help prevent you from getting bored and feeling like you’re missing out. Some ideas for new activities include reading, mindfulness meditations, spending time outside, taking up a new hobby, or spending time with your friends and family.
Taking a break from social media can be really beneficial for you. If you find yourself feeling anxious or depressed after scrolling through social media, it might time for a break. By following the steps above, you can have a successful social media detox and improve your mental health. Do you think you need a social media break? Let us know why in the comments below!