If there’s one thing we left 2020 with, it’s knowing how to take a social media break. And that it’s okay to do it.
Last year was a lot. From the pandemic and so many deaths to lockdown and isolations – it almost felt like the world was ending. And naturally to feel some kind of relief a lot of people turned to social media. From the rise of TikTok videos and trends that eventually ended up on Instagram, to countless Zoom meetings to keep up with work – what seemed like a solution slowly turned into an inconvenience. Who else started to feel overwhelmed by the immense amount of content on social? *raises hand*
Now, cut to 2021 and things still haven’t slowed down. These new channels of content have been opened; work realizes they can catch you at home so the Zoom meetings haven’t stopped, a lot more people are putting a lot more on social media and suffocating your homepage, ads have increased because businesses are trying to make up for last year’s losses. It’s a lot!
We don’t know about you, but a social media break sounds pretty good right about now. But how can you go about it? Well, there are a lot of ways to take a break from social media. And we’re going to show you 5 ways you can ease into it.
Put your Phone Down and Out of Reach
We actually just started practising this and it’s proving to be quite helpful. If you start to feel overwhelmed by social media or just want to take a break from it, try putting your phone down and away from you. We know it can be hard, especially when you’re looking forward to some updates or haven’t checked your friend’s stories. But it is what you need to do.
We try plugging our phones in the other room while we’re sleeping to avoid picking it up first thing in the morning. And taking an hour a day where our phones are not in our hands to actually take a walk or talk with friends physically. Believe us, it does wonders.
Set Limits by Tracking your Social Media Time
This is our least favourite because it requires you to still check your phone, but if you’re serious about your notifications, then this will work great for you. You can head over to your settings and check out your activity on your phone. This helps show you what you spend your time doing, and if social seems excessive then you definitely need this break. Set a reminder on your phone that tells you how much time you’ve spent and be prepared to work on reducing that time.
Turn Off Notifications and set Virtual Boundaries
We love this one. You never know how much anxiety notifications prompt until you get them out of your life. Granted, notifications let you know what’s happening and who just followed you, but they can be problematic. And the worst part is, you might never know how much of a problem they are.
So, start by turning off notifications for your social media and set virtual boundaries. For example, turning off post notification or putting your social media apps in a folder so it’s not easily accessible. 2 out of 4 times, when you want to check your phone for something eg. a text, you end up clicking Instagram instead due to habit. Setting virtual boundaries will help curb this.
Set “Phone-Free” Zones
This works great, especially if you live a very active life. You can decide not to take your phones to specific places or have them with you when you do specific things. For example, you can decide to set your “phone-free” time for when you’re eating (alone or with friends), driving (which makes sense), watching TV or cooking. This allows you to take a break from social while you’re actually enjoying the activity you’re currently engaged in.
Schedule “Social Media Free” Days
This, ladies and gents, is our favourite. You can decide to take whole days off social media. We have a TW friend who takes the bulk of time off social media; from the beginning of the year to the end of February, they’re not on any social media platform. What do they do instead? They focus on work, planning, saving strategies etc.
Now, we’re not telling you to take months off, but you can take a day off. Pick a day and decide to dedicate that day to other activities that you enjoy. You’d be surprised how much more content and happy you’ll feel.
That’s it for now – share how you take time off social media with us?
Photo Credit: Ketut Subiyanto for Pexels