social media detox

Today detox has become our go-to word whenever we talk about getting rid of any habit of ours, for example going on an organic diet after partying calling it a detox.

Well, detox is short for detoxification. A short period of time or days where one follows a particular routine.

What is Social Media?

They are websites or applications that help social networking by sharing and creating content. It is a digitally mediated technology helping to exchange ideas, communication, and networking.

Apps may include Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat. Reddit, WhatsApp, Tinder, LinkedIn, YouTube, Telegram, Discord, etc.

What is Social Media Detox?

A social media detox is similar where one takes a break from all social media platforms for a period of a few days. More like a conscious elimination of social media.

After the global pandemic struck us we have been highly dependent on social media to fight our loneliness. It acts as a great distraction from the real world.

Watching various blogs, short videos keeps us engaged. During the lockdown when all had come to a standstill the social media stepped in to make us all feel better. Since then we have all been addicted to this distraction. With new trends coming up each day it has been very difficult to get oneself detached.

As we keep bingeing on various applications we at times become unaware of the kind of content we come across. Hate speech, negativity, cringe content cause a negative effect on the minds of people. When talking about teenagers this content leads to mental health-related issues.

Watching a scary or thriller video may trigger anxiety or panic in their minds. Thus keeping a distance or doing a detox is helpful.

How can one do a social media detox?

Detox is all about self-control. Deactivating social media accounts for a while is most helpful. Various ways to detox are:

  • Deactivating social media accounts
  • Putting a screen time and reminder for 30 to 45 mins initially and then reducing this time in the following days to come.
  • Actively choosing who to follow and interacting with only those posts which seem important.
  • Do not try being on all social media platforms, in turn updating all platforms will only lead to increased screen time.
  • Follow accounts that bring positivity and happiness to you.
  • Try doing a timeline cleanse.
  • Muting pages or people that affect your mental health.

Can a detox be done without deleting social media?

Yes, a detox does not necessarily mean deleting or deactivating your account. One can just reduce the screen time and limit the number of hours one spends on various apps. Scroll less but smart.

How to keep oneself motivated during a detox?

The most important part of a detox is to keep going. By putting up a wallpaper of a quote reminding you not to give up could be helpful. Putting up a status before deactivating gives a message like offline or on a detox or on a vacation from social media. This will cause lesser interactions.

Various Quotes for detox could be:

  • Life is what happens between Wi-Fi signals
  • Paying more attention to me than my phone
  • Unplugged
  • Don’t feel guilty for going off-grid
  • The grass always looks greener on social media, always!!
  • Be your own muse
  • Less scrolling, more living
  • Imagine you studied as much as you scrolled Instagram
  • Disconnect to connect

Detox Challenge

Challenges always come in handy when trying a detox. They play an important role in human psychology.

  • Challenge yourself into a 15 to 30 challenges of detox.
  • Identify all the platforms where you spend a lot of time, or which posts or people harm your mental health.
  • Get yourself a planner where you write about how you utilize the time which you’d usually spend on social media.
  • Try new activities, keep yourself occupied.
  • Get enough sleep and try putting yourself on a schedule.
  • Continue these activities even after the detox is over.

How long should a detox be to show the best benefits?

From my personal experience, it is all about self-control. For someone, a 30-day break can help them get normalcy, but at times after a week after the break, we go back using social media like before.

So I personally feel a longer duration of 45 days or more really helps. Then slowly introducing each app and not being active everywhere at the same time really helps.

Benefits of Social Media Detox

  • It helps you reconnect with the real world better
  • Stops the constant comparison
  • Give you better mental health, in turn making you feel better
  • Helps increase productivity.
  • Decreases the fear of missing out on things.
  • Reduces anxiety and helps sleep better.

How would I feel immediately after leaving social media?

The initial days would be anxious, you’d feel like opening the apps and going through just once. This is mainly the result of withdrawal caused by our neurobiological system. With time this feeling will start to subside. In the long run, it will become easy to control one’s urges.

Is a social media cleanse similar to a detox?

A cleanse and detox both would mean getting away from social media. To specify a cleanse would mean restricting the following list and a timeline cleanse.

We all face a time where we scroll for long hours and then get bored and end up opening the same app again after like a minute of closing it. It’s like opening the empty fridge door again and again with a belief to find something in it!

This is majorly due to how addicted we have become. Teenagers who have so much to do spend hours on these apps; ending up with nothing but piled-up work and procrastination. Thus a detox really helps to get such habits under control.

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