Top tips to do social media detox the right way
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Top tips to do social media detox the right way

Top tips to do social media detox the right way

Here are eight ways by which you can limit your use of social media and avoid mindless scrolling throughout the day

What’s the first thing you do in the morning?

Chances are you’re going to reach for your phone to check your social media notifications, before aimlessly scrolling through Instagram, Facebook, TikTok, YouTube or your platform of choice. Social media apps are addictive and here’s a little secret – they are designed to be that way. The past year really brought social media into the limelight and it became our way to connect, keep in touch and escape the reality of a global pandemic. The downside? It’s not all real – it’s a curated reality that showcases what people want to show us. In many cases, an overload of social media can lead to stress, anxiety and feelings of not measuring up. As a result, some people have deleted their social media accounts completely. But for those of us who can’t go cold turkey, here are some tips to reduce social media consumption and moderate its influence.

Tip 1: Turn off all push notifications
Push notifications are the messages that pop up on your phone as alerts. It’s when your phone ‘pings’ and alerts you about the latest news, post or story. Chances are you’ll stop what you’re doing to look at your phone to see what the notification is about. By disabling push notifications, you will be able to decide when you need to look at your social media apps, allowing you to regain control over your time and attention.

Tip 2: Remove the apps from your home screen
Most people have their social media apps on their home screen and can’t help but browse whenever they’re bored or have some time on their hands. It’s helpful to move your apps from your home screen and put them into one folder so that they’re not always visible. Following the old adage of ‘out of sight, out of mind’, the less you see the apps, the less tempted you will be to access them.

Tip 3: Be vocal about your detox
An important step in the journey to social media detox is to tell people and be open about the fact that you’re choosing to be offline for a while. It’s important to not ‘disappear’ without informing your social media tribe not to worry and also ensuring that you have the necessary support to stick to your goals.

Tip 4: Your phone is not your bedfellow
Do not take your phone to bed with you. Leave it out of arm’s reach and put it away at least an hour before you go to bed. Your phone’s screen should not be the last thing you see at night. And for those people who say that their phone is their alarm clock and thus can’t be out of reach – the solution is simple: buy an alarm clock.

Tip 5: Reduce the number of apps
A lot of us have a plethora of apps that we don’t necessarily use, but still have on our phones. Go through all your apps and delete the ones you haven’t opened in the last two weeks. Go a step further if you can, and choose between the social media apps that you absolutely cannot live without and the ones that you can cut out of your life. Do you really need TikTok, Snapchat, Instagram and Facebook? If the answer is yes, then keep them. But if you are on the fence, suspend an account for a week and see how you feel.

Tip 6: Start small – Go offline for a day
Going offline and taking a break from social media isn’t as easy as it sounds. FOMO (fear of missing out) is real and for so many of us, the thought of not being connected for a few days and not knowing “what’s going on” is daunting. So, take baby steps – start with one day and see how it goes. Slowly you can build your way up to a few days and incorporate it into your lifestyle.

Tip 7: Find a detox buddy
The chances of having a successful social media detox are higher when you have a detox buddy. Having someone who is on the same journey will help motivate and ensure accountability, where both of you are rooting for each other’s success. It will also help to have someone who understands what you’re going through and the motivation behind it.

Tip 8: Plan what you will do with all that extra time
It’s surprising how much time one has when not occupied with social media. Get outside, find a hobby, be creative, spend time with friends – the sky is the limit. But make sure you are using your time productively to pursue something that you enjoy, otherwise it’s very easy to fall back into bad habits.

Zaib Shadani is the managing director of Shadani Consulting

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