Social media. Love it or hate it, it’s here to stay. Everywhere we go, people are staring at their phone to see the latest Instagram photo or Tweet or Facebook post. Social media is meant to be entertaining, but is often a time leech. We all have enough to do without worrying about how much time is wasted on social media. Consequently, we all need a social media detox.
You know what I’m talking about. Nowadays, everyone with a device strikes the same pose: head down, shoulders slouched and forward, hands in a claw position as they scroll or type. It’s an epidemic! In fact, here is an article discussing the dangers of smartphone addiction.
I’m not against social media at all. I enjoy seeing my family’s and friend’s pictures who live in other states. Social media can be entertaining or a quick way to share an important event. Furthermore, Facebook can be a way to keep in touch with people. I actually have even reconnected with old friends that I lost touch with.
The problem with social media occurs when we forget to actually talk to people in person or on the phone (not just texting). When we mistake an online comment for actual connection with another human being.
Why a social media detox?
So why do you need to do a social media detox (myself included)? The most important reason is to find more time in your day. One of the number one concerns with moms these days is not having enough time to get everything done. However, I imagine you would be surprised to see how much time you spend scrolling through Pinterest, Instagram, etc. Here are some statistics about time spent on social media. Let me just say that it’s shocking!
Another reason for a social media detox is to have more quality family time. Sitting in the same room while everyone is hypnotized by their devices is NOT quality time. I have seen couples and families out to dinner, where no one is saying a word, because one or more of the individuals is on their smartphone. The others are then left to just stare off into space. Just sad.
This might sound silly, but social media can be downright dangerous. I mean literally. Distracted driving due to cell phone use is causing thousands of injuries and deaths every year. Those users are often posting to social media while behind the wheel!
Furthermore, distracted walking is becoming such a problem that orthopedic surgeons have banded together to launch a humorous safety campaign against “the digital deadwalkers”. And don’t even get me started about biking while using a smartphone (you need two hands people!).
Social media use can also decrease production at work or cost you your job. Employers don’t look kindly upon paying you when you’re wasting time posting on Facebook. They also will check out your content. That means you might not want to vent online about your boss or coworker who irritated you.
Finally, we all need a little perspective when it comes to social media. It’s not truly portraying real life. People see these perfect pictures and become envious of others. Keep in mind, though, that it’s simply a curated view of life carefully chosen by the individual.
Most people aren’t going to show you a picture of their disheveled home or post about how they lost their temper with their children. Instead, they upload perfectly posed pictures of their children and home. I’m not saying there is anything wrong with that. I do the same thing. We just need to remember that for every perfect moment seen online, there were 100 imperfect moments happening in real life (and that’s OKAY!).
How to do a social media detox
First of all, you might want to perform a time audit to see how much time is really spent on social media. My post on how to do a time audit can help you with this. The results could be very enlightening.
Determine a set amount of time for your social media detox. I would suggest at least a week or more for maximum benefits. Tell yourself that it’s only temporary. Also realize that the world won’t end if everyone doesn’t know about your Starbucks fix or latest cute pet pic (guilty of that one).
The next step is to remove ALL social media alerts and notifications from your phone. That means NO messages should be showing up on your lock screen or email. Then, you won’t be so tempted to check for new posts every hour. Alerts are distracting anyway, especially at work. Plus, you might realize that this is a step you choose to keep even after your social media detox is over (it’s worked for me).
Make an announcement that you are doing this social media detox (if you need to). That way, you don’t have to worry about your followers wondering where you are or why you haven’t made any status updates in a few days.
Designate a NO PHONE zone in your home. This could be both times and places where cell phones are not allowed to be used. My family has a rule that no phones are allowed at dinner. I also don’t use my phone when helping my children with their homework. Maybe you have a particular area in the house where phones aren’t allowed. You can create your own family rules regarding phone use that work for you. Just make sure that you commit to following those rules (no sneaking).
Make a plan to fill your time with other things. Us busy moms always have something to do. However, you don’t have to constantly be doing something productive (unless you have a work deadline, of course). Maybe you can focus more on playing games with your children, reading a good book/magazine or self care. You could also take that time normally spent staring at your phone to take a walk or to just sit and breathe. We often forget how to just be with ourselves and give our brains a time-out.
So join me in giving yourself the gift of TIME with a social media detox. You deserve it!
Please share your experience, good or bad, with a social media detox in the comments below. Do you feel like you need one? Any other ideas on how to go about it? I would love to hear from you!
Joyful thought for the day, “Your worth is not measured in likes, comments, notes or followers; but in your ability to love, keep comments to yourself, take note and lead.”-The Good Vibe