What is a social media break?
There is goodness to be found in moderation, and social media is no exception. A social media break is stepping away from the screen with the intention of getting a breath of fresh air. I like many people, have my phone to glued to me all day. It is the last thing I look at before I go to sleep and the first thing I look at when I wake up. It is always there, and always right next to me.
I can spend hours scrolling through Instagram or Facebook; and while in its best light social media can be inspiring, educating and serve to connect- the dark side of social media can be addictive, judgemental and serve to fuel worry and anxious thoughts.
Particularly during lockdown, I think we have all been looking to social media a little bit more to stay connected with one another, to draw inspiration and as a springboard for our own creativity. I have spoken about how useful I have found Instagram in the past, and I would make the point that I do not believe social media is inherently bad for you. As I began, there is goodness to be found in moderation, and if you feel social media is moving into a daily ritual or addictive habit, it maybe wise to step back.
It’s important to detox your mind and focus on aspects of the real world, not stare at life through a screen. This has been more challenging as lockdown saw our real worlds shrink to the size of our homes. Our social interactions streamlined through social media platforms, no one can deny how amazing and popular media platforms that support conference and video calls have become. They are serving to connect and bring people together. But I started to think, has lockdown also encouraged me to become a little too reliant on my phone, and social media.
Perhaps ask yourself the same questions…
How many hours a day do I spend on social media?
How does it make me feel?
Is it something I feel compelled to do every day?
Am I still in control?
My answers weren’t great, and I felt like a rebalance was important. My hope was that if I could re-adjust and remind myself that I am independent from my phone and social media, it would be easier to maintain the phone/life balance moving forward. A social media break seemed like a good fit.
A Social Media Break
I decided to challenge myself to a social media break once a week. I would choose one day a week, to step away from the familiar social media sites and really work hard to reduce my screen time. I decided to choose a day- week by week, rather than having a set day.
My hope was to take back some control and create healthier digital habits. I wanted to ‘un-glue’ from my screen, so my time was a little better balanced between my digital and real world.
I also felt that it was time to break the more compulsive elements of my social media usage, which I hoped would encourage me to become more productive.
Spending time evaluating my social media usage, and then putting into practice some healthier habits has already made me feel so much freer. My productivity, attention span and clarity of thought all increased, with greater control over social media. I feel like I have started to break some bad habits and I will definitely continue to monitor and reduce my social media time.
Social Media Detox Tools
When writing this blog, I found a couple of free helpful tools to help keep you off social media if you embark on a detox of your own:
StayFocusd Chrome Extension –
This is the perfect tool if you use Google Chrome as your web browser and want to remove the temptation of checking Facebook, Twitter, etc.
Digital Balance/Wellbeing Apps –
Check your phones settings and you may find a digital balance (or similar) app or setting, which monitors how many hours you spend on your phone and on different apps.
I do hope, you too may also be inspired to take a break from social media, if only to re-balance your time. There is so much to gain from our digital worlds, but in our pursuit of it – let us not forget, life is beautiful and we need both eyes open in our real world too!