Most of us experience FOMO. Yes, we’ve all had that ‘fear of missing out’… who is out for brunch on Saturday? What happened on Married at First Sight last night? Or even wondering what the latest bikini trend is.
For all the social media gurus, marketing lovers and social media devotees, staying active in a digital world is crucial. But we all know that social media takes up a lot of our time, emotions and, let’s be honest, productivity.
Most smartphones can tell you how much time you spend a day on your phone. If you’ve spent 4 hours per day on your phone, you’ll end up spending 28 hours at the end of the week, which means you’ve just lost more than a day staring at your screen. Scary, right?
And the other bad news is… social media can be addictive! Studies have shown that social platforms such as Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat are in the same cycle of addiction as gambling. In fact, using social media can activate similar psychological dependencies and cravings in your brain as gambling.
Stop the endless scrolling cycle and follow our tips to detox yourself from social media temporarily.
To find out more about how social media can affect our mental health, click here.
Get yourself a new morning and night routine
Checking your phone first thing in the morning isn’t healthy… at all! It can lead to stress and anxiety but also negativity. Social media is just another way that we fill our lives with additional clutter. Previous studies revealed that scrolling through Instagram and reading your emails first thing in the morning can have a significant impact on the physical structure of your brain and its ability to perform. It’s time to kick this habit and start a morning routine that doesn’t involve using your phone when you first wake up. Meditation or stretching is a great start for you to seize the day; this can also work as an evening ritual. Studies have shown that checking your social media before bed can lead to depression and impact your sleep routine.
Set up times to check your accounts
Did you know that 40 per cent of productivity is lost due to task-switching?
Whether you are at work or at dinner with friends, constantly checking your phone decreases your productivity (and can be considered as rude).
Many apps now allow you to lock your social media apps for an hour or two or schedule your content if you need to ‘work’ so you don’t have to post it manually. We love tools like Later, which is handy to use for Instagram to schedule your posts in advance and to upload your posts automatically. Alternatively, many apps now offer in-app scheduling.
Set up time tracking in your social’s apps
Social media apps such as Instagram, Facebook, YouTube and TikTok now have time tracking settings within the app. Found in the app’s internal settings, you can see quite clearly your daily usage and how much time is spent on average during the week.
You can set do not disturb time preferences in which notifications will be muted during your designated downtime. Additionally, you have the capability to set time restrictions for yourself, setting an alarm to go off after you have reached a set amount of hours spent within the app (say after 2 hrs). You’ll be surprised as to how quickly you can reach your designated time mark.
TikTok has taken it to the next level by requiring a passcode to be entered after you reach your designated time limit. If you don’t trust yourself to take a break, get someone else to make up your passcode (now that’s a test of friendship, but whatever works, right?!). These features will vary slightly between apps; however, they will all help you track your time more wisely.
Find yourself some offline hobbies
Time is precious, and scrolling up and down your phone can be time-consuming (also, you can also seriously injure your thumb – just saying!).
Find a new hobby and force yourself to put your phone down. Whether it’s during your yoga flow or going for a run, leave your phone at home for that hour and enjoy the present moment. You’ll feel lighter (yes, phones create baggage!), and you won’t have that urge to check your phone every five minutes.
Have a social media free day
Social media contributes to the release of dopamine – a “feel good” chemical in the human brain. But guess what? Running does that too! Allow yourself a day each week without social media, where you can take a breath and get out of the social media vortex. You can also temporarily delete some of your social apps such as Gmail, Facebook, Instagram or TikTok to make you stick to your “Social Media Free Day”, We wouldn’t recommend that day to be Monday as you might need it for work, BUT you do you!
Put yourself at ease by letting your nearest and dearest know when you’re jumping offline to avoid that lingering thought that someone might be trying to reach you online. And let yourself embrace the digital detox.
If reducing your social media consumption has always been on your ‘to achieve list’, you now have all the tools and resources to make it happen.