7 Clear Signs You Need a Social Media Detox
Social media is something that consumes our lives, sometimes obviously, sometimes subtly. Most social media platforms started as a way to keep in touch with friends and distant family, however, that has quickly changed. While social media can be helpful and entertaining, it can also become an unhealthy obsession and addiction. If you feel as though you’re constantly on your phone, checking social media at every chance you get or feeling like you’re missing out whenever you’re not on it, it may be time for a break. Let’s talk about the 7 undeniable signs you need as social media detox, and how you can do that!
A Little Bit of Cynspo Wisdom
A little background on me: I’m a huge believer in going with your gut. I remember when I was younger I never really understood how powerful a gut feeling could be, but it was there and it was intense. I’ve learned over the years not to ignore your gut feeling, which brings me to my next point.
Chances are (and I’m no professional here), if you’re already thinking about needing a social media break, or stumbled upon this post by accident (but were super intrigued and now you’re here), it probably means you already knew you needed to. A social media detox isn’t a bad thing to need, nor should it be shameful. We all can use a break, and in a world where everything is always turned on and blinding, a little bit of downtime can go a long way. Case in point: trust your gut feeling and give yourself the benefit of the doubt – you know yourself better than anyone else!
7 Undeniable Signs You Need a Social Media Detox
1. It’s The First Thing You Check In The Morning
Do you find yourself reaching for your phone before you even get out of bed? Is it one of the first things you think about when you wake up? Don’t worry, we’ve all been there – it’s seriously a hard habit to break. However, consistently waking up and scrambling to check your phone first thing is one of many red flags you need a social media detox.
Checking your phone and social media first thing in the morning can add to your fear of missing out, create undue stress for the day ahead and refram the way you see your day. (Click here to read more on the harms of checking your phone first thing in the morning).
What to Do Instead:
How to Actively Break that Habit: 6 Habits That Work To Stop Morning Smartphone Addiction
How to Create a Custom Morning Routine (One That You Call the Shots For): How to Create a Morning Routine That’s Easy to Follow
2. You Can’t Put Your Phone Down
Whether you’re scrolling while watching TV or in the presence of others, you can’t seem to put your phone down. You might even feel compelled to continue scrolling out of boredom, interest or mindlessly. You always find something new to explore or a new video to watch. Regardless of whether others have pointed it out to you or not, if you already have an inkling that you may be spending too much time scrolling, chances are you’re right.
What to Do Instead:
How to Actively Break That Habit: 10 Easy Habits to Help You Spend Less Time on Social Media (That Will Actually Work)
3. When You’re Not on Your Phone, You Feel Like You’re Missing Out
Has social media become your home away from home? Do you feel comfort in scrolling and checking in with everyone and everything? Having serious FOMO (fear of missing out) when it comes to social media can be another red flag that you spend too much time there. If you feel anxious when you’re away from it for too long, you may have developed feelings of separation anxiety towards social media.
What to Do Instead:
How to Overcome FOMO: This Is The Best Way to Overcome Fear of Missing Out
4. You Have Negative Feelings Towards Yourself or Others on Social Media
Do you find yourself annoyed with others on social media? Feelings of bitterness, jealousy, anger? Does coming off of social media make you feel annoyed and bitter about your own life? This is a sign you need a social media detox, pronto. When social media has the ability to get under your skin and affect you so deeply, it can be a sign you’re too involved and need to take a step back.
We all can use a break, and in a world where everything is always turned on and blinding, a little bit of downtime can go a long way. Click To Tweet
5. You Scroll Aimlessly For Long Periods of Time
Are you scrolling without absorbing any of the content you just scrolled through? Do you find yourself on social media without even really knowing how you got on it? Do you linger (getting ready for work, in the bathroom, on your break) to finish scrolling aimlessly? Scrolling endlessly and aimlessly can be a sign you need a social media detox.
What to Do Instead:
The Reason Behind It: Here’s Why You Can’t Stop Scrolling on Your Phone
Break The Habit: How to Kick a Mindless Scrolling Habit
6. Likes, Followers and Views Stress You Out
Do you find you linger after posting, waiting for validation through likes and comments? Do you find yourself becoming obsessed with your follower count? Do you feel stressed or bummed out when you don’t get the likes you thought you would? Becoming too focused on the numbers and feeling effects from not achieving the desired effect is a sign you need a detox.
What to Do Instead:
7. You Compare Yourself To Everything
When you find yourself comparing you to everything there is on social media, this is the biggest red flag you need a social media detox. When you start to feel bad about the things you’re seeing on social media because they do not reflect the life you have, you’ve become accustomed to wanting a life that is based off of highlight reels, editing and clean, polished end products. You may find yourself making mental notes or new goals based off of the things you see on social media.
What to Do Instead:
Change Your Ways: 4 Ways to Ditch the Comparison Game on Social
Tips For Giving Yourself That Much Needed Social Media Detox
Recognizing you need a social media detox is one of the first steps to changing how you view social media. You’ve come to a point where you can accept you spend too much time on these platforms, and can begin to make changes in your life to reflect those realizations! Below, I’m going to give you some tips for giving yourself a social media detox:
Delete Your Social Media Apps
Deleting your social media apps makes them less accessible to you. This creates a physical barrier to you scrolling more. While this may be anxiety inducing to think about, remember that you can always re-download them.
Tip: If deleting them all together causes too many negative feelings, make them more difficult to access. Create a folder or rearrange your home screen so that they aren’t easily seen, nor are the first thing you see. The goal here is not to create another stressor in your life – work with what is doable for you and remember that you’re making a positive change.
Set Time Limits For Scrolling
Whether you use your timer, or go one step further and use Apple’s new time limit feature (click here to read about it), making a conscious effort to limit your social media time is making a step in the right direction. Quitting cold turkey might not be the best way for you to decrease your screen time, but setting boundaries on what you can and can’t do provides structure to your routine, and reminds you of what you’re trying to work towards.
Make Adjustments to Your Life
Create new plans, take up a new hobby, find a new interest. Make your real life so exciting, new and fresh that you won’t feel compelled to pick up your phone and scroll endlessly. Focus on slowing down and creating a life that embodies your values. Spend more time connecting with friends and family (pick up the phone for an old fashioned phone call!). Spend more time outside, practice gratitude and make plans with friends. Investing in yourself and your life to create a rich environment will make you want to spend more time in the present, and less in the world of your phone.
Helpful Reads to Help You Create a Life You Adore:
A Bedtime For Your Phone
It sounds weird, but put your phone to bed. Just like you once had a bedtime, do the same for your phone. Designate a time each night where you can commit to putting your phone down (ideally outside of your bedroom) and that you can leave there for the night. If you can’t leave your phone outside your bedroom, try putting it far enough away that you can’t easily grab it (without getting un-cozied or uncovered!) This will stop you from bringing your phone to bed and winding up in the endless scrolling/searching trap that often happens to us!
Make your real life so exciting, new and fresh that you won't feel compelled to pick up your phone and scroll endlessly. Click To Tweet
Invest in An Alarm Clock
If you have an alarm clock that isn’t your phone (coupled with leaving your phone outside of your room), it won’t be the first thing you reach for when you wake up! Simple enough, right? This way you can break the habit of grabbing your phone first thing in the morning.
Create a List of Affirmations/Reminders
Create a list of affirmations that reflects gratitude for your life, and reminders of what social media is/isn’t. Keep this list handy to remind you that social media is a highlight reel, and that you are working towards creating a beautiful life for yourself outside of social media as well. Pinterest and a quick Google search are a great way to help you create that personalized list of affirmations for yourself.
You Can Do This
The term ‘social media detox’ can sound harsh, but it doesn’t have to be. Think of it as freeing up your time to do more of the things you truly love, and that benefit you the most. We all need a social media detox from time to time, so don’t take it as a personal fail. Remember to take a step back and enjoy time off of the platforms, and experience life around you!