Social Media Detox: Do’s and Don’ts | Scoop Sorority

Is your hand itching to click on that Twitter notification? Do you constantly worry about Instagram likes? Maybe it’s time to go on a social media detox.

Yes, this is much easier said than done. Though it’s ultimately something you have to decide to do by yourself to be truly successful, here are some helpful tips to support your journey.

Don’t: Make an Announcement

We all know those people: they make a big show of announcing that they’ll be going off Instagram or Snapchat… and then five days later you see them posting again as if nothing happened.

You can’t expect to truly be able to take space from social media if you feel compelled to login and see which emoji your crush used to react to your announcement. The truth is, making a social media announcement to say you’re going on a social media detox is highly counterintuitive. Instead, just summon up the courage to dip without making a hue and cry.

Don’t: Expect to Give Up Your Phone Entirely

Expecting to surrender your phone entirely is a foolish expectation to set for yourself, which, when unfulfilled, will leave you feeling frustrated and disappointed.

Instead, treat this as an opportunity to teach yourself to associate your phone with things other than Snapchat streaks and fleeting validation from Insta likes. Remember that technology can be used for good as well: redirect the time you usually spent stalking your ex on social media towards listening to a calming podcast or reading up on the news.

Don’t: Compare Your Progress to Others

While you may choose to undertake this detox with a friend, bear in mind that it’s not a competition. This is meant to be a break from the toxic FOMO and peer-comparison brought about by social media. Make sure you’re not falling into that trap all over again.

Focus on tracking your own progress in small ways such as keeping a note of how many times you felt like checking Instagram but successfully did something else instead. Resist the urge to go and compare this with your friend. You’re different people so it’s likely that you’ll have varied experiences with such a detox.

Do: Delete the App(s) Off Your Phone

We’ve all tried out an app that’s promised to help limit screen-time… and then figured out a loophole which let us continue scrolling through Facebook memes well beyond a healthy time frame.

It’s time to take the plunge and just remove the apps off your device altogether. For apps like Instagram where you have the option to temporarily disable your account, go ahead and add that in for good measure. If you can’t see the little purple square enticing you with notification alerts, you won’t be as tempted to open it and fall down another Insta-stalking rabbit hole.

Do: Rediscover Old Hobbies 

Take this newfound time to explore other interests. Remember how much you loved to read before you restricted your reading to captions?

Substitute your social-media usage with other activities that speak to you and slowly work them back into your daily routine. After all, it only takes 21 days to form or break a habit so create new ones that bring you inner peace, rather than have you reaching for your phone every five seconds.

Do: Self-Reflect 

It’s important to constantly remind yourself why you’re doing this in the first place. Don’t treat this social media detox as merely a personal challenge, or worst of all a trend to hop onto. Spend some time mulling over why this break was necessary and how social media affects your wellbeing.

Your goal should not be to hit  a certain number of social media-free days but instead to get to a point where you no longer feel reliant on the ‘gram for dopamine boosts. Get comfortable spending time by yourself, with your thoughts.

Fill the void social media leaves behind in your life with some  personal reflection, and you’ll be thanking yourself in the long-run.

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