Even though we’re a social media company, we know it can be important to take a break. Whether the platforms are taking up too much of your time, causing unnecessary stress, or just aren’t enjoyable anymore, unplugging and stepping away from social media can be beneficial. And, since we’re a social media platform, we know that’s easier said than done. Social media is fun and changes so quickly that even logging off for a day can make you feel like you’re missing something huge. And if you’re a content creator for a living, unplugging can feel even more challenging.
Like all things, though, unplugging from social media is easier when broken up into smaller pieces. In this article, we’ll split social media detoxes up into 3 sections: Why Should I Unplug?; How Can I Unplug?; What Do I Do Instead? Remember that nothing needs to be perfect – or happen at once. You can take little, imperfect baby steps instead of doing everything all at once. So long as you recharge and feel more excited to get back online, that’s what matters.
Why Would I Unplug?
Any reason to take a break from social media is a good one. Most often people take a break because they feel their relationship with their favorite apps is damaging. They may be spending too much time on social media or discover that it’s making them think badly out themselves and their life. Some creators even feel the people engaging with their content are negative and making them feel bad about what they’re posting. And it’s not uncommon to see creators take breaks because they get busy and can’t focus on their socials.
You’ll know when you need to unplug, and don’t be afraid to follow that instinct. Even if it seems counter productive, you’ll come back to your page more refreshed than before. You may even have a few new content ideas or solutions to other problems you’d been having!
How Can I Unplug?
The only real rule of an unplug is that you stop using social media – either altogether or as much as you had before. You can determine the amount and length of your unplug, and remember that there are no wrong answers. Whatever works best for you is perfect! Below are some things that can help you detox.
Set Clear Goals 🎯
Figure out what you want from this. Do you want to take a break from socials completely? Decrease your screentime each day? Stop creating content on your platforms? Having clear goals can make sticking to this change easier.
Remove Social Media Apps 🗑️
If you can, delete the app entirely from your phone. Out of sight, out of mind! You’ll be able to come back to any apps you miss, and you may forget about one app entirely. That’s a good sign it can stay off your device.
…Or Turn Off Notifications 🔕
If you can’t remove social apps from your phone, offload their data or simply turn off their notifications. Just like deleting the app, it keeps them out of sight and out of mind. Staying away from socials is a lot easier when you aren’t constantly getting updates from them.
Also try moving them to a new page in your phone. Create a folder, drop them all in there, and move it out of the way. It will feel like you’ve deleted them even if you haven’t!
Set “Social Media Zones” 📵
If you can’t quit cold turkey, create a few little pockets of time where you can check your profiles. These can be small chunks of time that keep you unplugged but not quite disconnected. As an example: if you get 1 hour for lunch at work, maybe you make that hour a social media zone. Or if you want smaller pieces, maybe give yourself thirty minutes for the whole day and split it up as you have time.
Use Productivity Apps ⏲️
Productivity apps are a lifesaver when you’re trying to focus on something. Some of these are modified timers, where you if you stay off your phone for the entire duration you grow a tree or bake a cake. Digitally, of course! Others allow you to block certain apps from being used during certain windows of time: you select the apps and the time, and can go back and change it if that doesn’t end up being right for you. There are tons in the app store, and you’ll be surprised how much they can help.
Get an Accountability Buddy 👯
See if someone you know (on- or offline) wants to go on a social media cleanse, too! Having someone to help hold you accountable or someone to lean on if you need some extra support can make the process more fun. Text each other if you’re a little bored, make time to check in and chat about your day, and try to meet up and do something together if you can. They’ll help keep your mind off of what you might be missing and give you a little encouragement when you need it.
Let Your Community Know 📣
If you have friends that you interact with regularly on the app or a large group of followers, let them know that you’re goin to be taking time off. You don’t want to completely disappear on them (some of your followers will get worried if you’re offline for a while!) and they’ll be even more excited to see you when you do come back. If you can, post a quick video saying how long you’ll be gone, and you can even drop it in your Groupchat to give more people the chance to see it.
Like we said earlier, you can take baby steps to unplugging! You don’t have to write off social media completely for a month; you can still schedule some time to check it each day. The important thing is that you’re trying and stepping away from it more than you normally would.
What Do I Do Instead?
For a lot of us, social media is our first hobby and go to boredom cure. It’s easy and fun to scroll, and there’s so much to see on your FYP. And if you’re already making time for the other things you love, finding something new to fill that now empty space can be little challenging. We first recommend asking yourself what you want to do. Did you want to finally start that new TV show? Or spend more time sleeping? Maybe learning how to lay grout sounds fun! If you’ve got something new you want to do, now is the perfect time to explore it.
But if you’re at a loss or not sure where to begin, we’ve got you covered.
Read a Book 🤓
Science has recently pointed to a ton of benefits that come along with reading. It can reduce stress and help you fall asleep faster, two things that social media can’t quite accomplish. Plus, there are a ton of books and other reading materials out there waiting to be explored. There’s more than just the fiction, non-fiction, and poetry from when you were in school. There’s manga, novels about orcs running coffee shops, a million and a half varieties of romance – the options are endless. Take some time to explore what sounds interesting to you and spend your newfound free time reading.
Start a New Exercise 🏋️
Just like with books, it’s no longer treadmill, weights, or bust. There are a ton of ways to exercise so you can truly find the one that you like the best. That includes lifting weights and putting on muscle mass, going for runs and start to prep for marathons, doing hot yoga or yoga in the park or goat yoga, or even taking the dog on a longer walk. If you feel so inclined, get up and get moving!
Explore Your Area 🗺️
We all have a list of places we want to visit in our cities. Put it into action and actually go out to a couple! Try that restaurant that you meant to go to when it opened last year, or drop into that cool museum you just discovered. If you aren’t sure what’s in your area to visit, do a quick Google search and see what comes up. You can also team up with your friends in the area and plan some outings together.
And for our fellow North Texans, the Scarborough Renaissance Festival is still going on. If you’ve never been to a ren faire, now is the perfect time to try one out!
See Friends and Family 🧡
Actually take some time to go catch up with your friends and family. Invite them over for dinner, meet up for coffee, or schedule time to FaceTime. It’s easy to neglect our relationships whether or not we’re active on social media, so make an effort to reconnect with the people you love most. You’ll feel better once you do.
Finally Try that New Hobby 🛼
Have you had your eye on something that looks fun? Like needlepoint, paranormal investigations, or badminton? Take a break from social media and get started. You’ll be having so much fun with this new interest that you might not even miss your social media – and you’ll have a whole new thing to post about when you do make your return!
Journal About Your Feelings ✍️
Writing down your feelings can be a really good way to process them. Take a little time each day to write about how the process is going, what you find yourself missing, or simply how the process is going. If one day is particularly hard, getting it all out on paper makes finding the source of your struggles easier. Plus you have a little collection of your experiences to go back and revisit one day, which is so cool!
There is no wrong reason or time to unplug from social media. If you feel you need a break from it, then give yourself a break. No matter how much you love it, you will return to your chosen platform energized and ready to tackle whatever comes your way. And if you’re lucky, you may come back with a few new passions in tow.