Three easy steps to help you detox from social media

Worry you’re spending too much time online or on your phone? Here are three easy steps to help you detox from social media.

Do you ever find yourself mindlessly scrolling through Instagram, looking for new content but finding only posts from friends and brands that you’ve seen a dozen times before? What about your timeline on Facebook?

We’re guessing that the answer to one or both of these questions is yes (unless, of course, you’re not on social media) and that the time spent scrolling through these platforms amounts to a not insignificant chunk of your daily time.

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It’s a problem which more and more people are becoming aware of – the potential toxicity of social media and the effect that it’s having on our mental health.

The internet is useful, of course, we need places that help us get online, but we also need to take care of how much we use the World Wide Web.

Social media concerns were brought up a lot in the wake of the data scandals that rocked Facebook earlier this year. It’s caused people not only to reevaluate their relationship with social media and the internet, but also the effect to which it is slowly infringing on our privacy – already a topic of concern in relation to online security.

Three easy steps to help you detox from social media

It then makes sense from both a privacy and a mental health perspective that stepping away from social media might be a healthy option for anyone who finds themselves on their phones a bit too much. Easier said than done, right? Here are three easy steps to help you with a social media detox.

1) Start small

Cold turkey is a lot harder to pull off than a gradual weaning off of a substance. Instead of quitting entirely and feeling that itch to check your phone every five minutes, start off in increments.

Try having ‘phone-free’ or ‘internet-free’ times at several points during the day. The duration of these times is up to you, but a minimum of 30 minutes is a good starting point. With every passing day you can make these times longer or just increase the frequency of them.

2) Get Cold Turkey

In this case, we’re talking about the browser extension, Cold Turkey. The extension “fights back against tech giants that waste your time”. It does this by blocking certain websites of your choosing for a predetermined amount of time to improve your productivity and minimise distractions.

For example, you can select Facebook.com as the site you’d like to block for three hours. Until that time has elapsed, you won’t be able to access that site under any circumstances.

You can also set Cold Turkey up to regularly deny you access to certain sites every day without having to constantly update it, meaning you’ll have set pockets of social media abstinence every day.

3) Remove social media apps from your phone

While Cold Turkey will help you curb your use on your laptop or desktop, there’s still your phone to worry about. In a way, the phone is much more insidious because it is always on your person.

Deleting all social media apps from your phone is a great way of distancing yourself from social media. It doesn’t mean your accounts will be deleted, but it does mean that you will stop receiving notifications reminding you to check Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook.

This way, you’ll be free to use social media in a much more moderate technique – there will be less of an impulse to check your phone and more inclination only to log in on to social media when you need something.

Overall, the amount we use the internet and social media will always come down to ourselves and our own willpower.