Why you might need a break from social media (& 4 tips how to make the best out of it)

Like most relationships, you will have ups and downs with your social media channels (Instagram, Facebook, tiktok, snapchat, twitter..), whether it is just your personal social media platforms or you have a brand to maintain sometimes it gets rough out there.

Not only because strangers behind a keyboard can be destructive, and influencers or even friends sharing their perfect life can mess up our subconsciousness when we start comparing ourselves with their lives, but even if you don’t experience any of those situations, just the time spent scrolling without adding any value to your life can become ridiculous & purposeless. Many of us have even developed habits around scrolling purposeless through social media every day without having to actively take the decision to do so, it is automatic and scary.

I highly recommend you to get a time spend tracking app, or use Instagram’s feature so you can track your time spend in these platforms, just observe it, don’t try to change your behaviour right away, just notice how much time you spend every day scrolling, then write down how you feel about it, it does’t have to be negative, it can be:

“I spend 50 mins every day scrolling” then sit with how you feel afterwards, it can be things like: tired, motivated, inspired, guilty, self conscious, confident, sad, bored,… be completely honest and non-judgemental with your feelings just observe and write.

If you see that most of what you feel is positive & constructive feelings then its fine for you to spend that time simply scrolling, it might be your relaxing way of entertainment and honestly we all need some simple pointless entertainment in life, not everything has to be around learning or constructing something, we need the balance of just enjoying sometimes. BUT, if you notice that most of the feelings you get after scrolling through social media are not positive, maybe they even give you some anxiety, then you have to do something about it. Maybe taking a good break is what you actually need. It doesn’t have to be long but it has to be total, not just reducing the time but actually stopping, for at least a week if possible a month.
There is no need to worry about you missing out on anything or loosing your voice in your audience, you will see nothing will really change in a week, not even if you are an influencer, you wont loose much by being absent for a week, it might actually be helpful for growing your audience.

This kind of “break” literally breaks the cycle in your habits and you will start to notice you might feel different (hopefully better) afterwards.

Tips on how to break the habit:

  1. Change the location of the social media app in your phone, kind of hide it away. So if you want to open it you can not open it by habit taping in the same places in your phone, you will have to proactively look for it which will give you time to think if you should really open it or not.
  2. Place an other app on the location that your social media app use to be. You can choose, it can be a mandala colouring app, a meditation app, kindle, audiobook app, this is a good opportunity to create a new habit that maybe you have been wanting to start for some time.
  3. If it was a creative outlet for you, choose an other format, maybe you start writing your thoughts or painting or doing something to express yourself without having to be through the app.
  4. Define a purpose, for when you are back from the break. Since you most likely don’t want to quit digital life, set a purpose for your time spent in your favorite social media app, it can be anything you want: ” get inspired to get healthier habits” or “support women in tech” or “participate in x movement” ,… etc etc whatever you choose if you define the purpose of your time spent there it will have an automatic positive effect, you will be picky when choosing who to follow, and more thoughtful when sharing your posts. Btw, if you are an influencer this will make your audience grow and connect better with you, since it will be very clear after some time of consistency what the purpose of your content is. 😉

Let me know how you feel and if these tips helped you with some introspection, even more fun if you ended up picking up a new good habit along the way! I would like to read from you in the comments 😀

Personal sharing: Once I came across an article saying that if we use all the time spent on social media for reading, we would be able to read 300 books a year! :O Whhaaaat?! I think the writer was using extreme data and exaggerating a bit but that was what inspired me to at least read 52 books per year (Here the post I wrote with tips how to do it) I have to admit I didn’t keep the same reading pace throughout the years but I for sure increased the amount of books I read every year after that. 😉

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