Are you a Snapchat addict? If so, everyone from your boss to your grandma has probably told you that you spend too much time on your phone. Maybe they have a point, or maybe they’re a little out of touch with how our generation interacts, but it is true that currently the average amount of time spent on social media is just over two hours per day.
We’ve all felt a little FOMO, or a little jealousy when it looks like our friends are living their best lives while we’re stuck at home doing our laundry. Is there anything worse than the feeling when someone leaves you on read? And who hasn’t been tempted to pretend life is a little better than it really is in their latest Snap? Whether you’re a Facebook junkie, or you just can’t stop refreshing Instagram, you’ve probably had the thought that maybe you should spend a little less time on social media for your own peace of mind and for the good of your soul.
The negative outcomes of too much social media usage are well known. 25% of teens say they have seen real life arguments or fights because of posts on Facebook. Not to mention that half of all drivers who look at their phones are looking at social media apps. It’s hard to imagine giving up social media completely, but finding a way to balance your online interaction with your real life relationships is important.
One way to reset your social media addiction is with a 14 day social media detox. Don’t think of it as a social media fast, but more like a diet. Follow the steps of this cleanse and see if you can make more time to stop and smell the real life roses.
STEP 1 – Pick Two
Choose your two favorite social media platforms and commit not to open any other apps for the next 14 days. Sorry, Twitter, we’ll check back in with you in a couple weeks!
The idea here is to keep you from feeling like you have no idea what’s going on with your favorite feeds, because you’ll be checking in once a day.
STEP 2 – Set a Timer for 10 Minutes
Limit yourself to only 10 minutes per app each day. So that’s 10 minutes for Snapchat and 10 minutes for Insta—no matter what! Setting a timer on your phone before you begin is a great way to help yourself stick to your social media diet. And here’s the hard part, only check each platform once a day. Don’t be tempted to break up your 10 minutes into 20 different 30 second chunks. One 10 minute session only!
STEP 3 – Check your DMs First
It can be tempting to just start scrolling through your timeline when you open the app, but deal with your personal messages first. Remember, social media is all about connecting with people, so prioritize the most meaningful connections you have on the platform. If you have messages that will take more time than you can spare in your 10 daily minutes, tell your friends you’d like to take the conversation to text or What’s App. The key is to remove the temptation to open the social media app for a second time in one day.
STEP 4 – Treat Yourself to Real Life Adventures
Try to treat yourself to a fun outing or activity every other day of your cleanse. Whether that means going for a hike or going out with friends, or even just a good Netflix and chill session with that special someone, try to give yourself activities to help fill the space social media apps were filling.
STEP 5 – Evaluate What Works for You
After your 14 day social media detox is over, have a conversation with yourself about how it went. What did you like and what didn’t you like about cutting back on social media? Do you want to make some long term changes? The key is to listen to yourself and to find a positive role for social media in your life. But only you can say what that role will be!