How can I detox from social media?
Social media can sometimes feel really gross – like eating an entire package of Oreos at once. Two hours of scrolling pass by, and you come out feeling kind of ill, self-critical, and in need of a cleanse. It’s why many people – including myself! – regularly feel the need to detox from social media.
But here is the thing about detoxes: They’re not useful unless they’re helping you build habits that you will continue once the detox is over. It doesn’t work with diets – abstain from sugar entirely for a month, and you’ll likely return to the exact same pop habit when the diet is done – and it doesn’t work with technology.
So instead of fully eliminating social media from your life – because it will inevitably return – simply develop a healthier relationship with it. And healthy relationships have boundaries, like certain days and times that you don’t check social media at all. I do this regularly, and in those breaks, I don’t miss anything! I have never once come back to Twitter, for example, and thought: Gee, I really wish I had spent an extra hour reading internet bickerings! If something happened in the news that was discussed at length on a given platform, I go to one of the publications I trust and read the actual story.
Avoid accounts or feeds that make you feel negatively about your appearance or superficial aspects of your life – do not, however, cut out sources of news or media that challenge you. You want to have a healthier relationship with the internet, not disengage entirely.
If you figure it out, please let me know. I make little promises to myself at least once a week about taking a break from social media and I’ve tried a number of different things. Like my love for Thin Mints and buying purses, everything should be done in moderation and when it begins to interfere with your relationships and your life, it is time to take a break. In my house, we don’t bring phones to the table when we’re eating and we try to not have them in our bedroom (though I’m not sure how to wake up without my phone; where does a person buy an alarm clock?). When I’m with my children, I do my best to be present with them and not check email or engage on social media. A woman that I admire tremendously, Arianna Huffington, has compiled an incredible list of resources through her new company, Thrive Global, to not let social media interfere with your life, to get enough sleep and to take care of your physical and mental health.