Spring cleaning: 6 ways to do a social media detox
Spring cleaning – mind, body & soul
We are more connected than ever, with most of us guilty of double-screening – we have all the information we need and much more at our fingertips.
We are consuming media constantly, whether that is through Facebook ads which are specifically targeted to us from our internet browsing, simply via being active on multiple social media channels or the constant stream of notifications from the different group chats we are in.
Do we need to be so in the loop – do I need to know right now that Sarah has checked in to XYZ location with Katie – and is it healthy to be so ‘on’ all of the time?
We’re not saying that you have to give up social media completely unless of course, you want to. But we can make small changes to ensure that we feel less reliant on our online status and can maintain a positive outlook in the face of pressures, stress and anxiety that many of us can feel as a result.
Here are our top tips when it comes to having a healthy relationship with technology:
1. Try not to compare yourself to others
The best angles, the choice of filter and the most flattering lighting – is all part of social media sorcery. Except for these days it’s not just retouched models and celebrities in glossy magazines which we have to contend with – it’s our peers on social media too.
People choose what they want you to see, those Instagrammable smoothie bowls and Pinterest home interiors, it’s not real life. It can seem that everyone else is doing better, looking better and feeling better but this isn’t necessarily true – people are selective over what they share so you only ever see the best, most positive outlook.
Comparing yourself to others, particularly on social media, can ring especially true if you are on a weight loss journey. Has someone reached their goal weight before you? Do they seem to be losing weight faster? Remember that everyone’s journey is different, focus on what you’ve achieved and how far you have come. Set a realistic target and celebrate small milestones – you’re doing great so keep going!
2. Understand that social media is a constructed reality
It can seem that everyone is ‘living their best life’ lived through an Instagram filter but it’s important to take a reality check and understand that social media is simply a ‘highlights reel’ of the best part of our week. We only share the moments we want people to see – if you think about it, we don’t upload a selfie when we’re not feeling our best and a difficult day isn’t documented on Instagram Stories either. But when we’re on holiday, we share it. When we’ve just had our hair done, we share it.
3. Limit your use of social media platforms
Are you spending far too long on social media each and every day? Think about if you could cut down and how your time could be better spent elsewhere. There’s no need to mindlessly scroll through a Facebook or Twitter feed until you are ‘up to date’ with what you have last seen.
Instagram actually has a handy new feature which tells you exactly how long you are spending on the app and it can notify you when you spent longer than is advised on the platform.
4. Remember how to have a conversation
Even though technology has made it easier for you to stay connected with people all around the world. It’s important that we don’t get lose the art of a good conversation and forget how to communicate in a meaningful way to those closest to us.
Making simple changes like no phones at meal times and actually making the time to sit in your living room without the TV on in the background to just ask about each other’s day can make all the difference.
If one of your family or close friend aren’t doing well – don’t message them, pick up the phone and have a real conversation about it. Or even better, meet up face-to-face for an old fashioned coffee.
5. Reassess just how much you are sharing
Did you even do it if you didn’t post it on the ‘gram? Were you even there if you didn’t check-in to the location on Facebook? We feel obliged to post every minute details of our lives from ‘what I eat in a day’ on our Instagram grids to uploading entire holiday albums on Facebook that we can forget just how much we are sharing – is it really necessary?
Think about if your location is switched ‘on’ Snapchat maps. Are your Facebook and Instagram settings on private and who can view your content? Making these changes allows you to reclaim your privacy and take back control.
6. Live in the moment
Be present in the here and now. No one wants to be one of those people who watch an entire concert through a smartphone screen – after all, are you ever going to watch it back in full? We seriously doubt it. Our advice – step away from the screens and make some lasting memories!