How To Do A Social Media Detox To Gain Time and Freedom

Social media is everywhere around us. Almost everyone we know uses social media and it helps us to keep up with the latest news, friends and family members and even promote our business. But, are we aware of other effects of using social media? Should we take a break from it or leave it completely?

You might have realized that more and more people are abandoning social media for their own personal health saying that it’s like a black hole that consumes their time and energy. If you agree with that and want to do a social media detox but don’t know how to do it properly we hope that after reading this article you will be able to get your energy and your time back by learning how to complete a proper social media detox.

In this article we will mention how social media affects our mental health, what is a social media detox and how to do it. After reading this article you can decide what to do with your social media accounts, depending on how often you use them and how you think they affect your mental health.

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In this article:

  1. What is a social media detox?
  2. What are the benefits of a social media detox?
  3. Anxiety and Social Media
  4. How to Do a Social Media Detox
  5. Fear of Missing Out (FOMO)


What is a social media detox?

Social media detox is eliminating social media consumption for a period of time depending on your preference, if not leaving it all together. Some people try 7-day detox while others do it for 30-days or even a year. So the duration of your detox is all up to you and your level of social media addiction. Some people just give up their social media accounts all together.

What are the benefits of a social media detox?

There are many reasons why people choose to do a social media detox:

  • Clears your mind
  • Gives you more free time
  • Helps you get better sleep at night which leads to better mornings
  • Reduce anxiety

Anxiety and Social Media

Anxiety is described as “an emotion characterized by feelings of tension, worried thoughts and physical changes like increased blood pressure” by APA (The American Psychology Association).

Social media can affect your mental health by bombarding you with unrealistic standards of beauty and success and cause depression, isolation and anxiety.  Studies have shown that people who check their social media accounts frequently have twice as high risk of depression compared to those who check their accounts less.

Social media users who check their accounts frequently reported having sleep disturbances which lead to a decrease in productivity during the day. Researchers have stated that social media may promote emotional, cognitive, and/or physiological arousal.

Even children as young as ten years old are active on social media and a recent study has stated that social media “could have a negative impact on well-being in later adolescence and even adulthood.” (https://bmcpublichealth.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12889-018-5220-4)

How to Do a Social Media Detox

The first step to a successful social media detox is to determine how long will you be off of social media.

We understand that going ‘cold turkey’ on your social media accounts is difficult. So if you’re unsure of how long you can go without checking your social media, you can start small. 

You can try staying away from social media for a day or two to see how you deal with it. If you like the feeling you get from being off of social media, you can extend your detox period up to 1 week, 1 month or even 1 year. Some people actually never return to social media.

Tell everyone that you’re going on a social detox and ask for their help in this process. It’s also advisable to delete applications from your phone because they only make it more difficult to not to check them if you see them on your phone all the time. 

Try planning out ways to spend your free time during this detox. You can start reading more, spend more time with friends and family, learn a new skill (language, musical instrument, art etc), work on something new, exercise, travel and/or try meditation etc.

Fear of Missing Out (FOMO)


Those who start a social media detox get the fear of missing out. They often ask themselves how they can keep track of the latest trends, life events of friends and family, news etc. 

As mentioned before, you don’t need to know the latest online trends but, if you’re worried about some inspirational people that you follow online and leaving social media would affect your learning/growth, do not worry.

Social media detox is not an internet blackout. You can try reading blogs, listening to podcasts and reading books. In terms of keeping up with your social circle, you can simply give them a call. Calling people once a week or on a regular basis will actually improve your relationships in a better way than just liking their posts online. 

Social media gives us the feeling of being able to keep up with everything but what it actually does is just distract us from important things. So, we really hope that you can complete your social media detox and get your precious time and energy back!

What are your reasons for a social media detox? How will you use your extra time and energy? Tell us why or why not in the comments section below!

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