Why Disconnect from Social Media?
Do you ever wonder why you can’t seem to get some decent shuteye after you’ve been scrolling your social apps for hours before hitting the hay? If you didn’t know, the blue light filtering on devices like cellphones and laptops suppress the body’s release of melatonin, a hormone that’s crucial to the body’s sleep-wake cycle. No wonder many of us lie awake in the wee hours gazing up at our walls instead of peacefully counting sheep. To avoid this, try putting your phone away for the evening at least 30 minutes before bed.
Allows Time for Self-Reflection
How to Disconnect from Social Media
For frequent social media users, disconnecting sounds like a daunting (and almost impossible) task but it’s quite simple to do! Below are five tips for unplugging from the digital world to allow yourself to dive back into reality.
- Remove or rearrange apps on your phone. If you find that you’re continuously tempted to check in on your social channels to see what you’ve missing, try removing them. It’s easy to access them when they’re accessible on your phone but more challenging (and more work) via a desktop for example. If you don’t want to completely rid yourself of these apps, you can either delete them during the week and re-add them on the weekend when you have more downtime or move them to a folder that isn’t on your home screen.
- Put your phone on airplane mode. This mode isn’t just for travel. You can switch on airplane mode like when you feel like social media is becoming more of a distraction and perhaps triggering to your mental wellbeing than a source of entertainment and connection. The next time you have a big assignment due or a meeting to prep for, enable this feature and thank us later.
- Mute notifications. Some people enjoy these because they dislike having to manually check when they’ve been messaged, tagged in a post, and so forth. But for some, notifications can create feelings of anxiety, especially when they roll in one after another. By muting these, not only can you minimize temptation but also the panic that sets in when it’s only noon and you already have 30 unchecked notifications.
- Allot specific periods of time to be connected. No one says you must be available for all forms of social interaction every day of the week. If you find that being connected without a break brings more harm than good, allot specific periods of time throughout the day or certain days in the week to dive into the digital realm. And refrain from social media usage on specific days. Some may only devote an hour to social media every night while others might avoid it completely during the week and catch up on what they’ve missed on the weekend. Whatever works best for a healthy state of mind and your schedule, do just that!
- Have an accountability partner. It’s easy to accomplish just about anything when you have another person keeping you in check. And sometimes, knowing that a person is there to hold you accountable makes it easier, especially when you don’t want to be scolded for slipping up. Make this person someone who knows you well and perhaps sees you often. You can also make this fun and challenging and get creative with it! Loser buys takeout for scrolling through Instagram earlier than they should have? Sounds good to us!
The Bottom Line
Social media will always be a double-edged sword. For example, while it can help reduce feelings of loneliness by connecting users worldwide and disarm social stigmas surrounding mental health, it can also exacerbate feelings of disconnect, facilitate laziness, contribute to cyberbullying, and unfortunately, a lot more. But the reality is that social media isn’t going anywhere. In fact, it’s gaining even more popularity. The best thing we can do is take everything we see and hear on these channels with a grain of salt. Remember to unplug from these digital realms and enjoy the real world. Social media isn’t reality, friends. In many cases, it’s a highlight reel. And if you feel the same or disagree (totally cool if you do), follow us on socials and share your thoughts on this topic with us. We’d love to know what our MOZ community thinks!