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Why you might need a social media detox

By Tori Sydenstricker

Have you ever found yourself picking up your phone way too often, especially when you’re supposed to be doing work? Or do you ever find yourself closing out of an app and going right back on that very same app seconds later? These could be signs that you are on your phone way too much.

Social media can be vital to certain careers and jobs, but it can also lead to toxic emotions. People lead perfect lives on social media, and you start comparing your likes to other people’s likes. If these are statements you relate to, it might be time to detox.

I did a social media detox to start off my 2020. I only did it for a week, but I believe it really made a difference. I had a longer phone battery lifespan, I didn’t compare my outfits to ones I had posted, and I felt happier. I deleted Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Tiktok and Twitter, while keeping YouTube for noise and Reddit because I didn’t use the app often anyway. I considered deleting the latter two, but I’ll talk about that later.

My first piece of advice is to warn only close people of your detox. I personally do not believe in posting every element of my life, and let’s face it: posting on Facebook and Snapchat about you deleting the apps is kind of an odd thing to do. Warn the people you mainly talk to on the specific apps you plan to delete, and get their numbers if you’re wanting to keep in contact and you don’t already have their number.  Right after that, delete all of the apps as soon as you can.

When setting goals, think small. Studies everywhere show that an average detox can take three to five months, but starting small is a lot better if you need social media for your career. If you set a goal for a seven day period and you find that you enjoyed the freedom, then keep going and continue the detox.

Make sure you cannot access social media-period. I found myself looking on Facebook on the internet browser on my phone to search people, and that was it. However, I found myself searching for entertainment on Reddit, which really didn’t do me good if I wanted to do a full detox.

Write about the experience. Keep a written journal of your emotions and how often you check your phone. Even if you forget to write, journaling about the experience is a good way to look back on it and reflect on your emotions before and after the detox.

Reflecting on my experience, I wholeheartedly believe that while I didn’t exactly follow all of the rules of the detox, I still felt so much better about myself. Going back on social media after a week of silence was odd, and I honestly felt it would take me a lot longer to detach from social media. I fully recommend that anyone and everyone should do a social media detox for any reason, whether it be to get off your phone or just because you want to.

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