Tia Talks – How To: Social Media Detox

By Tia Cham

An Ofcom study found that the average Brit checks their smartphone every 12 minutes and spend 2 hours a day on social media. With the usage growing rapidly, many are worried that social media is having a corrosive effect on children and young adults.
Such statistics indicate that social media addiction is a growing problem. The phenomenon is considered to be a psychological addiction (in the same vein as video game addiction), however, it is not currently classed as a specific disorder. This has led to many calling for the UK government to issue formal health guidance on how those aged 24 and under can avoid excessive social media use.
Unlike substance-related addictions which often need gradual weaning due to issues of physical withdrawal, psychological ones are best dealt with using cold-turkey tactics.
If you think you want a break from your personal social media, here are some tips:
1. Replace social media with another activity:
Research shows that those who hope to stop a bad behaviour are more likely to succeed when their goals are framed in terms of what the individual stands to gain. What activities or hobbies would you have more time for if you re-dedicated the time you spend on social networking? How will you fill that void? Instead of framing it as a social media detox, think of it as an opportunity to prioritise other activities, hobbies and passions such as creative and DIY projects.
2. Turn off notifications:
A simple way to avoid constantly checking your feeds might be switching off mobile notifications. If you aren’t constantly being bombarded with notifications, you might be less inclined to check what is going on online. Navigate through your phone’s settings and choose how or if you recieve your notifications.
3. Deactivate your account:
If the following suggestion doesn’t work, try deactivating your accounts. Not only will this serve as a deterrent against you checking in on a whim, it will also signal to your friends that you’re on a break. Many networks allow you to temporarily disable your accounts, enabling you to reactivate it when you feel ready. None of your posted content is effected.
Social media can be fine as a form of entertainment and it can often be a source of positivity and empowerment for marginalised communities. However, it is important that you are aware of how you are using it and how it impacts you. If you think you’re struggling with a social media addiction, then you should definitely consider taking a break. And remember a detox does not have to be forever, whether you’re away from social media for a few months or get rid of it permanently, what is most important is that you are doing the best thing for yourself.