I wrote a post last week about how to start a social media detox and the different ways to take a break from your phone. If you haven’t read it, find it here. If you took the decision to reduce your phone usage, you’ll start to see what is improving in your life and the positive impact on your mind quickly. Still not convinced? Have a look at all the social media detox benefits you could experience!
First thing first, I think we can agree that if your phone is constantly ringing while you try to work or do anything, this will impact your productivity. Social media will make you pick up your phone the most, because of the constant notifications. Not to mention that if you start scrolling, you’ll be doing it for hours. Same for emails: you could receive an ad from your favourite brand and will end up looking at clothes endlessly.
If your phone is not near you when you are achieving something, this will make you more focused on your task and you won’t have any distractions. You’ll possibly even be quicker! And you could even see it as a reward: once you’re done with your task, have a look at your Instagram for five minutes… not more! Taking a break from social media will allow you to work and live in a distraction-free environment, where you’ll be more focused, resulting in better productivity!
Mindful morning routine
In the morning, allow yourself a fair amount of time after you wake up before checking your phone (usually one or two hours). Try to give yourself a break before you feel compelled to check what happened on social media overnight. This will help you organize a more mindful morning. To start the day right, you could have a calm and relaxing breakfast, and do some reading or writing. You could also exercise or meditate: find whatever works for you. If you need some ideas for a better morning routine, have a look at my healthy morning habits here.
Connect with your loved ones
As much as social media can connect us with people all around the world, spending too much time on a screen can also impact relationships with people around you. This could mean less conversation and sharing with the people living with you: your partner, family, or even flatmates. So, if you refrain from the habit to look at your phone constantly while you are not alone, you will gain some real quality time.
Also, not being able to see what your friends are up to on Facebook or Instagram will force you to pick up your phone and call them directly. This way, you’ll have more meaningful conversations, instead of just liking their last holidays photos.
Sort out the real friendships
While you may have thousands of friends on Facebook, the truth is that most of these relationships are probably superficial. If you stop using social media for a while, you’ll realize who your true friends are. Chances are that a lot of people liking your photos are people you’re not close to anymore. You probably didn’t even talk to them personally for years. Friends who want to reach out to you will find other ways: calling you in person for example!
Stop comparing yourself to others
Unfortunately, an Instagram feed is just not the reality. What people show there is just a glimpse of their life: usually, the best places they’ve visited or outfits they possess. However, if you keep being exposed to this kind of photos all the time, you could forget that it is just not a “normal” everyday life. In fact, images that you can see on social media are carefully chosen and filtered to make them perfect and to display a perfect polished lifestyle.
Anyway, don’t think that your life is not as good, and never compare yourself to what you are allowed to see on social media. Comparing yourself could have a serious impact on your self-esteem. If you do a social media detox, one of the best benefits is that you can focus instead on all the amazing things you have in your REAL life!
Social media use can have a significant impact on your mood and level of anxiety. For example, bad comments on social media can affect you, and bullying is a common issue nowadays. As I was saying before, you could also experience frustration and the feeling of not being good enough when looking at a perfect Instagram feed.
Another thing: did you ever hear of the term FOMO, which stands for “fear of missing out”? It is a social anxiety that comes from the belief that others might be having fun while you are not present, or that an exciting even might be happening somewhere else. It pushes you to stay continually connected with what other people are doing. The danger is that you could feel like others are living better lives, which could make you envy them and once again affect your self-esteem.
If you refrain yourself from taking your phone inside the bedroom and watching your screen in bed, you will have a better rest. The explanation is simple: when your body knows it’s time to sleep, your brain releases a chemical called melatonin, which helps the body relax and prepare for some shut-eye. Science has shown that when you look at a screen before bedtime, your brain is tricked into thinking it must remain alert and awake, preventing melatonin from being released, and therefore making it more difficult to fall asleep.
More free time
Do you feel like your day is too short and you can never get everything done? Well, think again, because those few hours a day that you won’t spend on social media will free some time in your schedule! As you know, all these apps are designed to keep you on them for longer, and it is not rare to lose track of time while scrolling down. If you stop, the hours you spend on your phone currently will have to be used for something else. As a result, you will have more time to do meaningful and more productive activities.
Focus on the moment
The aim of social media is to post the perfect photo and capture the perfect moment. If you do a social media detox, it will help you to live in the moment and to enjoy what is happening in your life. For example, while going on holiday, don’t feel pressured to have your phone in your hand at all times. You don’t really need to film Instagram stories constantly and spend hours shooting the perfect photo. Instead, if you just focus on what is going on at the moment and in your own life, you’ll be happier!
Putting into place a social media detox can be stressful and you might even feel lost or bored without a phone in your hand. However, it will teach you to be more mindful of your phone usage and to live in the moment. After a few days, you will start to see the benefits of a social media detox!