Seventeen hours. That’s how much time I spent on social media this past week. You don’t even want to know what my total screen time on my phone was for the week. It’s honestly embarrassing to admit that I wasted countless hours aimlessly scrolling through social media.
I honestly didn’t know how bad my problem really was until they released the Screen Time feature for iPhone. If you don’t have this feature, I highly recommend downloading an app to monitor your screen time. It will truly be eye-opening. If you have a problem with wasting time on social media, like me, I’m going to share with you how I did my social media declutter and completed a 24-hour social media detox.
I think it’s important to declutter your digital life before you start the detox. I like to look at a digital declutter the same way as you would declutter your physical space. According to the KonMari Method, you should let go of what no longer serves you. Cleaning up your digital life can take a big amount of stress off your shoulders.
I was listening to another one of Kalyn Nicholson’s Coffee Talk podcast episodes the other day, and she mentioned how some days she can go on social media and feel very inspired by all the photos and posts. And then some days she can feel very crappy from everything she sees on social media. After giving it some thought, I realized she was right.
For me, the biggest problem was Instagram. The social media app I use the most is Instagram. You would think it would make me happy, right? Well, not quite. I realized that after scrolling through and seeing all these social media influencers, I was getting discouraged. I was constantly seeing people post about the latest things they bought, or a coupon code for something, and felt like people were constantly telling me to buy, buy, buy (NSYNC much?).
I started feeling like my clothes weren’t cute enough and that I needed to buy new ones. I constantly felt pressured to buy things, or to live a different lifestyle, but that’s not who I am. Don’t get me wrong, I like scrolling through everyone’s cute photos and sometimes they CAN inspire me. But I think I was following TOO MANY of these people to the point where that was almost all I was seeing on my feed.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed by social media, or just looking for any excuse to do more spring cleaning, I’m sharing tips for decluttering your digital life, particularly your social media profiles.
Now let’s get started with the social media declutter:
Unfollow accounts that you don’t like anymore, accounts that are inactive, or any accounts that don’t make you happy.
Mute accounts you still want to follow, but don’t want to see their content in your feed. This is a nicer option if you feel guilty and don’t want to unfollow someone completely.
Turn off push notifications for accounts you no longer want to receive. I had A LOT of notifications turned on for many different accounts. My phone was constantly being blown up with Twitter notifications. Turning some of these off did wonders for me!
Delete people who you don’t know, and then clean up the rest of your friend list
Unlike old pages that are inactive or that you no longer like
Turn off notifications for features you don’t use (Marketplace was a big one I got a lot of notifications for, but I never use it).
You know the drill: Unfollow accounts you know longer like
Use the mute option to mute the stories you no longer want to see
Adjust your notification settings to fit your needs. Do you really need a push notification every time someone likes one of your photos? You can turn it off, along with many other notifications
Tired of seeing the little notification indicators all over your phone? Turn off badges on your cell phone. Chances are, if you don’t know that you have a notification in a certain app, you probably won’t open it as frequently.
Nowadays, we have a lot of control over our social media accounts. We may not have a chronological feed on Instagram anymore, but we have a lot of different options at our fingertips. Go through each account and tailor all of the notification options to meet your needs.
24-hour Social Media Detox
I decided on a whim that I wanted to complete my own social media detox. I dedicated a little over 24 hours to staying off all my social media accounts. This is one of those things that I always wanted to do, but I wasn’t sure if I was capable of doing it. I was jealous of everyone else who was able to do it, so I thought, “Why not give it a try?”
I chose a day that I knew would be full of activities. For me, it was the day before Easter. I chose this day because I worked in the morning, and then my family had our Easter dinner planned for that evening. I knew I would be busy for most of the day, and would probably want to go to bed a little earlier so that made it easier for me.
Surprisingly enough, I successfully completed the social media detox, and it wasn’t as difficult as I thought it would be. Completing my social media declutter a few days beforehand made it so much easier for me.
If you’re wanting to do a detox of your own, I’m sharing all the tips I have for you:
Choose a day that involves activities that will keep you busy. If FOMO (Fear of missing out) is a big problem for you, try not to do it on a day when big events are happening. You’ll be too tempted to post on social media or see what everyone else is up to.
Delete social media apps on your phone if you think it will be a real struggle for you.
Put your phone out of sight, across the room or in a different room completely
Have things planned out so you know how you will be filling your time (have a good book on hand, plan a lunch or dinner with friends or family, etc.)
Live in the moment. Enjoy what is going on in front of you. Take in all the things you may be missing out on had you had your eyes glued to social media.
I honestly thought I would be the last person who could go a day without checking social media. I always have bad FOMO, so I was afraid I would cave. Luckily, I followed all these tips and I was able to do it! This 24-hour detox may not have cured my social media addiction, but it did help me feel a lot better. I was able to spend some good quality time with family without being so distracted.
If you’re feeling stressed or overwhelmed, a social media detox may be just what you need. And who knows, maybe you can do an even longer detox than I did. If you put your mind to it, you really can do anything.
Is social media something you also struggle with? What are you going to do about it? Let me know in the comments!