It’s not me, it’s you….
Have you decided that you want to take a break from social media?
And not a Ross and Rachel kind of break (if you’re too young to know what that is, then you probably definitely need a break from social media).
I’m talking time out, deleted app, step away from the phone kind of break.
According to the numbers, the average person spends 144 minutes on social media each DAY!!!
And you know the numbers are right because a) they’re watching and b) iPhones even tell you now how much time you spend on social media and it’s scary!
That’s a smidge shy of 2.5hrs of time spent each day on social media. I work 10 hours shifts at my job, so that’s 1/4 of my shift. Crazy! (But also, very believable).
When you think about how much people complain they don’t have time, especially when it comes to self-care, it’s easy to see why their time is being eaten up so quickly.
(Join the self-care challenge below to help you work out what to do in your newfound free time!)
So, what do you do about it?
Well, you’re already here, so chances are you know you need to take a break from social media.
But how do you break a habit you’ve been spending almost 2.5 hours every day doing?
Here’s how you can take a break from social media, starting now!!
5 Simple Steps To Taking A Break From Social Media
Follow these steps and you’ll be off social media in no time!
Before You Start: Determine Your Why
The key to breaking any habit is understanding why you want to break it in the first place.
You need a solid reason for taking a break from social media, because let’s face it, it’s not going to be easy.
Especially if you’ve been glued to your phone for years!
So, take some time to really sit down and think about why social media is no longer serving you.
Maybe you’re sick of mindlessly scrolling through your feed and seeing everyone’s “perfect” lives. Maybe you want to focus on being more present in your own life.
Maybe you’re just tired of all the drama and negative energy that social media brings into your life.
Whatever your reason is, make sure it’s a good one!
And remember, you can always take a break from social media for a set period of time (like a month), and then re-evaluate after that to see if it’s something you want to continue doing.
There’s no shame in taking a break and then going back to social media if that’s what you decide you want to do.
1 – Log Off
Now you’ve got your why sorted, it’s time to actually make a move…
The very first step is easy. Log off.
There’s no need to create some big parting ways post and declare to everyone your social hiatus.
Most of your friends won’t see it anyway because of algorithms that determine who sees what (I bet if they recognize the words ‘break from social media’ they won’t show the post to many people anyway).
Just log straight off. Any delay is going to be a step closer to you changing your mind.
2 – Delete The Apps
Avoid temptation by deleting the apps from your phone, tablet, and computer.
You can go one step further and use one of these apps that will ban you from checking out your social media accounts.
This is going to be one of the biggest steps to having a successful break.
I never realized how often I picked up my phone and opened up Facebook or Instagram without even thinking about it.
Way too often.
If you don’t believe me, head to your usage insights on your phone and see how many pickups you have a day. Mine averages over 100 – that means I pick my phone up and unlock it over 100 times a day!!
Deleting the apps means when you do pick up your phone to mindlessly scroll, you’re more likely
to just put it back down again and do something else instead.
3 – Text Your Friends
Remember how you didn’t do the big public declaration of independence from social media?
So, this is how you’re going to let your friends know you’re not on social media anymore. Text them!
I know, how archaic! But seriously, it works.
It also means they will know if they want to get in contact with you, they can just text you.
And who knows, you might actually have more time for conversations (or even face-to-face catch ups) now you’re not spending so much time on social media!
4 – Create a List Of 100 Things You Want To Do
This is my favorite part!
So, you’ve now just given yourself an extra 2.5hrs every single day. What are you going to do with it?
My suggestion is to write a list of 100 things you want to do and then start ticking them off.
I have a printable of this in our Mini Life Planner that you can download and use as much as you’d like. You can find it here:
Now you’ve got your list, whenever you find that you’re bored or that you don’t know what to do, go to your list and see if there’s anything there you can tick off.
All the things you’ve wanted to do but “haven’t had the time” now become very possible.
5 – Distract Yourself
This kind of goes hand in hand with the last point, but keep yourself distracted with a task or something to do (even if it is relaxing or meditating) so you don’t get bored and decide you want to reinstall the social media apps.
It won’t take long to change your habits and before you know it you won’t’ have to distract yourself anymore because your new normal will be doing all the things you had wanted to do before but were too distracted by social media to do.
And in no time you’ll be wondering how on earth you managed to fit 2.5 hours of social media into your day every day.
This isn’t something you should just make a half-hearted attempt at. If you want to quit social media, even just for a short time, make sure you’re committed.
Saying to yourself you’re just going to spend an hour a day may seem like a good idea, especially with the new Apple updates allowing you to set limits on your app usage. But they’re easy to get around.
We are awful at estimating the time we spend on these sites… that’s why we spend 2.5hrs a day on there on average!
Stick with the full-blown cold turkey method for as long as your quitting period is and you’ll be so much better off because of it.
Benefits Of Taking A Break From Social Media
In case you’ve gotten through all of this and you’re still wondering if taking a break from social media is really worth it, then maybe these benefits will help convince you.
1 – You’ll Be More Productive
I’m not just talking about the 2.5hrs you’ll get back each day (although that is a big part of it!).
You’ll find with less time spent on social media, you have more time to focus on getting things done.
That big project you’ve been meaning to work on for months, or that blog post you’ve been wanting to write but keep putting off? Now’s the time to do it!
2 – You’ll Be More Creative
When you’re not spending hours looking at other people’s content, you have more time to come up with your own ideas.
You also have more time to actually implement those ideas.
3 – You’ll Be Less Stressed
It’s been proven that social media can cause anxiety and stress. So, by taking a break from it, you’re likely to feel less stressed overall.
4 – You’ll Sleep Better
This is one of the main reasons I took a break from social media. I was finding that I was scrolling through Instagram in bed and it was making it harder for me to fall asleep.
Now, I don’t use my phone in bed at all (in fact, my phone is usually on the other side of the room!) and I sleep so much better because of it.
5 – You’ll Be More Present In Your Life
This is another big one for me. I find that when I’m not on social media, I’m more present in the moment and with the people around me.
I’m not as easily distracted and I can actually have a conversation without looking at my phone every 2 minutes!
6 – Your Relationships Will Be Better
Social media can be damaging to relationships.
Whether it’s comparing your relationship to others you see online or just spending less time talking to the people you’re actually with because you’re too busy on your phone, taking a break from social media can help improve your connection with others.
7 – You’ll Be Happier
When you take a break from social media, you might find that you become happier overall.
This is because you’re not constantly exposed to the highlight reel of everyone else’s life and you’re not as easily influenced by what you see.
In addition, you’re not seeing negative things pop up constantly as you scroll through your feed.
You can focus on what’s important to you and what makes you happy, without comparing yourself to others.
Now it’s up to you…
If you’re going to take a break from social media, remember to be mindful of why you’re doing it and what you hope to achieve.
Set some clear goals and stick to them. I promise, it’s worth it!
And remember, if you happen to pick up your phone and check back in, that’s okay. You can log back out and start again.
I’m excited for you and for all of the wonderful things you can achieve or enjoy in the extra time you’re getting back.