If you spend hours at a time scrolling through Instagram photos or tapping through TikTok videos, it may be time to practice a little self-care by logging out of your social media accounts for a week or two. Social media is not only addictive, but also can add to your stress, make you feel sad, and get you in the bad habit of comparing your real life to someone’s curated one. You might find that giving yourself a break is just what you need to be calmer or learn to stay in the moment. Here’s how to embark on a hashtag hiatus this year.
Step 1: Write down why.
Before you log out of your accounts, take the time to think through and physically write down the reasons you’re going on social media cleanse. For example, if you often feel bad about yourself after a scroll session, write that down. And if you want more free time, write that down too—what you’re hoping to gain from this experiment is just as important as what you’re hoping to lose. Then, tuck your list in your waistpack so you can carry it with you. That way, whenever your resolve wavers, you can take it out and remind yourself why you’re putting your social on pause in the first place. (And if another reason comes to mind? Add it to the list!)
Step 2: Make a plan.
If your social media cleanse is open-ended, it will be harder to stick to it. Give yourself a timeline, like taking off winter break or the first two weeks of 2021. Then, decide how you’re going to stay off social. Don’t rely on sheer will power alone to stop yourself from checking your accounts. Make life easier for yourself by physically logging out of them on your devices and deleting the apps. You could even have a trusted friend or family member change your password for you and promise not to share it until an agreed-upon date. Then, download an app or browser extension that blocks your social media access from your browser.
Step 3: Fill your time.
To keep yourself from temptation, stay busy. Is there a new hobby you want to pick up or a skill you’d like to learn? Or, get creative. There are a ton of fun ways to occupy your time once you set down your phone. You could decorate your school supplies with cool patches and pins; channel Marie Kondo and give your room a serious clear out; make plans to catch up with your friends in real-time, instead of by scrolling through their feeds; or, if the weather allows, have a picnic with your Chill Break.
Step 4: Regularly reassess.
Be sure to check in with yourself frequently during your social media break and write down how you’re feeling and whether or not you think hitting pause on social media has been valuable so far. And once you reach the end of your timeline, don’t just leap back into your same old habits. Make a conscious decision about whether or not you want to pick your social accounts up again. If you do, decide how. Maybe you want to log into some and not others. Or maybe you want to limit yourself to checking them only a certain number of times—or for a certain amount of time—each day. Figure out what’s right for you so that you can make yourself feel better in the long run instead of ending up right where you started.
Taking a social media break can boost your confidence. Read on to find out what happened when one of our writers tried logging off for a month.
By: Jessen O’Brien