In today’s digital society, social media has become an essential part of everyone’s life. Many people use social media to share an event, announce significant achievements, communicate with their loved ones, or find people with the same interest.
As entrepreneurs, we cannot deny that social media has its benefits. Individuals, corporations, and organisations use social media for digital marketing services, entertainment, and connecting with people.
It is unquestionable, however, that using social media comes with its drawbacks. For a few years now, many people have tried to distance themselves from social media – taking a social media cleanse – for good reasons. But does a social media cleanse do anything?
What is a Social Media Cleanse?
As its name implies, a Social Media Cleanse involves detaching and avoiding interaction with any social media platform. It comes in different forms – whether deactivating for a few hours, a month, or completely deleting your accounts.
Many people are giving a social media cleanse a try. It is believed to provide relief from anxiety and fear. Many individuals find that a social media detox allows them to focus more on themselves and reconnect with things that make them happy.
Based on the health journal titled “Depression and Anxiety” published by the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, adults ages 19 to 32 use social media for a total of 61 minutes a day and visit several social media platforms 30 times a week. Out of the 1,787 participants, more than a quarter were classified as having high indicators of depression.
Advantages of taking a Social Media Cleanse
1. It gives you better sleep quality
According to a 2014 study titled “The association between social media use and sleep disturbance among young adults,” adults ages 19-32 prefer to check their social media account for more than an hour per day. At the same time, 57 of their respondents reported sleep disturbance.
Moreover, research showed that people who use electronic devices before bedtime suffer more from insomnia than those who don’t. The blue light emissions from the machines were also linked to causing sleep problems and daytime sleepiness.
Stop using electronic devices and scrolling through Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram 30 minutes before bed to allow the brain to shut down and have a good night’s sleep properly.
2. It clears your mind
Aside from digital marketing, social media is also widely used to share information, news, or rumours with people. With the current social media setting, all users can upload content that could be considered information sources.
The average human attention in consuming information is limited. At times, overly using social media can result in information overload, slowing down human productivity. Important information is harder to retain, and people often feel exhausted, confused, stressed out, and frustrated.
Limiting your social media usage can help you get rid of all unnecessary information. It also gives you a cleared mind and renewed energy to tackle a more important aspect of your life.
3. It can reduce anxiety
The majority of social media users only show the good parts, their triumphs, and achievements. Most users try portraying themselves as having the perfect life and existence. Influencers use filters, and models photoshop their photos.
Excessive use of social media can often lead to hopelessness and anxiety. According to this research, social networks have identified the cause of stress and low self-esteem. Giving up social media use will remove the triggers of anxiety and depression. It also allows you to view real people and identify yourself as standard rather than comparing yourself to others.
In addition, social media is a tool for information dissemination. It now contains news and information that can be triggering or stressful to others; as such a social media detox helps in breaking away from issues, rumours, or terrible world news. It can help your mind feel at ease.
4. Improves physical health
Too much screen time can cause several issues like poor posture, eye strain, and chronic back pain. Humans are not made to look down while walking, sitting, or standing constantly. Too much screen time can cause headaches, eyestrain, and other issues.
Taking a social media detox can give your body and eyes a much-needed break and prevent further health issues.
5. It gives you more free time
According to statista.com, in 2020, the average daily time spent on social media by users is 2 hours and 40 minutes, which could be spent doing something more productive. A social media cleanse can give you more time to improve parts of your life that you have been neglecting for a while.
Instead of chatting through social media, try in-person interaction. Write an actual letter to your loved one or meet with your friends. You can finally work on a personal project or try a new hobby. Read these productivity tips for coaches and give them a try.
How To Do your Social Media Cleanse?
Taking a social media break can be challenging in a world where we live with our phones by our side. But, it’s not that tough if you do it gradually. It involves temporarily deactivating or deleting your accounts and apps for a period that could last a few days, weeks, months, or even an entire year.
Before doing a social media cleanse, you might like to try digital decluttering to better organise your digital data and apps, which might help with feel less overwhelmed.
Otherwise, here are some ways to stop wasting too much time on social media and to start your social media cleanse:
Disable your Social Media Accounts or Delete your Apps
You can try temporarily disabling (or ignoring) your social media accounts and enabling them again when you are ready. It can give you time to do some tasks without receiving any notification or worry about missing one.
Suppose you are worried that people might not be able to reach you. In that case, you can try removing all social media applications from your mobile phone. It does not disable your accounts, and you could still receive messages from your friends or family that you could read later.
Determining which apps are essential can also help you delete unnecessary ones. Although, only deleting the apps would need a great sense of control as you can always reinstall the apps.
Disabling app notifications is another excellent way of minimising social media use without disabling your accounts. Alerts or notifications can be distracting to you when you are doing something important. It makes you constantly check your phone on each alert. And before you realise it, you are now scrolling on your phone for an hour.
If you want fully undistracted time, try putting your phone on Do Not Disturb (DND). It will disable any alerts, and you can also customise this by allowing notifications for essential apps. Some phones also let you set a DND schedule.
Likewise, apps also have an option to turn off your notifications. It’ll be easier for users to weed out unimportant and distracting apps they want to stay away from.
Set Phone Boundaries or Social Media Free Days
Suppose you are someone who cannot give up social media entirely due to your profession. It could be that you are running a business and want to maximise the benefits of Facebook ads.
In that case, setting phone boundaries can help you detox using a more balanced approach. Give yourself a schedule when you are only allowed to use your phone and cut off time to use electronic gadgets in the evening. You can also try disconnecting from social media on the weekends to find time to reset for next week.
A few social media-free days can help you find the balance between real life and the digital world.
Think Of your Time as a Valuable Resource
It is also great to take a moment and re-evaluate your schedule. How much time you are spending online, and what valuable things could you have done during that time? Create a list of things you want to do – it could be a small task like laundry, cleaning your house, or a big project like repainting your walls or renovating your room.
Cutting out social media time gives you newfound free time. Take advantage of this opportunity to recharge and evaluate your life. You can do many things like picking up a new hobby, going for a hike, or sitting at the beach to relax. You can also go to a museum or pick up a few books in the library. Immerse yourself in learning and trying new things.
Remember that your time is valuable and should not be wasted on something temporary like social media.
Should You Do a Social Media Cleanse?
Taking a social media break is a great way to recharge your physical and mental health. So, if you are ready to give this a try, you can start by cutting out all social media for a few weeks. However, suppose you are having a hard time giving it up all at once. In that case, you could try easing in by cutting off social media one at a time, from notifications to deleting apps to eventually deleting your accounts. See what best works for you and enjoy your time away from it.