Have you ever wanted to go on a social media cleanse? Does going on Instagram make you feel terrible and lead to comparison with others? Well, maybe that’s a sign you need a break. Lots of people have done it, and it doesn’t have to be permanent. Social media is a great way to keep in touch with people but contributes to unhealthy comparison and even more loneliness.
If you think you would like to disconnect for some time, there are some steps you can take to start:
Disable notifications and hide your apps
If you are looking to spending less time on apps, disabling your notifications is a good idea. You will be less tempted to check them, especially if you have to go through app folders on your phone or to the very last page of your home screen. Be warned that it may still be hard to combat the mindless opening of social media apps that has become a routine for us. That’s why it may be better to delete the app and use it via your computer’s internet browser.
Temporarily disable your account
This is probably one of the most useful options for taking a social media break. By temporarily disabling your account, it “deletes” your social media profile, so people won’t be able to see it until you log onto the platform again. That way, you get to test your willpower for however long you plan on staying MIA. I have personally done this various times and found it pretty helpful! Keep in mind that it can still be tempting to log back in, so be mindful of achieving your goal of however long you plan on being offline.
Permanently deleting your account
It will probably require some introspection if you are willing to disconnect from a particular platform and feel as if it were “social suicide,” but you can prep for this decision. Before deleting your accounts, look through your contacts to see whether you have the phone numbers of people you actually talk to and want to keep in touch with. If you don’t, then request it and inform them of your decision. It may also be useful to think about which platforms you want to keep (those you don’t use much but still have connections on). The goal isn’t to be a hermit but instead to take back control of your time and emotions by eliminating the social media habits which cause negative feelings.
Lastly, any of these choices will inevitably lead you to feel as if you are missing out, at least during the beginning; but that will soon go away if you remind yourself why you are making these decisions and filling your time with activities you enjoy.