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How to: Break your Social Media Habit

How to: Break your Social Media Habit

Summer is a time for disconnecting from your work and routines and for enjoying life and especially your hobbies. But in today’s information-driven world, it can be hard to break the habits you maintain during the year. You’re probably used to checking Facebook every morning at breakfast or posting constant tweets while watching your favorite TV show. Maybe you spend more time uploading photos to Instagram than actually enjoying the great outdoors. Like it or not, social media platforms have become a regular (and sometimes unhealthy) part of our everyday lives.

Jóvenes utilizando el móvil

Remember those summer days that seemed endless, when you used to spend long hours relaxing and having fun without even thinking about technology? You can still have that! But you’ll have to reduce your phone and social media use. Not sure how to do that? Don’t worry, in today’s article, we’re going to share some foolproof tips on how to break your internet habit. We hope you find them helpful.

How does social media affect your health?

We spend more than 30% the day on our social media habit. That might not sound like much, but keep in mind that you spend 33% of the day sleeping. That means you spend only 37% of your life offline, fully enjoying your free time. Since mobile phones have come into our lives, it’s not unusual to see a group of friends sitting together in silence, with each person looking at social media. Do you know how much social media has affected our lives? Here are some examples:

  • It affects your sleep- If you spend hours staring at a screen, especially before bed, you’ll take longer to fall asleep, and in the long run, you may develop chronic sleep deficiency and insomnia. According to recent studies, excessive phone use can even cause serious health problems like cancer. If you’re spending 30% of your day checking social media, breaking that addiction for a time will improve your quality of life.
  • It affects your mental health- For some time, psychology experts have identified social media as an important contributor to feelings of loneliness, social anxiety, and depression. Studies carried out by the University of Houston have found that it can cause mood disorders due to people’s tendency to compare their lives with those portrayed on social media.
  • It causes FOMO- One of the new technology-generated mental illnesses is FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out), or the exaggerated fear of missing something important on social media and being excluded from one’s friend group. FOMO also causes an excessive need to know what everyone else is doing and to compare one’s lifestyle to theirs, generating narcissism and the need for approval due to low self esteem.

As you can see, not everything about social media is wonderful, and although these networks can be used for wonderful things, such as maintaining contact with distant friends and relatives, they can be dangerous. Does this mean you should delete your Facebook and Instagram accounts? Of course not! But you should certainly take a break from them, especially during your much-deserved summer vacation.

How to take a necessary break from social media

Restrict your technology use to certain times of day

Familia paseando por el campo

Our first tip to break your social media habit this summer is really easy. Plan technology-free hours throughout the day. During these times, you’ll be absolutely prohibited from looking at your phone or checking social media. We recommend planning some of your phone and screen-free hours before you go to bed, so you can sleep longer and better.

Limit the time you spend on social media

Jugando a videojuegos

This is closely linked to the point above. Aside from spending time on activities not related to technology, we recommend limiting your activity on social media for the remainder of the day. Enjoy a good movie or TV show with your friends, or if you prefer, have fun playing your favorite video game. Being in front of a screen doesn’t mean you always need to have Facebook, Twitter or Instagram open.

Turn off the notifications on your phone

The classic excuse for being social media addicts is the fact that we receive notifications whenever someone interacts with us. To get away and disconnect from social media once and for all, you have to turn off the notifications on your phone. That way, you won’t know what’s happening online or need to constantly look at your phone. Not sure how to turn off the notifications on your phone? Don’t worry! Keep reading for a step-by-step explanation.

  • How to turn off notifications on your iPhone

Turning off notifications on your iPhone is easy. Just tap the “Settings” option (the gear-shaped icon) and then the “Notifications” icon. Next find the social media platforms you wish to mute and tap the option to turn them off.

  • How to turn off notifications on your Android phone

To turn off notifications on your Android phone, find the app for the social media platform on your home screen. Tap and hold the icon, and when the pop-up menu appears, select “App info.” Then scroll down to “Notifications” and disable the “Show notifications” option.

You’re on vacation, prioritize your hobbies!

Mujer leyendo un libro

We’re willing to bet that during the year, you never have enough time to read that book you got for your birthday, go back to your dance classes, learn a new language, or practice your favorite hobby. But when you’re on vacation, all you ever do is look at your phone, take selfies, and show off that hot bod of yours on Instagram. Do yourself a favor and recover your beloved hobbies now that you have the time to spend on them. Social media will still be there when vacation is over, and believe us, you’ll feel much better if you spend your time on other things.

Delete the apps from your phone

Even if you follow the above tips, you might still struggle to limit your time on social media. In this case, we recommend deleting the apps. Removing the apps from your phone doesn’t mean deleting your account, but it will help you (a lot!) to disconnect from social media over vacation. That way, you’ll only be able to access Facebook, Twitter or Instagram on your desktop. Then you can enjoy your time to the fullest, hanging out with friends, going for walks, or taking off for a few days.

Take a vacation

Playa y hamaca

Although this tip could be hard to follow due to the COVID-19 pandemic, if you want to disconnect from social media, a change of scenery is an excellent idea. Keep in mind that a big reason for social media addiction is monotony, doing the same things every day. For example, if you’re used to looking at Facebook at breakfast, you’ll probably keep it up if you’re on a “staycation.” If possible, pack your bags and go somewhere, even if it’s just for two weeks, to enjoy life away from your phone. But forget about going to your second residence, because there you’ll probably maintain the same routine you have at home. Look for a cheap trip (click here to find the best trip-planning websites) and spend some time being a tourist and discovering new things. We promise that after spending two weeks away from social media, you’ll feel like a completely new person.

If all else fails, delete your accounts

If none of our tips are working, or you don’t feel strong enough to follow through with them, you may have a social media addiction. First of all, don’t feel bad, it’s a very common problem nowadays. However, we recommend seeking help to overcome it. A radical yet effective option is to delete your social media accounts. Then you’ll start to see that there’s more to life than the screen of your computer or phone. Good luck!

We hope that our tips have helped you to get away (even a little!) from social media this summer. Do you have any other ideas that might work? Feel free to share them in the comments section!

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