How to Detox From Social Media Without Losing Your Mind

Your social media addiction has probably gotten out of hand, lately, right? Maybe you realized it when you missed an entire conversation at brunch trying to get that perfect aerial shot of your avocado toast, or perhaps it was when you cried the other day when your hashtags stopped working. No one would expect you to completely drop your habit, as it’s pretty much become an accepted form of social communication. But if you need to let up a bit, you’re going to want to do so without sending yourself into total shock and going mad. Here’s how to at least try to put down your phone for a while so you can start paying attention to the world around you.

  1. Put your phone away at dinner. Technically, when you’re out doing something, you shouldn’t be feeling any waves of FOMO anyway, so stay in the moment and appreciate the company at hand. There’s nothing ruder than someone who completely ignores what you say in favor of staring at their Facebook newsfeed.
  2. Don’t take your electronics to bed. This might be a tough habit to break, but there’s reasoning behind it beyond detoxing from social media. That phone light has been shown to disrupt your sleep, and you know you need all the sleep you can get.
  3. Turn off your notifications. Don’t worry, they’ll still be there when you open your social media apps, you just won’t be distracted by your phone lighting up every 15 seconds throughout the day.
  4. If you need to post frequently, schedule them. If your social media accounts are actually linked to your work or something, get an app that allows you to schedule posts in advance so you can plan out a day (or week) without having to actually be on Twitter seven times a day.
  5. Think before you stalk. Stalking becomes habitual and it’s so easy, but don’t forget that often you see things you wish you could unsee. Plus, remember that time you liked your ex’s old post from 50 weeks ago and wanted to live under a rock for the next week?
  6. Reply to your email in a single batch. You might already use this trick for email, but if not, it’s simple: instead of responding to each message that comes in and interrupts your day, allocate ten minutes when you’re free for responding to everything that came through the past couple hours. This will free up so much time and mental bandwidth.
  7. Don’t mix work time and social media. As if you’re not already distracted enough at work! Make it a point not to check your personal social media accounts until you’re on a break (even if it’s just a bathroom break).
  8. Get up and get out. It’s much harder to check Facebook when you’re hiking as opposed to sitting on the couch, and even tougher in those places where there’s not very good cell service. Explore the world around you just for the sake if it, rather than worrying about which filter you’ll use on Instagram. In fact, if you possibly can, leave your phone at home.
  9. Cut down on the guilty pleasures. If you’re following the entire Kardashian/Jenner clan and five different joke sites, maybe don’t do that anymore. It’ll free up some room on your feed and allow you to actually see what your real life friends are doing.
  10. Stop oversharing. There’s a lot less to do on social media if you’re not inclined to Snapchat every move you make. Be realistic and consider if you really want all the creeps and potential bosses of the world watching you semi-seductively eat an ice cream cone.
Kate Ferguson is a Los Angeles local and freelance writer for a variety of blog and magazine genres. When she's not writing, the UC Davis graduate is focused on pursuits of the entertainment industry, spin class, and hot sauce. Look for article links, updates, (and the occasional joke) on Twitter @KateFerg or @WriterKateFerg, or check out her personal blog