Social Media Detox: Do you need one?
If living through the Coronavirus pandemic has taught me anything it has taught me some valuable lessons about the things that are important to me, what I value of high importance in my life and what I need for a more quiet, easy life. With that being said, one of the things I have evaluated is my time online and I have found in most cases, Instagram aside, that social media hasn’t made the cut.
I’ve thought that I needed a social media detox for an extremely long time and although I haven’t been showing up on every platform for many years now, I kept my profiles and would occasionally dip in and out, and occasionally just lurk. For me, working as a content creator and having your entire business online, taking a social media detox was something I found a little more difficult to navigate because of where my work and content was tied up but instead of using this as a roadblock to taking that detox I instead found ways around it. When Coronavirus swept the globe and we were abruptly stopped in our tracks as we retreated into our homes and cut physical social contact you would think this might be a time where social media really might come into its own, but if you’re craving a detox and want to re-evaluate how you show up online then this article is for you.
Why I don’t believe in being everywhere
You don’t have to be on social media to make an income or promote your business to be touched by the overwhelm to show up on every platform. Many of us will be connected to others via Facebook, Twitter and Instagram at least and may even have explored others such as TikTok or Snapchat. Over the years I have picked up many different platforms; Facebook first, then Twitter and in more recent years Instagram. I have worked on all of them for myself and for clients, but also just as a personal user, and I’ve loved and hated them all in equal measure over time.
Long before this pandemic took over I had been working on myself and focusing only on the things that bring me joy and serve me in positive ways and social media was one of those. I knew where I loved showing up and I knew what brought me negative energy but it definitely took a while to take the leap and cut ties entirely.
I am a strong believer in not having to show up everywhere; I tell it to myself, to my Instagram followers and to my clients. It is not worth showing up on every platform if that is detrimental to your mental health. I would rather show up in one place, that serves me, that inspires me and connects me with like minded individuals, than show up on platforms I find toxic and negative.
If you’re growing a business or a personal brand right now I know you’re questioning what I am saying now because it isn’t the norm, right? Social media is the place to be and you can’t grow a business if you don’t have a presence on each and every one of these platforms….right?
Wrong. Show up where you are inspired, where you find connection and where you feel at home. Show up there and show up well. Tackle one thing at a time because you will find more success in showing up well than spreading yourself thin and achieving nothing. Stop showing up in places that don’t do any of the above, because that is a negative impact on your life that you just don’t need.
Drop the platforms that don’t serve you
I knew a long time ago that Twitter and Facebook did not serve me. To me they are inherently toxic places and while they do have a great amount of good to them the negativity ultimately shines through and to me it was something which I just wasn’t prepared to keep in my life.
You might feel differently about those platforms in particular, and that’s fine, but I want you to think about your social media platforms and where you feel doesn’t serve you. What platform makes you roll your eyes? What platform isn’t fun for you? What platform affects your mental health negatively? Whatever you’re thinking right now – get rid of it.
I deactivated both my Facebook and Twitter profiles and it has been the most liberating thing I have done. I have instantly cut that negativity out of my life and with Facebook in particular (because I haven’t had the Twittter app on my phone for months) I know I no longer mindlessly scroll and focus whatever time I was wasting there on something else in my life.
If you don’t quite want to go the whole way and deactivate and wave goodbye to these platforms try removing the apps instead. This can help us mindlessly opening up apps and scrolling, and is great if you find a lot of your time being sucked away this way. You can still access the platforms via your browser but that requires a tad more work and therefore can definitely slow the amount of times you head to scroll.
Silence all notifications
This is something I have done for many years and there is honestly so much power in it, and that is removing almost all push notifications from all the apps on my phone, except my phone, text messages and whatsapp (although on the whole I mute most of my whatsapp chats too). This is a great way for keeping some peace in my life, not feeling permanently switched on and not having my phone buzz with notifications every few minutes.
These days you will only find me on Instagram, blogging on my website and quietly pinning over on Pinterest – so Instagram is the only social media platform I am on, and even that can sometimes feel like a bit too much.
Listen to yourself and listen to what you need. Don’t show up where is doesn’t feel 100% right and only commit time to the things that are important to you.
Do you have any other tips for social media detox tips?