Disconnecting from social media has been proven to improve one’s quality of life. According to Business Insider, the majority of people spend about 7 hours per day looking at screens. This excessiveness has been linked to an increase in sleep disturbances, stress, anxiety, and depression. Not only can mental health be affected, but physical health could be compromised as well, which could lead to symptoms like blurred vision, headaches, and eyestrain.
Social media still has its benefits; particularly with its ability to spread awareness of important social issues, serving as a platform for people to develop a form of self expression, and to ward off loneliness. But in order to evade the detrimental effects of social media, it is important to learn how to not overindulge.
Personally, I have discovered just how much the temptation and instant gratification of social media has leeched itself into my everyday life. Too often do I notice myself immediately turning to my phone in desire of scrolling through a social media feed, in an effort to stave off boredom. This leads me to being impatient and unappreciative of my natural surroundings and the people I’m with. Since then, I have found some helpful ways to wean myself off of that natural inclination to turn to Instagram or Snapchat whenever I’m feeling a bit restless or bored.
Here are some tips for unplugging from social media:
Use an app or program that logs and limits your screen time.
Some apps and programs allow you to set personal limits on app use and screen time, which, in turn, encourages you to be held accountable for your social media usage.
When the temptation to kill time by scrolling or posting strikes, do something physically active instead. Going to the gym, taking walks, and riding your bike are all physically productive alternatives.
Stimulate your brain in other ways.
The instant gratification that social media provides can be mind-numbing. Try reading a book, practicing a hobby, or meditating.
With time and effort, teaching your mind to be engaged in other ways can help lessen the impulse to reach for your phone.