Cutting the Cords: Social Media Fasting

Many people have been cooped up at home due to world circumstances, working from home, distance learning with little ones, or unemployed due to furlough or businesses being shuttered. This leaves people with a lot more time on their hands than they are used to and with this extra time, many turn to social media to fill the void and bust boredom. But use of social media has been shown to impact happiness and satisfaction with life. If you’re feeling the need to take a social media break, you’re not alone. Millions are cutting the cord, at least for a little while. Here’s our tips to help keep yourself from hours of mindless scrolling.

 

Goals

Set a goal for your social media fast. Whether it’s for a week, a month or a year, set a clear goal and stick to it. Are you planning to just cut out one or two social media sources like Facebook or Instagram? Or are you cutting the cord on all social media? Does YouTube count? What about TikTok or Reddit? Map out what counts as social media to you and define why you want to log off. Many social media sites allow you to take a break and suspend your account for a set amount of time. This will keep your account in tact rather than having to delete your entire account and start from scratch. Or you could just delete the app from your devices.

 

Prepare

Give your friends and family a heads up that you’re logging off. If you go MIA, people may worry and send out a search party! Make an announcement if you feel the need, and let people know when you’ll be back.

 

Withdraw

Our brains are being rewired by the use of technology. With the instant gratification that social media scrolling offers, our dopamine receptors are used to getting that hit of chemical elation at shorter and shorter speeds. You may find the first few days a real struggle and find yourself feeling like you’re missing out or even coming down with a case of the blues. Set yourself up for success by engaging in mindfulness activities and planning activities to keep grounded and present.

 

Reconnecting

Cutting the cord on social media doesn’t have to mean isolating yourself. Be mindful that your fast is an opportunity for you to reconnect with real life. Spend time with family and friends, reconnect with nature, pick up that hobby you haven’t touched in forever or pick up that book you’ve been meaning to read. Spend more time meditating or focusing on other self-affirming activities.

 

Temptation

Reaching for your phone out of boredom is a habit. You might slip up a few times, but as soon as you’re aware of what you are doing, close the apps and put the phone down. If you’re a midnight scroller, leave your phone charging in the other room. Invest in a real alarm clock so you can’t give yourself an excuse.

 

Journal

Write about your journey. When you’re done, you can look back at the experience and notice any trends or changes in your relationships.

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