Social media can be a great way to stay connected with friends and family, as well as keeping up with what's going on in the world. On the other hand, excessive use of social networks can cause low self-esteem, decreased productivity and even depression. It can also be addictive. If you want to minimize your use of social media, the best strategy is to identify alternative activities for social connection. Reinforce your disconnect using technology. Then recognize the benefits of staying off social media.
Method 1 of 3: Identify Alternative Ways to Connect
Step 1. Schedule in-person meetings with friends and family
Close relationships require a certain degree of emotional connection and intimacy. It's hard to experience that when you communicate primarily through social media messages or status updates. Use your new free time to schedule a weekly meeting with the people who are most important to you.
You can schedule individual visits to family and friends, as well as group meetings. Ask your loved ones what is going on in their lives and listen carefully. Laugh and make eye contact. Hug the other person when you leave. These aspects of social connection cannot be found online
Step 2. Cook and eat dinner with your family
In many families, social media has even taken over the dining room table. Teens stare at their phones on their laps, and adults have trouble leaving their professional networks. Go back to family dinners and create deeper bonds with the people you love.
Prepare a meal together as a family, delegating each person a task. Talk while preparing food. Then sit down and eat together. Discuss the taste and quality of the food you eat. Ask everyone to share something interesting about their respective days
Step 3. Make cards or write letters to mail
Having something in the mail is practically a luxury in today's technology-driven world. Surprise your loved ones with a special card or note to keep you connected.
You can draw a picture (or ask your child to do it), create a story or poem, or add your most current photos to the package. This helps you stay connected without having to rely on social media
Step 4. Try a new club or hobby
If you are a student, take advantage of the free life of social networks to participate in different extracurricular activities. If you are an adult, consider joining a professional organization to build your network or an interest-based group to develop a hobby.
- Getting involved in a local organization is a great way to connect with new people and improve your personal skills. For example, you can become a Habitat for Humanity volunteer or enroll with a local Toastmasters division.
- Try to engage in non-Internet hobbies, such as a camping trip with friends, playing a board game, or learning to play a new musical instrument.
Method 2 of 3: Limit Your Use With Technology
Step 1. Deactivate your account
If you are really determined to stay away from social networks, it is better to delete your profile from the network. Don't worry, if you change your mind, this decision can usually be reversed. However, for now, it is good practice to prevent you from coming back.
Step 2. Delete the application
Most of the use of social networks comes from mobile devices, such as phones or tablets. As an added measure, uninstall the social media apps from your devices. Because with many platforms it is very easy to register again and reactivate the account, completely removing the application is the safest option.
In this way, if you are tempted to reactivate your account, you will have to go through several steps before you can do it successfully. Hopefully, you will regain your sense of decision to stay away
Step 3. Download an application that monitors your computer and phone use
As a final safeguard to stay away from social media, look for a computer or smartphone app that blocks other apps. Such apps are great for a social media detox. You can block access to a certain application or web page, or you can limit access for a period of time.
Some good options are SelfControl and Freedom
Step 4. Disconnect from social media for a week
Taking a break from social media for a week can show you how much time you spend in this part of your life. You will probably have more free time and more meaningful interactions with others. If the week goes well, take another two-week trial period to gradually extend the time away from social media.
Method 3 of 3: Recognize the Benefits of Being Offline
Step 1. Be mindful
If you are tuned in to updates all the time, other people's thoughts and feelings can really disconnect you from your own. One of the biggest benefits of disconnecting from your social media accounts is paying more attention to the present moment.
- For example, most people who wait in line or eat alone scan the news section of their social networks. However, if you do not have to return to this activity, then you are more aware of the surrounding environment and your own internal experience.
- Social media can stop you from being bored and disconnecting can be stressful. Instead, use your time away from social media to notice any uncomfortable feelings so that you can address them head-on.
Step 2. Recognize the impact of the deepest and most personal connections
Social media eliminates the need to connect with people in a personal way. Engrossed in texting, many young people don't have much of an incentive to hang out with friends in real life. By disconnecting from social media, you can notice how you participate in deeper conversations with the people around you and enjoy it.
Step 3. Pay attention to the improvement in mood and sleep
Being connected to social media throughout the day limits your ability to do activities to improve your mood, such as exercising, going outside, or taking adequate rest. Also, you can develop negative feelings by comparing yourself to the prominent updates of others. By disconnecting, you may notice an improvement in your mood and your sleep.
Looking at devices with blue lights like smartphones, computers and tablets before going to bed threatens the quality of sleep. By turning them off at least an hour before going to bed, you will enjoy a more restful sleep
Step 4. Enjoy better time management and productivity
Social media is a great time sucker. You can be willing to connect for only ten minutes; However, before you know it, an hour will have passed. Staying away from social media helps you use the time for more productive things like finishing work or completing tasks.