Every day we wake up and scroll through social media like it's the morning paper. We flip back and forth from Instagram to Twitter to Facebook to VSCO throughout the day, liking pictures and many times comparing ourselves. We lose out on real-life moments to hide behind our phones and we try to make our lives seem so much better over social media than we feel they are in real life. We become so obsessed with our image online that we forget about the world around us. If you feel like you couldn't go without your phone for a day, I would encourage you to do a social media detox.
To start off your detox, I would encourage you to go through your social media itself. Start off by unfollowing people that you compare yourself to constant, people you don't know, or anything that posts content that makes you feel like less. Delete pictures you don't like, tweets that you aren't fond of, and more. Take off anything a future employer or your future yourself would question. Clean it all up. If you want, you can completely delete it and start anew, but just be prepared for that clean of a start and make sure that is genuinely what you want.
Then, start limiting your time. Spending so much time on your phone is almost the equivalent to having an addition, so start by slowing down your time. There is now a feature on iPhones that allows you to limit your time on each app on your phone. You set the amount of time you want to spend on it each day, and once you hit that limit you are locked out of the app until the next day. Maybe go down to an hour over the course of the day spent scrolling through social media. You can even limit yourself to the time of day you get on so that you aren't getting on right before bed.
Then try to log out of your accounts. You can even delete the app and redownload it later. You then won't be able to face the temptation of even getting on the app at all. Try to fill your day with other things. Be more productive. Get ahead on school work. Focus on things you would like to change about yourself. Pick up a hobby. Drop a bad habit. Learn an instrument. Become a fitness guru. Write stories or articles.
A lot of times a negative side effect of social media is comparing ourselves and feeling worse about ourselves. Kick that habit as well and don't pick up social media until you are happy with you and your life off screen. Work out until you love your body. Do face masks until your skin is flawless. Write something you like about yourself down every day. End your day by thinking of five positive things that happened so you're focusing on positive things. Read some good books about self-love. Practice self-love. Tell yourself you're confident until you actually believe it. Learn photography so you can take better pictures.
Once enough time has passed and you're happy with who you are and your life off screen, redownload the apps. Maybe you won't even want to. Maybe you will and just don't get on it as often. Maybe nothing changes and as soon as you get back on you develop the same poor habits. If you do, just make a mental note and try again another time. However, I think it's important to unplug for a little bit and enjoy life off of social media. Take a social media detox and feel the negativity leave your body. It's truly rewarding.
For me, a social media detox was much needed. I found that I was spending too much time on social media and not enough time actually interacting with the world around me. Clearing out followers and tweets will not only benefit me in the future when I decide to look for a career and they search through my social media, but also for myself in the long run so I am not constantly comparing myself like before. It helped me to focus on other things and helped me to become much more productive in the day. I no longer rely on social media to get me out of awkward social situations, but learned instead to embrace the awkward and make something out of it. I am better at conversations, embracing awkward scenarios and making them good, and just being happy with who I am and those around me. I encourage anyone to try it out, even if it is just for the day one day.