Drop, Disconnect, and Detach from your Social Media Addiction by Mastering ‘Digital Detox’
Why do we check Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, WhatsApp, then again Instagram when we just wanted to check some news? Turns out, social media addiction is by design. Think about the unceasing stream of notifications, followers, likes, colour schemes in apps, and in-game rewards. Our smartphones and social media apps are designed to offer us the feel-good factor, so we’ll use them more – at the cost of reading, entertaining, or enjoying the moment.
Waking up in the middle of the night to respond to emails, sitting with your phone on the dining table, depending on your Google calendar to finish your tasks for the day, and gluing yourself to the laptop on the weekends are some of the habits that might appear innocuous, the amount of your addiction – yes, that’s right, addiction – can clearly be enlightened when you realize how long it’s been when you last switched between your phone and laptop screens. For the majority of us, it’s just a couple of seconds, minutes or hours. After hearing this, if you are bothered about your phone usage and overall social media addiction, you might want to consider doing a digital detox.
In present times, going cold turkey digitally can have major consequences. Practically, we all need these screens to work, shop, play, study, and everything in between. So, when we talk about ‘digital detox’, you can focus on controlling your usage and finding an alternate source to invest time, energy and hard work. Maybe, it’s finally time to bid goodbye to those endless notifications, monotonous scrolling, random thumb twitching – here’s how.
Tired of getting a deluge of messages, emails, alerts from Snapchat, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and dozens of other apps? Have you still kept the push notifications option set to defaults? End the noise, app by app.
Grab all your devices – smartphones, laptops, tablets, and desktops, find the notification settings, and switch everything off that’s not important or necessary. Ever noticed those red dots on your Samsung model or iPhone showing app updates, number of unread messages and news items you have left to address? Those red dots beside your app icons are visual reminders pleading you to check them. When on a digital detox, switch off all your notifications, keeping aside direct text messages or mentions coming from people who matter.
Form a Schedule and Limit your Tech Usage
Recollect those childhood days when our parents would set a schedule for us by telling, “One hour of homework and one hour of TV after that!” Enforcing restrictions on our tech usage helped us stay away from drowning into a pond of real-time, curiosity-generating, always-available information.
Social media apps have mastered the art of engaging millennials by offering short-term, random rewards. The thought of getting a new friend request, like, comment, or visibility through a post leads us to endless scrolling and check-ins. To free yourself from this habit, set aside a fixed time each day to check social media sites – or emails, instant messages, and other updates. Along with this, try uninstalling a few highly-addictive social media apps from your phone and login only from the desktop. This could help resist the urge and lessen the temptation to scroll through pages time and again.
Stop using your Phone to Set an Alarm
There was a phase not long ago when we would instantly wake up without a smartphone beside us, at just one ring of a magical device named an alarm clock. Yes, that’s exactly what you need to get. Another tip is to charge it away from your bed and not on your nightstand, or preferably be left in the drawing-room so you’re not tempted to use it if you wake up in the midnight.
Another remedy to eradicate tech-related sleep concerns is to not use smartphones for the last two hours before hitting the bed or using apps like Night Shift and f.lux. So, keep your phone a little away and who knows, you might have a good night’s sleep or even wakeup wishing your partner good morning instead of checking your phone instantly.
What did we learn? Maybe its time to say, NO! “No, I can’t check your email at this hour. I can’t communicate right now. I don’t want to work over the weekend.” It’s only when you begin saying ‘no’ does ‘yes’ become important. The first rule of going on a digital detox indicates taking ourselves seriously and grabbing the opportunity of reassessing our relationship with the smartphone.
Akanksha Shukla is a content strategist, writer by the day and reader by the night- all with the trusted companionship of coffee!