• Suzy Stone

Social Media Detox

If the thought of stepping away from social media leaves you with sweaty palms and an overwhelming feeling of FOMO it may be time to face your social media use head-on!

Since the advent of the smartphone, the majority of us spend way more time glued to our phones than we ever did. The convenience of having a mini-computer with us at all times can't be overlooked. We have immediate access to handy map directions, immediate notification of any and all emails, a vast search engine at our fingertips, and the ability to track what friends and acquaintances are up to 24/7.

Although cell phones can be beneficial, the constant tie to our notifications, social media, emails, and alerts can lead to an uptick in anxiety and depression. Quite simply put, there are times when our brains just need a break. For me, that break takes the form of taking one day off from social media each week.

I first started implementing my Sunday Social Media Free Day during quarantine. Like a lot of people during the time, I found my use of Facebook and Instagram skyrocketed during the lockdown. An enormous part of it was boredom, but I was also anxious to get updates from family and friends around the globe to see what they were up to and how they were handling everything. Once lockdown lifted, my social media use remained prevalent. When I found myself sitting on the couch I would immediately reach for my phone to mindlessly scroll - I even took my phone to the bathroom with me. Nuts!

The boiling point happened when my eight-year-old asked me to watch a movie with him. While he was engrossed and fixated on the movie, I (the supposed adult) was unable to focus on the movie without scrolling on my phone as well. At the end of the movie, he asked me what my favorite part was and I was unable to answer. Physically I had been there on the sofa watching the movie, but mentally I was engrossed in social media and hadn't taken in any of the film.

Multitasking by looking at our phones whilst we are doing something else just doesn't work.

From then on I decided Sunday would be my day of putting aside the cell phone. I disabled notifications except for phone calls or texts from my parents and in-laws (they're elderly and you just never know when they will have an emergency) and took that day to take a break from the constant go-go-go of mindlessly scrolling.

Initially, it was pretty hard. My cell phone use had become such a habit that I was like a smoker needing to reach for a cigarette. I found myself reaching for my cell phone a lot during those first two Sunday's and most of the time it was because I felt unable to just be in the moment - I felt like I had to be doing something all the time.

Now, I really enjoy my Sunday breaks and am considering doing a thirty-day social media detox for the month of October.

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