How to Take a Social Media Break and Set Boundaries?

A world without social media - Unplug and take a break!

Apps like Instagram, Twitter, and lately TikTok have taken over our entire days. We’re having breakfast while scrolling through Twitter. Teenagers are posting OOTD pics on Instagram. That’s ‘Outfit Of The Day’ if you’re a little behind on the times. 

Social media has the power to influence how you feel. If you’re constantly feeling jealous of people you see online, it’s a clear indicator that something’s wrong. Maybe it’s someone’s clothes, body image or generally their lifestyle. If you’re constantly feeling envious of them or bad about yourself, take a break. Social media can leave you feeling a lot of emotions, and most of the time, they’re not positive. It can also be incredibly draining. At times like these, it’s good to cut back and take a break. But how do you do that? 

Social Media Detox

A social media detox is a conscious choice of staying away from any kind of social media use for a set period of time. It’s a little different from simply taking a break. A break would consist of limiting your usage or putting away your phone for some time. A detox is much more severe and can last for weeks or months. In a few cases where social media addiction may even be suspected, giving away your passwords to someone you trust is also included. 

How Long Should My Break Be?

You define how to go about your break. There’s no golden rule to follow here. Every individual’s situation is different. Some people simply want to put down their phones for a while. Others are addicted to social media and need a cleanse. So the answer to this question is to assess your usage first. How many hours of the day do you use social media platforms? Typical social media breaks last from a few hours a day to as long as a week. On the other hand, a social media detox starts from thirty days and can go all the way up to a year.

10 Signs You Need a Break

So, how do you know it’s time for you to take a break? Oftentimes, people can be unsure whether they really need to take a break or not. Social media addicts don’t even realize they are ones if it isn’t directly pointed out to them. Thankfully, we’ve listed down a few signs to look out for. Take a look!

  1. You compare yourself to other people.  
  2. You can’t form your own opinions.
  3. You’re disconnected from your family and friends.
  4. You’re on social media, even around your friends.
  5. It’s the first thing you check when you wake up.
  6. You feel FOMO when not online.
  7. You’re stressed out all the time.
  8. You don’t enjoy anything if you haven’t posted about it.
  9. You freak out if you spend a little time away. 
  10. You’re scrolling all the time.

How to Take a Social Media Break

The big question now! How do I take a break? Do I just stop using the app anymore? Or throw away my phone altogether? You don’t have to go that far now. We’ve compiled our best tips to help you take a social media break. 

Track Your Usage

Before you begin your break, it’s important you understand your social media usage. Exactly, how much time are you spending on Instagram? On Twitter? Tracking your usage will help you set clear goals for your break, so it’s doable and isn’t overreaching. If you’re an iPhone user, you can directly see how much time you’re spending on each social media app. For Android users, there is a multitude of apps that can help you do the same. Social Fever is one of our favorites. It not only lets you track your usage but also sets limits. 

Allot a Window

It’s rather difficult to go from using social media all day to complete detox. Hence why we recommend allotting a window of your daw to it. Phasing out social media from your day slowly is the best way to go. Set a specific amount of time for social media use. The optimum time is an hour. There are a lot of plays you can make here. You can divide the hour into two and place them at the start or end of the day. Or, take it down to minutes and have some online time every other hour. 

Find Alternatives

Here’s one that we absolutely love! Find alternatives for your social media usage. Figure out how social media makes you feel. Then do something else that makes you feel the same way. It’ll help you disassociate that feeling from social media. Your alternative can be literally anything you enjoy. Do you watch a lot of cooking videos on TikTok or Instagram Reels? Sign up for a cooking class! Browse through social media to relax? Go take a walk outside or listen to some music! Instead of looking at memes all day, listen to a podcast or read a book. 

Change Your Lock Screen

Taking a break isn’t easy either! You’ll be tempted to go online for more than your break allows more often than you think. At this point, you need the motivation to keep pushing through. Our tip is to swap out your lockscreen for something more meaningful. Switch to a lockscreen that reminds you to be more mindful about how you use your phone. An inspirational quote works best to keep you motivated. Try creating a personalized wallpaper for your lock screen, something that holds a lot of meaning for you. 

Delete Apps

Last but not least, delete all your social media apps. It’s essentially the most effective way to take a break. It’s very difficult to fight the compulsion. You’ll tell yourself you’re only going to check for a minute. And an hour passes by. And if nothing else works, cut away your access to social media. Out of sight, out of mind! Sometimes you’ll be tempted to open Facebook on your browser. Can’t delete the browser from your phone and laptop, right? After deleting your social media apps, ask a trusted friend to change all the passwords. Ask them not to tell you any of the passwords before your break is up. This will effectively cut off all social media access for you. 

Ready for Your Break?

Social media is always going to be there, and so are all your friends on it. It’s important, however, that you put yourself first and take care of your mental health. Delete those apps, find a new hobby or limit your use of social media. Whatever route you decide to take, remember that you always come first and the world second! 

Know any tips to make social media breaks easier? Let us know in the comments below!

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