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Cutting Back on Social Media

A few weeks ago, I decided to cut back on social media. My professional and familial responsibilities had been piling up for quite a while, and I was at the point where something had to give. Now, my own social media consists of Facebook and WhatsApp (sorry Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, etc.), but for me, it’s enough. Too much sometimes. And when I’m stressed, I cope by finding ways to organize my time and eliminating things.

As someone who admits to having a hard time saying “No” to others, saying “No” to myself in the form of a detox–whether dietary or digitally–is quite satisfying.

Do you feel like you need to step back a bit from social media? Maybe you have a lot going on and need to feel in control. Perhaps you just want to give your eyes a rest from too many electronics. I realize that for many people, however, cutting back or even eliminating social media completely is not option. Social media platforms are essential today to promote businesses, network, and stay in the loop. But when it comes to personal time, we all wish we had more of it, and stepping back from social media can be a welcome time out.

How to Detox from Social Media

Quit Cold Turkey.

I did this many years ago. I had a Facebook account for a while, found all my old high school and college friends, and was thoroughly enjoying the reconnection. But after a while, I got tired of the maintenance. Things like friending people I barely knew but didn’t want to offend or worrying about special privacy settings started to seem invasive and inconvenient. When my son was born in 2009, I started to feel more protective, and I didn’t want to think about which “friend” could see his photos. So, I cancelled my account. But, I admit, I came back, because I do have some dear friends in my life who only use Facebook to keep in touch. However, that break from it was very good for me at the time. 

Deactivate.  

Maybe you’re looking for a job and don’t want to worry about a potential employer seeing any of your stuff. Or maybe you just want a few weeks getaway. Deactivating your account is one way to “disappear” for a while. You essentially “turn off” your page until decide to come back, with all your stuff untouched. I’ve done this, too. It’s a great way to preserve your stuff on the back burner, so you can relieve yourself of yet another responsibility. When you’re ready and refreshed to get back to your digital life, you can.

Use Moderation.

This one has worked quite well for me in the past, especially when I was at home full-time. Simply set your own limits, and stick to them. For me, I chose to only login once a day and not at all on the weekends. I admit it was hard at first. Would everyone forget me? Would I miss an important event? Lose out on a timely invitation? Perhaps. But for me, I found that being moderate makes me happier on a daily basis, and I avoid getting sucked into the void of mindless scrolling late at night when I should be getting more sleep.

How do you cut back on your social media? Do you feel you need a break sometimes?

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