Updated: Aug 24
Let's face it: we spend way too much time on social media. As a society, we are glued to our phones, and it's just not healthy for us. A quick Google search reveals dozens of results for how it is bad for our mental health. Social media can even damage your marriage. Focus on the Family has some tips for how to plan a social media and technology detox.
Plan Your Progress
Like many things in life, you can't go in to a social media detox with no plan and expect things to just magically work out. "The key word is intentional" says Focus on the Family's Dr. Gregory Jantz. You might experience anxiety associated with withdrawal. Develop a plan and commit to it.
Dr. Jantz likens your detox to a diet. If you aren't already working out, you can't commit to working out every single day of the week or say you'll never eat cake again. It probably won't go over very well because you set unrealistic and overly ambitious goals at the onset. Start with checking your emails less frequently or leaving your phone in the car if you know you won't be needing it.
You've Got to Fill Your Time with Something
We spend so much time with social media and technology that cutting back is going to leave a noticeable hole in your day. Spend the time you would have spent scrolling being productive or doing other things you enjoy. Find a new hobby. Read a book. Read the Bible. Have coffee with friends or a lunch date with your spouse. Fill the void with other more positive activities so you won't miss your phone as much.
Clarify Your Goals
"Spend less time on my phone" is generally too vague of a goal to truly be successful. Set specific parameters. Many phones allow you to set limits for how long you spend on a particular app. Commit to not checking your phone during certain hours or not having them in the bedroom.
Take Advantage of What You've Learned
"The goal should not be merely to see how long you can do something, knowing that you’re just going to dive back in with renewed passion, enthusiasm, and a sigh of relief," Dr. Jantz says. "One goal of a tech detox should be to learn that you can truly live without it, but that’s not the only goal." Learn about how social media and technology impact your life. Take note of where it is helpful and where it is harmful.
Take the Next Step
"Take what you’ve learned, keep growing, and keep moving toward a more positive and healthy integration of technology in your life," says Dr. Jantz. Use what you've learned to make changes to your habits. Once you've learned you can survive without your phone being glued to your hand, you can use that to keep unhealthy habits at bay.