Today it seems very common to feel like social media can take over our time and our lives. Some have gone as far as jumping into a full detox mode or others have felt better after cutting back on their usage. There are a couple of ways - and a number of tools - to make this possible. Plus, let’s take a look at the advantages of doing so!
Have some self control. Which social platform is it that starts sucking your time? Facebook? Twitter? BuzzFeed? With SelfControl, you can block your own access to distracting websites, mail servers, or anything else online for a set period of time. Until the timer expires, you won’t be able to access those sites.
Go on airplane mode. If you find yourself anxiously scrolling through Instagram and Facebook making sure you aren’t missing out on anything, you soon realize that you ARE missing out on something — REAL LIFE. Put your phone on airplane mode when you are with your friends. You’ll still be able to take photos to share later, but this way, you enjoy the moments as they happen.
Eradicate your news feed. Hurry! Download the News Feed Eradicator for Facebook. This cool Chrome plugin removes your Facebook news feed and replaces it with an inspirational quote to keep your priorities straight. Your inbox and profile page is still available if you needed them, but with this plugin, you are taken away from the distractions of the Facebook news feed.
Ready to go even further?
Delete apps from your phone. Don’t worry, I said “apps” and not “accounts”. This isn’t quite cold turkey, but this will keep you from wanting to access these networks while you’re on the go.
I have a feeling if you are taking more time away from your screens, you’re going to start feeling better. In fact, there’s a study to prove it. Neuroscientists observed 35 people who were totally cut off from their devices in the Moroccan dessert. They studied participant’s facial expressions and physical movements, as well as how they related to one another. This is what they observed:
Better posture, deeper friendships. By looking forward and into people’s eyes (instead of down at screens), this opened up the front of their bodies, pushing back their shoulders and realigning the back of their head with the spine.
Google is a conversation killer. Without Google, people keep talking as they look for an answer instead of ending the questioning by immediately Googling the answer. This creates bonds between people.
Improved memory. Because people were more present in their conversations, their brains were able to process and store new information more easily.
More-efficient sleep. Studies show that people who check their phone before going to sleep (who doesn’t?!) don’t get particularly high-quality rest. The guests on the trip said they felt more rested and rejuvenated even with less sleep.
New perspectives. One of the most powerful findings was that people tended to make significant changes to their lives when they were offline for a while. The lack of constant distraction appeared to free people’s minds to contemplate more important issues in their lives, and it also made them believe they had the willpower to sustain a transformation.
My last helpful suggestion to add some value to your detox? Get some extra sleep. Professor Russell Foster, a University of Oxford neuroscientist, claims that less than five hours of sleep leaves brain cells so damaged the person might as well be drunk. He echoes suggestions from studies that too little sleep speeds up the aging process and is linked to a higher risk of cancer, heart disease, and type two diabetes.
Go ahead and enjoy yourself with these suggestions on a digital detox. It doesn't have to be painful and as you can see, it only provides excellent health benefits.