How To Take A 14 Day Social Media Break – A Practical Guide To Reclaiming Your Time With Social Media Detoxing

Social Media DetoxIf you’re anything like me, you’ve been falling out of love with social media. That’s what lead me to take a break from social media. For some people, social media stresses them out, but for me I just couldn’t justify spending an average of 2+ hours of screen time on social media every day! That means we spend 6.9 years of our life on social media!

I don’t know about you, but life is too short to be wasting that kind of screen time on something that doesn’t add much value to my life. With this in mind, I decided to take a 14-day social media detox to kick this bad habit.

How To Take A Break From Social Media

How To Take A Break From Social Media

Taking a break from the various platforms can be challenging because we have built a habit around checking them constantly. Add to that, these companies have optimized social media apps to leverage your brain’s pleasure centers, giving you little hits of neurotransmitters that make you feel good.

Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Tik Tok, and many more all have a small army of neuroscientists and psychologists on staff to make you addicted to their networks. The more you learn about how they reinforce your behavior with their apps, the scarier it gets.

social media detox worksheets

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Social Media Detox

Calendar & Worksheet


I’ve put together a calendar and worksheet for you to do a 14 day Social Media Detox. Drop your email below and I’ll send it to you right now.

Social Media Break And The Benefits For Your Mental Health

Social Media Break And The Benefits For Your Mental Health

I think most of us reading this post are aware the impact social sites have on our mental health, but new studies have come out to confirm what we all feared to be true. While social media can be useful, we need to make sure we are using it in a way that’s right for us.

Phones along with social media have been studied to show they are a major problem that has been proven to impact our sleep, connections with our partner and even can contribute to anxiety.

For me the biggest benefit was gaining back my time. I spent an average of 2 hours per day of phone screen time, about half that being spent on social media. With the time I gained back, I used it to start going on walks and working out.

75 hard challenge

75 HARD CHALLENGE


Challenge yourself and see if you have what it takes!

Another benefit was connecting more with friends. Instead of scrolling on their feeds, I actually picked up my phone and called people. In most cases I’d set times for dinner, to grab coffee, and if they were far away, we’d just catch up.

I also made time to spend with my family, getting to spend time with them was a lot of fun, way better than sitting on a couch at home watching other people’s lives.

How To Break Your Social Media Addiction?

How To Break Your Social Media Addiction

You have to realize this is going to be difficult in the beginning, but after doing my extended break from social media I was surprised how quickly social media faded from my life. Once you get over that initial hump, I found I entered a positive feedback loop, where each time I said “no” I’d feel better and better about it.

To get over that initial hump I tried many things, but one thing really worked for me…

Add Pain To The Process

Add Pain To The Process

This is a hack I learned a long time ago when I wanted to stop drinking sodas. It seems counter intuitive, make things even harder for myself? Stick with me here…

I knew it would be challenging to stop drinking sodas, so at first, I said I could drink sodas with one caveat. I could drink soda; I just couldn’t buy a pack of soda for the house. What I could do is get in my car and drive to the gas station down the road and buy one bottle of soda to drink.

social media detox worksheets

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Social Media Detox

Calendar & Worksheet


Why did this work? Because I wasn’t denying myself the soda, I just added the pain of having to get in my car and driving to get it. Each time I wanted a soda, I had to weigh the hassle vs. how much I wanted it.

That leads us to how to add pain to the process of social media? The first step is to just delete the apps on your phone. Most of these social sites still have a mobile browser version, but it’s usually terrible and frustrating to use. That’s the beauty of this, you can still have your social media, it’s just a little painful to use.

After a few weeks of no social apps, I added a new rule: no social media on my phone at all, I could only look at it on a desktop computer. Since I’m not on my computer all day this meant I only went to Facebook when I had a purpose. As time went on, Facebook became less and less integral to my life.

Tips On How To Break A Social Media Habit

Tips On How To Break A Social Media Habit

While I found adding pain to the process to be the biggest help, there were some other details I rolled into my social media detox that helped me along the way.

Habit Breaking Tips

  1. Start breaking your habit with your phone, that’s were most people consume the most
  2. Use your phone browser, afterwards delete your history so you have to hand type in the address each time
  3. Set a timer when you do use it, start with 15 minutes, then each week reduce by 5
  4. Use apps to track your usage, most phones or RescueTime will show you how much you really use
  5. Remove shortcuts in your browser, phone, or computer to the sites themselves
  6. After you’re done looking at social media, take time to reflect on its impacts and usefulness
  7. Plug your phone to charge in your kitchen, not your bedroom
  8. Instead of messaging, call the person and have a conversation
social media detox worksheets

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Social Media Detox

Calendar & Worksheet


How To Replace Social Media During A Social Media Detox

How To Replace Social Media During A Social Media Detox

One other critical factor to this was, if I remove some bad habit, I need to try to replace it with something instead of just an empty space. In fact, to really overcome this, I had to intentionally add in multiple things to fill the void where social media was.

replace social media with booksWe go to social media and our phones when we have a down moment, when we are bored or don’t know what to do. I found myself reaching for my phone a lot when I was waiting on someone to arrive, when I was alone when a friend went to the bathroom, or when I was bored on my couch. Social media is a default pattern we use as a crutch.

I realized I was defaulting to this crutch and not thinking about them at all. And that was the problem, I wasn’t being intentional about my behaviors, which is not how I want to live my life. I want to live intentionally. To combat this, I decided to do a few things to replace social media.

Things To Replace Social Media

  1. Read a book: I bought a few books and placed them near my couch and in my car
  2. Gamify: See how long you can go without looking at your phone
  3. Call a friend: The point of social media, is to be social. Call a friend, don’t text!
  4. Go for a walk: bored? I just got up and went for a walk without my phone
  5. Listen to music: I made playlists, then set the phone out of reach
  6. Go for coffee: just sit and enjoy the coffee and the experience
  7. People watch: make up fun backstories for each person walking by
  8. Start a hobby: I picked up fly tying and boardgames
  9. Declutter: I used the time to instead make my house clean and tidy
  10. Take a class: It could be something fun or to improve your career

How Long Should I Take A Break From Social Media For?

How Long Should I Take A Break From Social Media For

My suggestion is to start with a two-week taper from social media, then after that take time to reflect on things. You really need about 60 days to break a habit, so I’d start with two weeks, then adjust to a new normal pattern for you.

Take this in steps, going cold turkey won’t work too well for most people. I’ve put together a calendar for you to break your social media habit for your first two weeks, plus a worksheet to help reflect on your detox once it’s all over. This will let you easily stop using social media and have a better understanding of negative impacts of social media had in your life.

Social Media Break Images

Social Media Break Images

Let people know you’re stepping away from social media. Making a final post helps communicate you’re taking a break for social media, but it also helps get the word out about the dangers of social networks in general. Below are images you can post on your own social media when you begin your detox. Right click and save the images, I’d appreciate you also sharing a link to this post when you do post so others can learn about how to take a break from social media too!

Get The Word Out! Share This Post To Help Others!

Right click and then choose “Save Image As” to download a full size image of each:


Facebook

social media detox facebook

Instagram

social media detox instagram

Twitter

social media detox twitter

Social Media Break Quotes For Your Posts

Social Media Break Quotes

In addition to your images, you might want to include a little bit about your break or give some inspiration to others. Here are a few quotes people used for their social medial announcement posts:

Almost Everything Will Work Again If You Unplug It For A Few Minutes, Including You

Less Scrolling, More Living

Temporarily Closed For Spiritual Maintenance

A Million Likes Will Never Be Enough If You Don’t Like Yourself First

Don’t Compare Your Everyday To Everyone Else’s Highlight Reel

Do More Things That Make You Forget To Check Your Phone

Work Hard In Silence. Let Success Be Your Noise

Your Worth Isn’t Found Here, It’s Found Out There, In Living Life

The Best Measure Of Success Is Being Better Than You Were Yesterday

Breaking Your Social Media Habit For Good

Breaking Your Social Media Habit For Good

Kicking the habit of social media is tricky, but it starts with the first step. After you’ve read this post, download the calendar and worksheet to start your first two weeks. These first two weeks are going to be challenging while you spend more time offline and do your social media detox. But in about 14 days, I’ve found most people get over the hump.

social media detox worksheets

Get The

Social Media Detox

Calendar & Worksheet


Once you’ve completed the first two weeks, take some time to reflect about your detox with the worksheet (also in the download). This will let you collect your thoughts about how social media impacts your happiness, mental health, anxiety and general wellbeing.

After you’ve done the worksheet, set a plan of action for the next 30 days past that point. I suggest limiting your social scrolling to 15 minutes once a week. Then try once every other week. In the end, we don’t have to totally ditch social media, we just want to make sure it doesn’t get in the way of living life.

Good luck with your social media break!

Your Turn!

  • What tips do you have for taking a social media break?
  • Why are you going to do a social media detox?
1 Comment
  1. I so can relate your article. I have talked about leaving your mobile home so many times and I kinda feel lost when I don’t take it with me. I talk about digital detox a lot in my podcast and I have to say leaving the mobile home you tend to look at people. You observe what is going on more and talking to people more rather than being consumed by your device. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

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