Uploading a picture, commenting on someone’s new look, telling your friend the reels look great and spending hours scrolling through cute doggo pictures on Instagram. Seems all too familiar? You are not the only one who cannot seem to just get away from social media for a while and focus on the real world. We’ve all been there. Craving a social media detox, making plans of making it work this time, going into Zen mode and admiring the neighbour's plants and then losing self-control because you feel you need to upload a story on the gram and tell everyone what pretty plants they were. A social media detox can be quite the ordeal especially with a generation that lives and breathes in the digital age, but if you are seriously planning on one, there’s a chance it could work while travelling. Here’s what we found for you.
Why is a social media detox good?
If you think about it, people do detoxes all the time. There’s the one done to lose weight, the one done to avoid shopping and spending all you have on buys, the one done to stay away from drinks and smokes and every other form of detox that you can possibly imagine. If these can have a pause hit on them, why shouldn’t social media?
At least until a few years back, social media was a small part of our day. More like a leisure activity that one might engage in before they went to bed, or a break during the day to simply chill and get the tea on what’s happening with everyone else’s lives. But cut to the now and you’d have noticed for yourself how huge of a role these apps play in our day.
You’re waiting for the bus and have nothing to do. What do you do? Check Instagram. Just got done with work and are chilling and wondering what the world is up to. Check Twitter. We are so unaware that these apps have become our go-to to fill up space. And this is why something that has almost taken over our lives definitely needs a detox.
How do you detox from the Internet?
You essentially stop the consumption of content from apps for a specific period of time. You can decide the duration of your social media cleanse. Dr Suzana E. Flores, clinical psychologist and author of Facehooked: How Facebook Affects Our Emotions, Relationships, and Lives, says “In today’s overly connected digital world, taking a break from being online, particularly from social media platforms, is important to one’s emotional well-being. Think of the break as a type of cognitive re-centring, where you consciously choose a few days (or weeks) to focus more on your offline reality.”
If you believe you wish to make this a habit, here’s what you can follow:
Have phone-free hours in the day
These are time periods where you either read, sleep, talk to people around you, watch the television, or do something that does not involve using your phone.
Rethink why you are unlocking your phone
A behaviour that we have all adapted is simply unlocking our phones without purpose and then spending hours browsing through social media. The next time you take your phone into your hands, ask yourself if you really need it.
Reduce screen time
Have you realised that when you do an activity such as reading a book or trekking, you forget to check your phone for hours on end? Well, do more of these activities.
This brings us to the focus of this piece: a social media detox is a great idea while travelling. Have you tried it?
Detoxing from the digital space while travelling
Vacation time could be great for you to detox from social media because for one this is a time when one tends to spend more time than usual on these apps due to an ample amount of free time. Another reason is that this is actually a time when you do not need to have your phone constantly around for work calls etc. Here’s why a social media detox could be a great idea while travelling.
Be present in the now
Travelling is all about making memories and soaking in everything of a particular destination. The next time you’re on your trip, instead of wanting to post every detail of it on social media and letting it consume your adventure, maybe just drink in the experience yourself.
Speak to people around
Another perk that comes with travelling is being able to connect with strangers whom you may never meet again and who have so much to speak about. A detox from the net would help you focus on these priceless conversations and be present entirely without the need to check for status updates or anything of that sort.
Do you constantly feel that your eyes hurt, your head feels heavy and you feel like it's your duty to be on social media the whole time? Well, that’s the pressure of it all bogging you down.
A digital detox could be great and relieve stress as it helps you get away from these feelings of anxiety and pressure. “For some, spending too much time online and on social media platforms has been linked to an increase in anxiety, especially when trying to navigate communication about important or sensitive subjects,” says Dr Flores “Once you establish your own digital break, you’ll gain a sense of control over when and how you choose to communicate digitally.”
Clear your head and reset your goals
Without the looming worry of having to document every minute of your life on your apps, or tell people what you are up to or even comment or like people’s updates, you are free to think about where is it that you want to be. Have you heard of some people going on a trip to discover themselves?
Well, being away from routine can certainly be a great way of doing this. And a social media detox is probably just what you need on your next trip!