Ways to get through a social media detox

There’s no doubt social media plays a big part in many of our lives and while it helps us connect with family and friends, experts say it can also be damaging to our mental health. 

If you find yourself avoiding some of those online interactions these days, that might be good for your health. 

“When we’re on social media it isn’t always the healthiest kind of connection, given COVID, given the politics and the stressors going on for all of us in our individual lives. We can find ourselves scrolling and scrolling and being triggered by upsetting things that are posted,” said Jane Pernotto-Ehrman from Cleveland Clinic.  

She's a behavioral health specialist there and says it’s easy to feel a range of emotions when you’re on social media: everything from jealousy to anger. 

She says if you find yourself getting upset or constantly checking your newsfeed, you may want to consider taking a break. 

In fact, research shows if you limit your time on social media to no more than 30 minutes a day, your mood can actually improve. 

“I think when we say, okay, I am going to check social media at this time of the day and keep it to that and not check it first thing in the morning, and not check it every time they have a break so that they have some regulation to their day and their time, I think that’s helpful.” 

So how do you detox from social media? A couple of ways:

  • Keep your phone out of sight, in a purse, in another room, leave it in the car
  • Change your home screen to say "why now" or any words that will make you pause before clicking
  • You can put physical barriers around your phone, like rubber bands
  • Detox with a buddy by agreeing to only spend a certain amount of time on your phone and then share progress with each other