The world has never been more connected. No matter where in the world you are, you can send a message to anyone as long as you both have an internet connection.
The internet breaks not only distance barriers but also social barriers. People can now tweet their favorite authors, athletes, and other famous personalities and sometimes even get a response!
But sometimes, one can get lost in online life that they forget to live real life. People may focus on being more connected only to become disconnected from the real world. Sometimes, you need to take a step back, disconnect from social media and connect with life again.
Why Unplugging from Social Media is Important
Here’s a quick video to watch before we dive in.
1. Your Senses Open Up More
It’s hard to turn off, but when you do, you’ll begin to enjoy your meals without having to religiously take photos. You’ll visit places without bothering with a connection to check in or take selfies. You’ll immerse yourself in the experience and the company you are with.
You don’t have to think of what to post, re-write your thoughts or edit your grammar, let alone think if someone has liked your photos or posts.
Watching in awe how the city has changed and spending time in nature will improve your health.
2. Clear the Mindless Clutter
There’s something about social media that hooks us. Whether it’s watching videos after videos, or reading posts of others, it seems like a never-ending process. By the time you realize it, you’ve probably spent a few hours doing the finger exercise and become too tired to do anything else.
Plus, most of the stuff you see, though entertaining, is not as important as you think. Clarity of mind is the key to boosting your productivity and performance at work and promoting your mental health.
3. More Time for Productive Work
You’ll be able to do more other than being on the apps all the time. You’ll get time to re-organize your tasks and schedules.
Research studies have shown that having a routine will not only boost your performance but also promote health.
4. Switching Off is Necessary to Re-connect with Ourselves
Being connected all the time keeps you engaged all the time. You will always be switched on mentally, one way or another, as there will always be a constant reminder ringing in your head to check social media apps and read various notifications.
When you disconnect, you’ll make time to cook your own meals, read books and chew with mindfulness during your meals. You’ll sleep earlier and read less in the dark which is great for your eyes. When you wake up in the morning, you’ll smile as you are greeted by the sun.
How to Unplug from Social Media
Here are eleven ways that will help you disconnect from social media and be more energetic.
1. Eliminate Gadgets One Hour Before Sleep and After Waking Up
You should spend the first hour of your day setting your own plans and agenda. You should be proactive in setting the direction of your day, not reactive. This way, you can determine how you want your whole day to go, not simply reacting to how other people want you to spend your day. During the first hour of your day, you can pray, do a morning meditation, connect with yourself, set your to-dos, and set your goals.
You should also spend the last hour of your day preparing to rest your body and mind. If you check your social media profile before going to bed, your mind will not get the rest it deserves as you will fill your mind with your friends’ updates on their news feeds, which do not necessarily make your life any better or give you rest.
2. Turn Off All Your Push Notifications
It does not only save your battery life, but it also saves you from a lot of distractions. Turn off all your push notifications from email, chat, and social media applications. In case of really urgent matters, people will give you a call.
In 2019, 1 in every 5 people who died in a car crash involved a distracted driver. Turning off notifications can keep you focused while driving.
Success is about momentum. How can you gain momentum when notifications keep distracting you?
3. Keep Your Phone in a Drawer While You’re Working.
Sometimes, merely seeing your phone can distract you whether or not your notifications have been turned off. So, why not take the extra mile and completely hide it from your sight, given you can still hear urgent phone calls?
Again, it’s all about building momentum.
4. Use Only One Device for Checking Social Media
Facebook on your desktop, laptop, smartphone, and, now, even on your Apple Watch? That’s great! For Facebook that is. But, not for your focus and productivity. The more devices you have that can log in to your social media profiles, the more distractions you have to avoid.
Of course, you still have to be connected online. But, use only one device to do so. This will help you condition your mind (and discipline yourself) so that your gadgets are your tools for doing more important things than aimlessly scrolling down your news feed.
5. Give Yourself 30 Minutes to Stay Connected
Yes, you still have to log in! Being connected through social media is a must in our technology-driven world. But, set a time limit for it. Otherwise, you will only waste hours each day. Give yourself thirty minutes (an hour at most) each day to respond to text messages, check notifications, accept friend requests, and respond to comments. I know you still want to. Unless, of course, you’re a social media manager. That’s a different story.
In case you cannot discipline yourself to stop logging in to social media, you can use browser extensions like StayFocusd for Google Chrome to limit the time you spend on them.
6. Allot a Specific Time of Your Day to Respond to Emails
In this increasingly online world, email remains the most personal way of online communication. This is where the most important engagements still happen online. Other social media like Friendster and Multiply have come and gone, but email still remains. That’s why you can spend another hour each day checking and responding to your emails.
Managing your email can also be overwhelming and time-consuming. Read 11 Simple Tips to Effective Email Management for more tips.
7. Subscribe to Your Favorite Websites via Email
Most of us rely on social media to get updates on our favorite blogs and website. But, social media are full of distractions. Instead, be proactive in getting updates as well. Subscribe via email to ensure that the only updates you receive are the updates you want.
8. Use Third Party Applications to Post on Social Media for Work
In case you really need to post updates for your work or business, use third-party applications such as Meetedgar. That way, you can avoid logging in to your social media accounts and getting distracted by your news feed and notifications. Because once you’ve logged in, it’s difficult to log out! You don’t fight temptation, you avoid it!
9. Live a Real Life
A research study showed that compulsive use of social media decreases real-life social support and increases social support on social media.
You need to live an authentic life, interact with real people, and be awesome in the real world to thrive! Don’t stress yourself making your profile wonderful. Live an awesome life, and it will automatically follow!
Do exciting stuff. Write a book. Plan a trip. Whatever. Just be awesome!
Most importantly, live a life that matters, and you don’t have to get your satisfaction and fulfillment from likes and shares ever again!
10. Activate Airplane Mode
While turning off notifications helps, sometimes, it’s not enough. One of the best ways to unplug from social media and eliminate distractions is by activating airplane mode.
11. Have an Accountability Partner
Disconnecting from social media is not easy when done alone. However, it’s normally easier and more fun when done with an accountability partner. Whether it’s your friend, spouse, or roommate, you can always unplug from social media together. Instead of spending hours scrolling your phone, you can take a walk with your accountability partner or take up a new hobby together.
While being great communication platforms, we get engulfed in emotional and psychological ties when we get captivated by them. At the end of the day, would the likes and loves we collect from our selfies, photos, and photos have meant anything? Would we miss the pages we follow fervently if they’re gone one day?
Disconnecting from social media will bring you closer to reality. You’ll re-learn how to look up when walking, spend time being connected with those you care about, and improve your sleep quality.
Don't have time for the full article? Read this.
Unplugging from social media is all about setting aside time to spend away from technology.
Social media enables you to open your senses more, eliminate mental clutter, boost your productivity, reconnect with your loved ones.
Set practices like 30 minutes to stay connected and utilize the airplane mode for distraction-free time.
Carve out self-care by not checking your phone one hour to waking up and one hour prior to going to sleep.
Featured photo credit: dole777 via unsplash.com
|||^||American Psychological Association: Nurtured by nature|
|||^||National Library of Medicine: The Importance of Creating Habits and Routine|
|||^||Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Distracted Driving|
|||^||ScienceDirect: Problematic social media use and social support received in real-life versus on social media: Associations with depression, anxiety, and social isolation|