Social Media Detox: Take Care of Your Mental Health

Social Media Detox

Social media helps us stay connected with loved ones, learn about the latest trends, and look into people’s lives. While that’s an excellent way to kill some time, it becomes worrisome when you start spending hours scrolling your Instagram feed, Facebook, or Twitter. You feel anxious, drained, and unsatisfied with your life. 

If you’re on the same bandwagon, it’s time to leave your phone alone and go on a social media detox.

But what’s a social media detox? It starts with evaluating your habits, screen time, and how it affects your life and self-esteem. How do you feel after using social media? Does your productivity increase when using social media?

If you get negative answers, you need a social media break! This guide will give you a complete outlook on social media detox to help you live a satisfactory, content, and healthy life.

Social Media Detox: Is it the Same as a Social Media Break?

A social media detox involves eliminating social media platforms for a particular time. Most detox periods last a month, but you can do it weekly or even a year.

Remember, you will have to quit cold turkey! It’s not about minimizing social media use but eliminating it from your routine. But rest assured, it will only be temporary, and you can return to how it was before.

A social media detox slightly differs from a “social media break” or “social media cleanse.” While both require you to go off social media apps, the social media break is more about promising to leave them for some time or even just a few hours. 

Social media detox requires you to take extensive measures to go completely off-grid. You may have to give away your social media accounts and passwords to a friend or even delete them. Yes, no kidding!

Why it Is Important to Take a Social Media Detox

Social media apps can take a tremendous toll on your mental health without even realizing it. It silently takes over our daily lives, making us feel dissatisfied with the things we have. 

Even worse, it keeps you stuck to your phone, increasing your screen time and draining the mental energy you can use in a productive or creative task. If you’re constantly checking your feeds, here are some reasons you should go on a social media detox today:

Gives Clarity

The first social media detox change you will feel will be a clear mind. Social media is all about pretty filters, fake promotions, and unnecessary headlines — all of which unconsciously affect our minds to give a reaction. All the noise is a complete disaster for our mental health!

Thus, taking a break from social media gives you enough mental space to think about things that matter. Instead of wasting your mental energy on something useless, you can invest it into things you care about and live a content life.

A clear mind clarifies what matters in your life.

Helps You Get Back Control

A social media detox also helps you get hold of your digital habits. The algorithm of a social media app is designed to make users addicted through notifications and instant alerts. It pushes you to check social media at every beep.

You will find yourself refreshing the screen repeatedly to see if there is a new Like or Comment on your photos. This constant urge significantly affects your sanity, taking you to a point where you no longer control yourself. 

So, a social media break ensures you’re spending more free time in the real world instead of the fake social media one. 

Improves Your Life and Relationships

Taking a break from social media means you’re more likely to be present in the real world, spending time with your friends and family in real life. This is the first step towards having a healthier relationship

It also improves the quality of your life, giving you spare time to complete your sleep cycle and have less anxiety. Not only that, but it also reduces eye strain, and headaches caused due to constant screen staring. 

With a social media break, you will also notice a significant improvement in your neck pain and posture. The less you tilt your neck, the less stress it bears. A win-win situation for you!

Recommended: The Best Detox Methods for Men

How to Go on a Social Media Detox 

If you’re taking your first social media detox, you should start from the basic steps and then proceed to the advanced ones. The process is easy, so you must be consistent in this journey. Here is how you can take a break from social media addiction:

Step 1: Inform Your Family Members and Friends

Before deleting all the apps and disappearing completely, telling a family member or friend about it beforehand is essential. Doing so will make them aware of your well-being and keep you accountable. 

If you get weak anytime and start posting on Instagram, these people constantly remind you about your social media detox. So, inform everyone, or even better, post it on your accounts that you’re going on a social media break.

Step 2: Delete the Social Media Apps

The next step is to remove or block social media apps from your phone, laptop, and tablet, including blocking social media sites. If you think you’re strong enough to resist social media, you will only torture yourself later on. To successfully detox social media, you have to disconnect entirely. 

You can also install Freedom and Cold Turkey on your computer or phone to block social media websites. These apps also allow you to set up time limits for social media use and enable the “Locked Mode.” This feature won’t let you cancel the time settings no matter what you try, ensuring you complete your social media break. 

Step 3: Plan Your Routine for the Detox

You should also decide your routine on the social media detox since you will have plenty of free time. You will get surprised by the amount of work you can do in the time spent on your social media habit. 

Try replacing it with a new hobby or skill that does not involve technology. Some productive suggestions are:

  • Reading a new book
  • Spending time with loved ones
  • Traveling or going off-grid
  • Learning a new language
  • Starting a freelance project
  • Exercising or meditating

Meditation works amazingly when you have nothing to do, so include it in your routine and practice for at least 10 minutes daily. You can also write, play your favorite sports, watch a positive YouTube video, or do what you have put on hold for months. 

Simply do anything that makes taking a break from social media easier. 

Step 4: Change Your Phone’s Lock Screen Wallpaper

To minimize the habit of unlocking your phone’s screen every 5 minutes, you can change your lock screen wallpaper to something thought-provoking. It must remind you of your current mission and purpose of picking up the phone. 

If you picked it up because you felt bored or lonely, you should immediately put it back. That’s the very reason for your social media detox! You must have a productive habit to replace social media use, and a lock screen wallpaper might help.

Step 5: Buy an Alarm Clock

Buying an alarm clock is another great way to avoid social media usage. Since many people pick up their phones to set off their alarm first thing in the morning, the problem begins. 

Your day should begin with realizing today’s intention and end with reflection. What do I want to achieve today? Did I achieve it? How can I make my tomorrow even better than today?

When you have your phone in hand, you skip the moment to realize all this and start scrolling mindlessly. So, instead, use an alarm clock to start your day without requiring your phone. 

Step 6: Give Your Phone Some Rest

To keep your phone out of sight, you should put it on rest mode. Think like it is in hibernation mode and needs an all-day charging. If you’re plugging in your phone to a charging station, ensure it’s away from your bedside table; somewhere you can’t reach easily.

This way, you must get up and try to pick up your phone. Once you’re up from the bed for the pee, your urge for social media usage might have already decreased or vanished. 

Also, separate your business account from your one to not use your work as an excuse. 

Step 8: Hide the Social Media Icons (Your Last Resort)

If you can’t convince yourself to delete the apps, the least you can do is make a folder and move them from the home screen. Doing so will remove the icons from your center of focus so that you won’t think about them as frequently as before. 

It will also minimize your urge to use social media apps and avoid mindless scrolling and clicking. However, this trick doesn’t promise to kill your intense desire entirely. You may still think about your phone when you feel bored or lonely. 

So, it’s better to delete the apps from your home screen and save time on this bad habit!

Recommended: Residential Detox Program


Trying and consistency are the first steps toward a successful social media detox. If you’re unsure whether you can do it, you can start with only a week. It will clarify what the upcoming social media cleanse days will be like.

If the first week of detox works fine for you, increase its duration to two weeks and even a month. Just be gradual and don’t go overboard, as forcing may make you desire to scroll and post even more. 

Many people who have been on social media detoxes don’t want to use the apps again. So, try it and see how it works for your inner peace, building healthier relationships, and overall quality of life. 

Rahul Malpe

Rahul is a nutritionist and personal trainer with 3+ years of experience in the field of health coaching. He specializes in nutrition science, with a keen eye for how food choices, lifestyle habits, and physical activity impact our bodies. 

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