As a content creator, it might feel a little counterintuitive to take a break from social media. After all, streaming and posting content regularly is the key to growing your following and income. But what if a short break from social media could help you learn to use it with intention? In today’s post, we’ll talk about why a social media detox could be just the thing you need to recharge your batteries. We’ll also show you how to do a 24 hour detox and how to make the most of your time away from social media.
Signs You May Need a Social Media Detox
Social media can feel like a rat race sometimes. Even regular social media users can feel depressed, overwhelmed, and burnt out from spending too much time online—for creators, the effects are even worse. If any of the following signs resonate with you, a social media detox might be beneficial.
- You feel uninspired or are suffering from a lack of creativity
- You feel overwhelmed or stressed
- You’re unable to focus on certain tasks
- You spend too much time mindlessly scrolling
- You spend too much time comparing yourself to other content creators
- You’re suffering from burnout and want to take a break from creating content
Why Short Social Media Detoxes Are Beneficial
As a content creator, social media is a valuable tool that you can’t exactly just walk away from. However, you can experience great benefits from simply taking a day off here and there.
Regain Your Mental Clarity
If your brain feels fuzzy or you’re having difficulty concentrating, you’re not alone. Our brains are constantly bombarded with information and notifications from our computers and phones. Every time we receive a notification or a “like” on one of our posts, a small amount of dopamine gets released in our brains. Combined with the massive amount of dopamine released when we play a fun video game and the amount of content we’re exposed to every day, our brains have gotten used to a certain level of fun and stimulation. If you’re having trouble focusing when you need to study, work, read a book, etc., too much time spent online could be the cause.
Improve Your Self Esteem
While social media is great for meeting new friends and keeping in touch with old ones, many of us find ourselves stuck in the “comparison trap.” This is also known as “Keeping up with the Joneses,” (not to be confused with the Kardashians—no one can keep up with them). We see our friends go on a fancy vacation or buy a new car and start to get down on ourselves for not doing the same. For content creators, you might find yourself wondering why you don’t have as many followers as the people in your circle or why you aren’t getting sponsorships. These feelings of inadequacy start to add up over time and can cause you to question if pursuing a career in content creation is even worth it.
Take Back Your Valuable Time
In business terms, it can be said that ROI (return on investment) with social media is poor. We’re not talking about the time you spend posting content in an effort to grow your account: we’re talking about time spent scrolling. You might invest an hour (or much more) of your valuable time scrolling through apps with very little to show for it. How many times have you sat through a TikTok that was a complete waste of time?
Planning Your Detox
Taking a day off from social media won’t magically give you Lizzo-level self esteem (if only!) or make you a whiz at studying, but it can help you learn to use social media with intention. Instead of jumping from app to app, scrolling endlessly, you can be mindful about the kind of social media you consume (and the amount of time you spend consuming). Change your social media habits for the better by starting with a 24 hour detox. If the detox is helpful, you can work it into your regular routine (weekly, monthly, etc.).
Define the Problem
What is it about social media that’s getting to you? Is it one specific thing or just a general feeling of being overwhelmed or exhausted. In a journal or notes app, write down your causes for concern with social media. Too much time scrolling, impulse purchases, anxiety, FOMO—whatever ails you, write it down.
If you post daily to apps like Instagram, YouTube, and Twitter, consider scheduling your posts so you can fully enjoy your day off. Check out our article on social media management tools to see the different options. Once your posts go live, resist the temptation to check how they’re performing—save it for after your detox!
If you’ve never taken a day off from social media, you might find yourself reaching for your phone without even realizing it. We’re not suggesting you lock your phone in a drawer, but think about how strict you want to be with your detox. Decide ahead of time if you want to do a full, 24 hour ban or if you’re ok with checking your phone at certain intervals.
Decide Your Activities
While you can go out and “touch grass,” as the kids say, you can also work on other projects. You can even use the time to catch up on your content creation. Plan next month’s content calendar or batch create content for YouTube or Instagram. Alternatively, you can spend the day relaxing, spending time with friends and family, and indulging in your favorite hobbies (or finding new ones).
After Your Detox
Once you’ve successfully completed your detox, here are some ideas for how to make the most of the experience going forward.
Record Your Findings
In a journal or notes app, jot down some thoughts about your detox. Was it helpful? How did your day go? Did the experience affect your feelings on your relationship with social media? Keep these notes in a place where you can refer back to them later.
Change Your Habits
Did this experience show you that you need to make some changes regarding your social media activities? If so, decide what you want to change and make a plan. Maybe you need to unfollow some accounts or limit your scrolling time. Perhaps you need to focus on using social media to benefit your business by networking or connecting with your audience more.
Be Intentional with Social Media
Going forward, try to give yourself time-based or output-based goals with social media. For example, if you want to limit your time online, give yourself a time limit. If you want to work on your relationship with your followers, allow yourself 30 minutes to respond to comments. For output goals, something like “respond to at least 10 comments” would be a good start. Of course, you can always combine both time and output (e.g. “respond to at least 10 comments within 30 minutes.”).
Social media is a valuable tool that content creators need for their businesses. However, oftentimes we may find social media using us instead of the other way around. 24 hour social media detoxes on a weekly or monthly basis can be a great way for you to disconnect and take some time for yourself. Over time, you can learn to use social media with intent to make your online experiences more enjoyable and productive.