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Social Media Addiction and How to Do a Digital Detox

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It's 5:32 a.m. You open your eyes to sixteen Facebook comments and a newly-viral Twitter post that spawned 16k likes. You start your day with a good scroll on your Instagram feed even before you get out of your bed. The rest of your morning? A quick jaunt to the shower and no breakfast, because you were too busy liking other posts that you were now late for work. All throughout the day, your phone keeps buzzing with notifications about a local food expo you had no intention of going and DMs from your BFF about her latest digital crush. The day is over and you end up tired, less productive, eyes twitching, and fingers cramping since you've typed more on your smartphone than on your computer. Months later, the effects get worse: you get less sleep, more wrinkles and a surprisingly short attention span.

Technology may have changed the way we communicate, but the plethora of social media platforms we’re one may have overdone so.

Each has imbibed in us the need to stay connected anytime of the day. The smartphone that keeps us updated is the same device that unconsciously triggers mental stress. It has become less informative, more of a distraction, and before you reach the far end, it’s time to hit the brakes and get yourself a digital detox.

 Dean Drobot/Shutterstock
 

Don’t put away your smartphone just yet

Unplugging from your social media addiction may be the thing you need to get your life back in order. This doesn't mean burying your phone six-deep under; a digital detox is more like discipline, and you may even hold on to your phone if you have enough grit to follow the rules. Here are ways to get back to reality's groove.

Pause the push notifs.

You don't need constant updates about your favourite YouTube channel when your mental health is on the line. When to know it's time to back off the notification squad? When you're getting interrupted several times a day and you can't focus on anything else but on one's channel. Turn off these notifications (as many as you can) because frankly, you can live without them.

No more 'gramming in the morning.

Instead, tuck your phone away - in your desk or in your bag - and welcome daylight with arms wide open. Instead of tweeting, write a journal. Get a good breakfast. Read a book. Ditch your Spotify playlist for one with your very own LP and dance on the floor. You'll discover you have so much time in the morning, and many of those minutes are spent on distraction.

​​​​​​​Lights out at eight.

Your electronic devices keep you awake at night (thanks to the harsh blue light it emits). It may even become the cause of your insomnia. What to do? Set a schedule and ditch your device once the clock strikes naptime. You'll get better sleep and improved moods when you wake up!

Lydz Leow/Unsplash
 

Unsubscribe from unimportant emails.

You get emails from fifteen fast-fashion retailers, four travel apps, eighteen blogs and three subscription services. You don't need them in your inbox. Stop the email from fervently pinging by ditching these chunks of information you might not even read in the day.

Get social in real life.

Yes, Facebook connects us to people far away, but it wouldn't replace casual strolls with friends, or actual flower-arranging courses you always want to have. Enjoy the community, the one outside your door, and be involved with the real things that matter.

 

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