30 Day Social Media Detox Challenge: How To and Benefits
Last year, I was frustrated about not finding time for the things I wanted to do.
And yet, my weekly screen time report on my phone was ridiculously high.
So, I decided to take a 30 day social media detox challenge.
- I noticed more everyday moments without my phone to distract me.
- I read an entire book in a week.
- And I felt more content with my life overall.
Is it good to detox from social media?
6 out of every 10 people on the planet have a social network account (source.) Social media helps us stay connected, get information out to a wide audience, and network. Plus, all those likes and hearts make us feel good.
So how do we know when we need to take a break? And how do we actually accomplish one?
Benefits of a Social Media Detox Challenge
First, reflect on your screen time habits. Ask yourself:
- How do I feel after scrolling?
- Is social media taking time away from activities that I enjoy?
- Is it making me less present with my family and friends?
It’s okay to shift your focus and take a break when your social media usage has become too extreme. And the benefits of a social media detox challenge are numerous.
Improved mental health
Lower levels of social media usage boost mental health.
- Studies have linked social media use with increased levels of depression, anxiety, and isolation.
- It’s easy to compare your life to others when scrolling through social media, leading to feelings of insecurity, envy, and low self-esteem.
Dr. Danielle Kelvas, MD, recommends unplugging completely from social media. She also says, “take regular breaks away from your phone. Community heals anxiety and depression – true, authentic relationships. Spend more time with people you love, and less time on screens.”
Improved physical health
Most of us are sitting down when we scroll on social media. This extra sedentary time (in addition to the time we are already sitting to work) is not healthy.
It can also lead to neck and back pain as well as eye strain and migraines.
By taking a social media break, we have the chance to increase exercise and time outdoors. Both of which upgrade overall physical and mental health.
Putting down our devices allows us to reconnect with significant others, family members, and friends.
I was recently at a holiday gathering with people I do not get to see often. I noticed that with any lull in the conversation, people immediately looked at their phones. It was hard to feel connected with the group and the conversation didn’t flow.
Phubbing or phone snubbing is when you ignore those around you in order to look at your phone.
Furthermore, posts on social media pages can have unintended consequences. Comments, links, and misplaced jokes can lead to hard feelings.
Artificial light from our phones can affect our natural sleep cycle. We like to scroll in bed and some of us are compelled to be active on social media at all hours of the night.
Refrain from reaching for your phone in the middle of the night if you can’t sleep. Aim to get off all screens at least 30 minutes before you go to bed.
Related: Best Things To Do At Night (to wind down)
More Free Time and Increased Productivity
The average daily usage of social media is 2 hours and 27 minutes. (source) That is over 37 days a year that you are spending on your phone!
We can’t deny that this significant amount of time interferes with productivity, hobbies, and other high impact activities we could be doing in our free time.
<<Read The Best List of Habits to Improve Your Life>>
I have often wasted up to 20 minutes of my morning scrolling through social media before getting out of bed.
65% of adults under 35 look at their phone within five minutes of waking up.
Set the tone and intentions for your day by using that time to move your body, read a motivating book, or enjoy quiet time with a hot cup of coffee.
*Read for more quick morning ideas that elevate your day.
Lowered risk of cyberbullying
Many people, particularly young adults and children have been victims of threats and other negative activities. In fact, 59% of teens claim to have suffered from some sort of cyberbullying. (source)
Rumors spread easily on a social media platforms. This has lead to depression, low self-esteem, and in some situations, suicide.
You will take back control of social media habits
I know I need a break from social media when I am compulsively picking up my phone every chance I get.
By completing a 30 day detox challenge from social media, you refocus your habits. After, you will find that you won’t want to go back to spending so much time on it.
How To Do a Social Media Detox Challenge
A 30-day social media detox is a complete disconnect from all social media. This includes all platforms: from Tik-Tok and Snapchat to Pinterest and Facebook.
Here are simple steps and tips to get you started. I promise that it’s totally doable!
1. Delete social media apps
Yep, I’m asking you to quit cold turkey for this 30 day challenge. Remember, it’s not permanent. You can always reinstall an app if you need it.
By deleting your apps, you won’t be able to open social media when you aren’t thinking about it. You may even find that you don’t want to put the app back on your phone.
2. Figure out what apps you are using the most
Apple’s Screen Time feature tracks your time spent on apps and on your phone overall. Android users have a similar option in their settings.
Or download an app like Moment (for Android or iOS) that also helps you see how much time you are spending on each app.
This helps you figure out exactly how much time you are devoting to social media apps (which will now be free time) compared to email and other work and personal phone use.
3. Involve a friend
Find a friend or family member that would like to complete a social media cleanse with you. This accountability will make you more likely to stick to your personal goals for the challenge.
I completed my first social media detox during the season of Lent, a time where many people decide to give up something in their lives as a sacrifice and a test of self-discipline.
This made me feel more confident and motivated in my decision because I knew others were making a similar sacrifice.
4. Keep your phone in another room
Whether you are enjoying time with your family or trying to get some rest, keep your phone in another room.
Set up your charging station out of reach from your bed. And decide to put your phone in another room during family meal times.
5. Put a reminder, positive affirmation, or quote on your phone screen
Set your lock screen on your phone to remind you of the challenge as well as a reason why you are completing the challenge. This could be a picture or a word reminder.
Another idea is to set an affirmation on your lock screen. A positive affirmation can motivate you to complete the challenge.
- I love the person that I am and the person I am becoming.
- I am courageous and brave for trying, even when it’s hard.
- I am capable of overcoming difficult challenges.
A positive growth mindset quote would be another excellent visual reminder.
6. Let people know you will be taking a social media break
FOMO (fear of missing out) plays a major role in why we are hesitant to take a social media break. We fear we will miss important updates, events, activities, or news.
Let people know you will be taking a break. Either post this to social media or send a text to those important to you.
It can be hard when we feel like we will be out of the loop. But remember, if something is important enough, you will hear about it.
7. Be in touch with the people you will miss out on connecting with
Focus on putting more effort into maintaining relationships outside of social media.
Spend a few extra minutes a day to call, text, email, and even write loved ones during this time. Boost your social calendar and make a plan to see friends face-to-face.
8. Create a separate business social media account
If you are concerned about taking a social media detox because you use these platforms for business purposes, create a separate business account.
Use the challenge to completely detox from your personal account. Then, only use the business account for ways that will benefit work.
9. Plan new ways to spend your extra time
Hands down this is the best part of a social media detox. But, it can also be the hardest part at first. We are conditioned to grab our phones whenever we have a free minute.
So, what will you do with your extra time?
- Try a 30 day self care challenge -this is the perfect time!
- Read a book (bring a book with you wherever you go!)
- Practice meditation
- Text or call a friend
- Watch a movie or TV series
- Take a walk or spend time exercising
- Complete a project
- Play games with your kids
- Try a reading challenge– Join along with ours here! ⬇️
Related: Fun 30 Day Challenge Ideas
10. Replace your digital habit with a productive one
If your life lends itself to periods of downtime when you are waiting for your kids or waiting at appointments, replace scrolling through social media with a productive digital habit.
- Download e-books to your phone and read
- Listen to podcasts or audiobooks
- Journal on your phone
- Take an online course
- Listen to music you love
- Declutter your email
After a 30 Day Social Media Detox Challenge: What’s next?
Looking to set new boundaries for your social media usage after you have completed your challenge?
Set social media app time limits
My husband sets a time limit on his phone where he can only spend 15 minutes on social media each day. He has found that he often doesn’t even use up all this time after many months of this routine.
Setting app limits can be done in the settings on your phone. On iPhone, you can also set Downtime which allows only apps that you choose to be available.
Create a social media folder on your phone home screen
Putting your social media apps into a single folder may make you less likely to click and open them without thinking.
Reflect On Your Results
You’ve completed your social media detox challenge! Congrats!
Take time to reflect on your results.
- What will you do differently with social media use moving forward?
- Did the detox have any profound effects on you? What were they?
I found that I was overall happier. I was no longer comparing my life to others. I also had more free time to do things I love and spend time with the people I love. I felt more present in my life.
As a result, I decided not to put my social media apps back on my home screen and to limit my social media use to 15 minutes one time a week.
To Consider With the Detox Challenge From Social Media
There’s nothing wrong with spending time on social media. The important thing is to continue to reflect on how it is impacting your life. It’s likely you will find that after you complete the 30 days detox challenge, you won’t want to fall back into your old routine.
My hope is that you feel calmer, happier, and more content after completing your challenge.
Let me know if you complete this 30 day social media detox and what your results were!
<<Use the blank 30 day challenge tracker in our Personal Growth Pack to help track your no social media detox challenge. Check it out here!>>
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