Remember that life is short
Do you want to look back on your life and say, “I wish I spent more time with my cell phone”? Probably not. Remember, life is too short to obsess over Facebook or Instagram, as fun as those social media sites may be. Use your pockets of spare time to call a friend or visit a relative or friend you haven’t seen in a while—in person, that is! Your brain is probably aching for some actual, screen-free conversation. “Taking a break from technology is a great way to give your brain some much needed down time allowing creativity to flow in,” says Dr. Williams. “Intentional disengagement with your smart phone may lead to intentional and meaningful engagement with others. Break up with your phone, not your friends.”
Reward yourself while encouraging others
If friends are also looking to step back from social media, vow to support each other along the way. “Make a pact with your friends or loved ones to turn off phones when out to dinner, or hanging out,” recommends Susan Antelis, MPS, a board-certified mental health counselor in New York City. “Put your phones in the middle of the table, for example, and the first one to break the pact, pays for dinner.” Another idea, says Antelis, is to make a deal with yourself: stay “clean” (off media) for a whole day or a whole weekend, and reward yourself with something not media related. “Positive reward strategies are very effective according to basic psychology.” Treat yourself to a mani or favorite coffee drink, for example. These are the social media posts that could get you fired.
Stay focused on YOU
“Staying intimate with social media on a daily or hourly basis can be viewed as a form of ‘social’ addiction without really being social; it satisfies a basic human longing to be included,” says Antelis. “However, sometimes what other’s share and how they share it can cause unwanted reactions and backfire for some triggering pangs of jealously, anger, or unworthiness. This might mean that some break time away is needed until your situation resolves.” Instead of focusing on what other’s post that negatively affects you, concentrate on posting things that make you happy in the here and the now, such as an inspirational quote, advises Antelis. “This can help you shift away from focusing on what you do not have, to what you do have in your life that is worthwhile.” It will help you remember that sense of empowerment and community that social media meant to provide you with, in the first place, she adds.