For the vast majority of us, social media is a major part of our lives. It has become apart of our daily routine. We either check social media as soon as we wake up, right before we go to bed, and multiple times in between. We document every experience with a flawless Instagram photo or within a 140 character tweet with a signature hashtag. Social media has been an awesome tool for expanding our networks, showcasing our brand and creating profitable businesses. However, every now and then, a digital detox is well worth it.
A break from social media for me has become a consistent practice. It allows me to brainstorm and think without the clutter. Whether we know it or not, social media subconsciously influences our wants, habits and decisions. Here’s an example. Have you ever watched a Youtube Favorites video and suddenly found yourself online shopping for that exact hair product or lipstick shade? Five minutes ago you didn’t know it existed and now it’s a must have. Or, have you ever gotten on Instagram and saw that someone you admired has elevated their brand with an amazing product launch? And now, you’re feeling motivated to go out and do something similar? This is an example of the effects of social media, which aren’t necessarily bad but can cause our decision making abilities to be a bit cloudy.
I tend to conduct a digital detox over a weekend – 48 hours. I do them when I’m looking to plan for my blog (I plan 3-4 months out) or when I want to host a webinar or challenge. I commit to refraining from checking any social media or personal email. I have an email address just for newsletters and things of that nature which made it easier to avoid. During this time, I try to keep my calendar light and do things that are calming such as drinking tea, yoga, or watching my favorite film. Once I’m fully relaxed, I go into brain dump mode. Brain dump mode typically involves a white board, markers, post it notes, legal pads, index cards and an Excel spreadsheet. Any ideas I have I write them and break them down even more. The digital detox helps me to ensure that what I’m writing is purely my own innovation and not an intentional duplicate of someone else.
Another reason to consider conducting a digital detox is for the mental benefits. Whether we want to admit it or not, we’ve all fallen victim to comparison syndrome. We see someone else on Instagram seemingly thriving and instantly feel bad about ourselves. Remember, no one posts photos during the rough patches. We have no idea what the real story is behind that screen shot we see on social media. You are exactly where you need to be. Your journey is unfolding exactly as it should. When you find yourself comparing your progress to someone else’s in an unhealthy manner, it is time for a break.
I encourage you to try a digital detox! Start with a 24 hour break. If you’ve been procrastinating on writing that business plan, updating your resume or cranking out a blog post – I’m 100% sure this well help you. If you’ve conducted a detox before, tell us in the comments or on Twitter using #EmpireLifeMag, what your experience was like.