Thinking Well


You know the drill by now: WFH equals more flexible schedules. This likely means that there is more time in a day for you to indulge in non-work stuff. That almost always leads to spending longer hours scrolling through social media apps on your phone.

01 Feb 2021
While we can’t deny the importance of staying abreast with current news and issues, there is often the danger of being too absorbed in the digital realm that we lose connection with the real world. A UK study found that addiction to social media is similar to that of substances like cigarettes and alcohol, leading to mood changes, social withdrawal, conflict, and relapse.

So as much as you enjoy stalking your favourite pages and feeds, it’s a good idea to take a social media detox regularly. Here are five simple ways to hack it:

Set a Detox Period

Just as you would do with a juice fast, a social media detox is not meant to be permanent. Decide how long you want to detox and when to begin and end the course. Mark it on a desktop or wall calendar where you can easily see it and so it serves as a visual reminder of what you’ve set out to do.


Hit Delete/Uninstall

For the duration of the detox, delete the social media apps that you frequently use. Think that will mean cutting yourself off from the world and missing out on life? You won’t because you can stay connected through other means. Call to check in on a friend instead of checking their social media status. Want to know the latest news? Catch it on TV.

Set Screen Time

You can do this manually – draw up a timetable – or use your phone settings to limit the amount of time you spend using it. Disabling auto-play helps too; it’s so easy to lose track of time because new content keep popping up in your feed, leading to FOMO and before you know it, hours have gone by.

Establish New Routines

Do you use your phone as an alarm clock and for the calendar reminders? While that doesn’t involve any social media apps, it does mean you have reasons to reach for your phone often throughout the day. Switch to analogue means – table clocks to wake you up in the mornings, good old organisers and sticky notes to remind you of important tasks you need to take care of.


Keep Track

Setting a goal alone is not enough, you must have a way to track how things go. This does two things: first, it gives better structure to your plan and secondly, it helps you stay on track till you reach your objective. Keep a journal throughout your detox and note down your observations each day. What was the most difficult thing? How often did you find yourself wanting to reconnect the apps? At any point, did you feel like giving up and if so, what was your motivation? Doing this helps you understand your behaviour, usage pattern and triggers. Use what you learned to make your next social media detox more purposeful and easier.