The number one distraction to truly living with intention, in my experience, is social media. Between Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat (which I just don’t get), Kik (I think this is a thing right?), and whatever else the kids are into these days, there is an endless stream of access to a lot of lives out there.
It’s a crazy awesome time we are in, to be able to keep up on people’s lives without having to make a phone call. Without having to remember to call them, or having to go to the reunion. Or having to ask a friend of a friend to snoop on your ex to make sure you’re still ‘winning’.
But that comes with a price, doesn’t it? Because we don’t *have* to reach out, we don’t. We just consume whatever tidbits our friends, acquaintances, even strangers decide to show us. And that’s a huge problem in and of itself. But it’s the unintended consequence of us ignoring the people right in front of our faces where we have to make an effort in favor of those we don’t that the real problem lies.
Because we’re humans, we choose the path of least resistance and lean toward the easy choice. The scrolling. The endless scrolling. But this weekend, I encourage you to try these tips and go two full days without opening up a social media app.
If you feel like you can’t commit to two full days for whatever reason, then don’t! Try just one day. Or hell, even half a day. Go from the time you wake up until lunch time without having a screen in your face.
We need to re-train ourselves to be present with the people in our every day lives. We need to find a way to regain balance.
put the phone away
This will probably be easiest for my half day peeps. When you wake up in the morning, check your phone to make sure you haven’t missed an emergency call, then…leave it on the charger and walk away.
When you take your morning dump, bring that book you’ve been meaning to read for forever and read that instead of Facebook. During breakfast, have a conversation about your day with your family.
If you play music while you take a shower, though, go ahead and keep that part of your routine – I’m not a monster. You’ve gotta have music 😀
For my people committing to one day or the full weekend, if this is your first full social media free day, let’s take some baby steps. At lunch time, check back in on your phone and make sure you haven’t missed a call. FOMO is real, and so is anxiety. If you’re really reliant on your phone, it’s going to be hard AF to go without it for a day (or more).
turn off notifications
Not having your phone physically on you may not be possible for a host of reasons. Maybe you’re on call for work, or you are otherwise waiting for an important call or text. Truthfully, though, most things can wait until Saturday afternoon, or Sunday, or Monday depending on how long you’re committing with me.
If you do absolutely have to have your phone on your person during your social media free time, turn off those notifications. I’m the type of person who has to clear my notifications right away. I HATE seeing how many I have on my phone screen.
What if something cool is happening and I’m MISSING IT?!
Recently, I learned how to make it so apps don’t show those notifications at all. I am an iPhone user, so I can’t speak to other mobile devices.
So if you go into your iPhone Settings, then Notifications, you’ll be able to pick and choose what you see from each app you have.
Here’s an example for Facebook:
You can choose not to allow any notifications at all, which is likely what you’ll want to do here. Voila – annoying OMGFOMO feelings GONE 🙂
add all of your social media apps into a folder
Another way to minimize the amount of times you even see your social media apps is to put them all in a folder together. Name it whatever will help you resist the urge to open it up.
If you’re not sure how to create a folder for your apps, here’s a quick video tutorial I grabbed off of YouTube. They’re using an iPad, but the iPhone functions the same in this respect.
irl plans = natural social media break
Y’all, the very BEST way to keep your mind off of social media? Is to keep yourself busy! Your social media free weekend is a GREAT time to finally do some Spring cleaning (you know, the stuff you meant to do in March but haven’t gotten to yet?). Or volunteer. Maybe you have been meaning to take your kids to some cool local attraction. Better yet, you know those friends you always say “we should really get together sometime!” to? Make your social media free weekend that time.
The hardest part about being social media free and hanging out with the people in your life, is that they may not be so keen to put their phone down. And that’s okay. Maybe your cool, unplugged self will help them unplug a bit, too! Either way, it may be in your best interest to warn them ahead of time – your friends will most likely respect your choice.
social media free weekend for business owners
So one caveat I want to throw in there, is sometimes for small business owners, bloggers, or anyone else who needs to maintain an online presence for their work, going social media free may seem like a death sentence.
But it’s not! This is where you may need to embrace automation. There are several programs out there that allow you to schedule your social media posts out in advance like Buffer or Hootsuite. You can plan out when your social media free weekend will take place and schedule your content accordingly. On Monday, hop back in and be your regular in-the-moment type of poster if that sounds like you.
Remember, you don’t need to give up social media completely, or even every weekend to re-train yourself into being more present. And maybe the weekend isn’t a good time for you. You can apply these pointers at any time that works for you.
Ready to unplug? You’ve got this ♥