Cover Photo: Austin Distel on Unsplash

Need a break from the social media landscape? Read on to find out how to do so successfully!

As much as we enjoy the glamour of social media, we have to admit: it's important to take a break. After all, social media isn't reality and there can only be so much benefit to staring at a screen multiple hours a day. If you're noticing your screen time average has been rising, perhaps it's time to press the pause button and consider a social media fast. 

There are multiple benefits to taking a social media fast. For the anxious, it could mean reducing time spent 'doomscrolling'. For others, social media fasts could bring about more self-awareness on lifestyle habits they may wish to change. And lastly, for some, it could give them more time to enjoy and engage with their real lives. 

Read more: Top 10 Reasons People Use Social Media

Perhaps the most important thing to ask yourself before embarking on a social media fast is why. What are your goals for doing such? Having a clear objective can make social media fasting much easier for those who have found themselves dependent on online activity. It can also give people an idea on how to structure their online fasting—how much time are they allowed to spend online? What will they allow themselves to do? 

After reflecting on the why, it's best to think of the how. Set a time frame for how long your social media fast will last—seven days, a couple of weeks, a month? Then, establish boundaries on how you will be using social media, if necessary. Will it only be for work purposes? Or will you be quitting cold turkey? A lot of people find it impossible to live day to day life without being online, if only for a couple of hours for work or school or keeping up with friends and family. Inform your friends about your decision too so that they know where to reach you in case of emergencies or important updates. 

Once you have a game plan on your social media fast, then it's time to begin. It may be difficult to get the hang of it at first—and there's definitely temptation to unnecessarily check back in online—so we suggest filling your time to keep your mind off it. Read books, exercise, watch TV, or indulge in a creative hobby you can do at home. Catch up with friends the old fashioned way (via the telephone!) or play with a pet. Some people say that having someone hold you accountable to your goals can help you succeed too. 

Though it's somewhat ironic, you can also download apps that help with social media fasting so you become aware of your habits, and the best way to overcome them. 

Social media should be a fun, informative place for people online—yet that's not necessarily always the case. If you find yourself having difficulty or anxiety about cyberspace, there's no shame in taking a step back and giving time for yourself. 

See also: Social Media 2021: Why Users More Likely To Believe Misinformation

© 2022 Tatler Asia Limited. All rights reserved.