The average South African spends over three hours posting content, interacting with followers, and scrolling through social media feeds every single day. It is no wonder why these platforms can take such a toll on our mental health over time! With piles and piles of fake news and sensationalism, thousands of COVID-related stories, memes, and opinions, and worrying predictions about what 2021 holds for us, now is a great time to take a social media hiatus. Here’s how to go about it.
Delete the apps
If there are no apps, it won’t be as easy as tapping an icon to gain access to your social media home pages. You will have to intentionally head to the app store to re-download them and manually enter your details to log in. This will make it less tempting to ‘relapse’ during your break.
Tell friends you plan to take a social media hiatus
If you are a regular social media user, friends and family could worry when you fall off the grid (or “the ‘Gram”!). Leave a message detailing the fact that you are taking a breather away from the online world. Speak to loved ones directly regarding your reasons. If they know why you need a break, they will be less likely to try to tempt you back online again!
Start a new hobby or passion project
If the statistics are to be believed, you will now have an additional three hours to spare every day. Now, all that’s left to do is decide how you put this free time to good use. Start a hobby or a passion project that brings you joy, keeps you productive, and leaves you feeling great about yourself. Alternatively, dedicate the extra time to your studies to get a head-start on next year’s material, if possible.
Get your news the traditional way
Steer clear of any online news for the time being and rather pick up a newspaper on your way to varsity in the mornings. You can page through it while you have a cup of coffee at the cafeteria and savour this little bit of ‘me-time’ away from the screen. You will also have peace of mind that every story published is likely to be a lot more accurate than anything you could have found on the internet!
A social media cleanse is certain to have you feeling refreshed and will aid in restoring a positive mindset despite the many challenges and hardships that 2020 has thrown your way. Perhaps it is a mental health practice to continue periodically into the future?