Staying away from technological devices has become one of the trickiest temptations. Without really noticing, our free time is filled up by meaningless scrolling. But is there a way to ease this tempting feeling a little bit? I think there is.
The fact that I had become constantly curious to check the news, update Instagram, Facebook and even my Gmail account hit me hard, while traveling last year.
I woke up every morning, in the most blissful of moods, and the view from my balcony was absolutely amazing. I love the sea during October, with its lonely beach and few angry waves. I opened the curtains briefly, poured myself a cup of coffee and I sat on my bed, with my phone in my hand. I scrolled for about 20 minutes, when I realized that I had chosen to stay on Instagram, watching pictures of people AT the sea, while I could’ve been looking at the the sea right in front of me. It was an eye-opening experience for me. This is how far we’ve come.In 2021, it seems that beautiful views don’t mean a thing if they’re not shared with others through our social media accounts. We cannot afford a tiny bit of self-control, so to enjoy a moment of peace within the first morning hours.
I threw my phone in reaction, and I mixed it up with my bed sheets, like it was a living creature that would get up and haunt me back. Just like that, I opened the door of my balcony, so I could better hear the waves. I sat on my bed again, and swore that from then on, I’d never start off my mornings scrolling through social media. I also committed to 30 minutes of sitting still and simply smelling my cup of coffee while gazing at the sea view. I felt absolutely at ease! I felt aware, finally.
Can you imagine the type of resolutions we create for ourselves now, in 2021? I wondered if people back in the nineties had temptations like digital devices from which they would have to refrain, in order to enjoy a good view!
Ever since last year I gradually practice a social media detox, and I’ll share with you the best tips to start doing so yourself, if you feel overwhelmed because of digital distractions.
Turn Off Wi-Fi / Uninstall Social Media Apps
This depends on whether you plan to conduct a social media detox for a longer amount of time, or for a few hours only. If you simply want to be more mindful for about 4-5 hours, turn off your Wi-Fi and get lost in cooking, reading, walking, biking, or simply reflecting. But if you plan to declutter your mind for a few days, then definitely uninstall Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat or others. Remember: You can install them anytime you want to. You’re not deleting your account.
Be mindful of your free time
It keeping track of the feelings I was experiencing helps while I take time off of social media. There’s certainly less anxiety, more peacefulness, serenity, curiosity and willingness to try and do more valuable things. I started to write down all of my feelings, so that I would create a habit out of ‘detox time’ reminding myself of all the benefits that my body and mind were receiving.
Talk to people about your plan
This was important to me, because I felt like it strengthened my commitment to curb my digital instincts. Telling your friends and family that you will be unavailable for a couple of hours, leaves you calm and with no anticipation. You know you’ll find them right where you left them, and any sort of conversation can continue after the detox time.
Detox with a friend
This is a whole lot better than just telling them about your plans to disconnect. Having a friend to share this practice with, allows you to appreciate it even more. I started telling my best friend about how relieved I was feeling whenever I disconnected for a few hours, so she started doing the same. We went out for long walks, and constantly talked about better appreciating our free time through this ritual.
Stay mindful even after the detox is done
Whenever you get back on using your social media accounts, it is important that you will be more aware of the time you spend on them and the way you use your accounts. As for me, I had started hiding any sort of ads that were recommending me to buy things, try things, or videos that were not contributing anything to my intellect. I unfollowed so many pages, because I wanted to simply get the best of Facebook, for instance, only leaving posts related to Spiritual blogs, Psychological advice, Scientific advice etc.
I am proud to say that I notice the big difference it makes as I scroll through my feed. Now, I mostly see inspirational content that cheers me up, rather than brings me down. But I have to say, this practice requires patience. Each new habitat does.
So give it time, and turn off your digital devices!
Picture: Shutterstock / ID: 1801517362
If you want to view more ways to relax at home, try these videos.
All your donations will be used to pay the magazine’s journalists and to support the ongoing costs of maintaining the site.