With Scroll Free September on the horizon, many conversations are turning to strategies for unplugging. While we know we couldn’t actually go cold-turkey since we’re in the social media biz, we recognize the importance of prioritizing human interactions and stepping away from our devices. At Imagine Media we encourage our team to find balance. Whether it’s a positive balance of work and life, a healthy balance of tacos in the evening and a green juice for breakfast or a balance between scrolling through Instagram on the couch while binge-watching Netflix and the next day going for a 10-mile hike -- we get it!
If you’re feeling like your relationship with the social media world is doing more harm than good, we’ve rounded up some ways that we find balance from the digital overwhelm to help you tackle Scroll Free September however you feel best:
Make a Statement
The first step to making any change in your life is to hold yourself accountable. Tell your friends who expect to be sent memes daily that you’re taking a break. This way they won’t feel neglected or tempt you to hop off the wagon. Letting people know also equips you with a team of cheerleaders who will support you in your goal.
Switch Off At Certain Times of Day
Limiting your time spent on social media will make the time you do spend on any platforms more intentional. Perhaps from 8 pm onwards you put your phone down. Or if your evening scroll-sesh is something that relaxes you, try to limit yourself to a two-hour window to set a standard for how much time you spend on your device.
Or Switch Off For a Whole Weekend
If the idea of going cold-turkey tempts you, but you couldn’t possibly imagine a whole month off the grid, then a device-free weekend might be right up your alley! Plan a weekend of activities that you haven’t done in a long time. Go to that ClassPass studio you’ve been following on Instagram, take that hike (but don’t post the photo at the top), or go for a run without tracking it on your fitness app - whatever feels good for a whole 48 hours do it without social media as a distraction.
Eliminate Devices in Certain Room
Creating a sacred space is not an uncommon practice. If you designate a room of your home that serves as a retreat from the distractions of your phone, or any electronics for that matter, it will become a space that you associate with peace and relaxation. Most would recommend making your bedroom be that space, but it can truly be anywhere that you already find to be a source of comfort.
Switch Off Notifications
If your phone is constantly buzzing with likes from the last photo of your dog that you posted, you may be subjecting yourself to unnecessary distractions. If you turn your notifications off, you’ll be less likely to be tempted to mindlessly visit those social apps.
Place Your Troublesome Apps In A “Do Not Click” Folder
If switching off notifications is a no-go for you, then you could consider moving your apps into a separate folder in order to require one extra step to open the app. This small change can serve as a big deterrent if your fingers are already in the habit of zooming to your favorite social app as soon as you pick up your phone.
Download a Headspace App
All apps aren’t created equally, and there are some that can truly help you feel centered, relaxed and more tranquil if you put them to good use. Apps like Headspace and Calm are designed to help you retreat from your device in order to rest your mind. Find a comfy spot and give it a try as an alternative to scrolling next time!
Invest In Blue-Light Glasses
If you’re reading to the end of this blog, then we can’t recommend enough that you invest in blue-light blocking glasses, even if you don’t need them for a prescription purpose. Brands like Zenni Optical and Felix Gray sell these game-changing computer glasses. If you’re feeling like your relationship with your device needs some work, these glasses may be just what you need!
You might be surprised to have read an article about avoiding social media on the company website that makes its living building relationships online, but we can’t stress enough that time spent on any device should be intentional and valuable. These tiny devices that we carry around every day are an opportunity to learn, connect and grow. It breaks our hearts when we witness social media having a negative effect on anyone in our community. We hope that you always choose to #StaySocial, as long as it feels best for you and brings joy into your life! If you’re interested in learning more, check out our blog on social media for good.
Story By: Sophie Duncan