How to do a Social Media Cleanse

Social media has been a constant influence on our lives for the past 10 years. Since the invention of things like Instagram, Facebook and YouTube it feels like everything has progressed so rapidly that we haven’t had the time to actually reflect on what we’re consuming. Considering social media is something we consume every day, shouldn’t we take a look at what we’re filling our brains with? Just like we critique our diets and our choices of food, we should be taking responsibility for our social media diets as well!  

If it’s not fuelling you, inspiring you or educating you, it’s time to kick it to the curb. Since we have this giant accumulation of content, it can be hard to know where to start. Here are 5 things you can do to start your social media cleanse today.  

Have a break 

Before you go unfollowing a bunch of people and removing your Facebook account, begin by taking a break. If you’re checking social media almost every 5 minutes, try turning your phone off and occupying yourself with a real-life activity. Warning: this can actually be really difficult. Social media is designed to have us hooked. 5 minutes in you’ll probably get the burning desire to check your phone and scroll through Instagram once again. Try to resist the urge and keep doing the activity that’s in front of you. If you’re already good at ditching your phone, try up the ante and avoid social media for a couple of days or a week.  

If you’re anything like the majority of people, you’ve probably developed a slight social media addiction. Don’t beat yourself up about it, social media is designed to keep you coming back. This is why taking a break should be your first port of call. During your break it could be beneficial to ask yourself the following questions: 

  • How does social media/the lack of it make you feel? 
  • Do you need to cut down on your consumption? 
  • What content makes you feel bad about yourself? 
  • What content motivates you and educates you? 
  • What content is purely for entertainment? 

    Now it’s time to have your social media work with you, not against you.  

    Clean up Time! 

    Whatever social media platforms you use, reserve some time to declutter them. However, Instagram seems to be the main culprit when it comes to promoting fake and unattainable lifestyles. It's the place where people show off their best selves. The nice cars, the beautiful home and the beach body. As we all know, this is only a small portion of someone's life and shouldn’t be used to compare yourself. Despite being aware of this, it can still be disheartening when you see someone living their best life while you’re sitting on the couch with a facemask and a double chin. 

    Take some time to go through your following list and click unfollow on anyone or any page that makes you*t. Once you’ve cleaned up a bit, find people or pages that bring you joy, helpful information or news. Repeat this process on all of your social media and watch the magic happen. You can’t escape all of the negativity on the internet, but hopefully, now you’re not bombarded with it.  

    Reflect on Your Content 

    How do you use social media? Take a look at your contribution and reflect on why you post what you post. It’s never too late to reinvent yourself or your social media presence. We are constantly evolving and if your social media doesn’t reflect who you are or what you believe in, that’s okay! Don’t overthink it. Sometimes there's no particular motive or any real meaning behind a post but this is all for you to decide. It might be helpful to ask these questions: 

    • Why do I post on social media? 
    • How does this benefit me? 
    • How do I want to contribute to social media? 

    No matter what your answer might be, the fact that you are now aware of the impacts of social media is a great place to start. You are not your Instagram, and you are not your Facebook. This might sound obvious, but it’s far too easy to attach ourselves to these things, almost as a secondary identity. This is why it can be so frightening when we don’t ‘keep up’ with our social media. We feel like people will forget about us or have false perceptions of who we are. Step back and analyse how you want to keep going.  

    Social media is a strange concept that we are still adapting to. Minimise the harm to yourself and others and do what makes you feel good! It has completely revolutionised our world, for better and for worse. Cultivate a healthy social media environment and you’ll be surprised how much your outer world changes. So, go on. Close this article and turn off your phone (we won't be mad). 

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