Recently after my near 2 months of social media detox, I decided to hop back into the game. There is a few things that I have noticed.
During My Detox Time
I discovered how much the social media world distracts you from honing your creative abilities. Hear me out, how many times do you automatically unlock your phone a day? I bet you it is more times than what is really necessarily. We are way more on our phones than we think we are. When you remove it from your daily equation, your mind starts clearing up.
In my experience, my mind started clearing up and I began to generate more ideas, thinking more creatively, and became more aware along with being more intentional with the present moment.
Without realizing it, we tend to cloud our minds with the media that leads to any of the following: Procrastination, depression, unintentionality, lack of discipline, forgetfulness, and creativity killing.
Question is, how long should you detox from social media? Unfortunately that varies from person to person because old habits do not die out [The Power Of Habit written by Charles Duhigg]. It all depends on the effort and time the person puts in to create a new habit to prevent from falling back into the trap of social media. It takes time indeed, and the recommended time is 30 days for rewiring your brain. But then there is willpower also involved in this whole equation. If there is no willpower, then you’ll be giving in really easily.
The Effects Of Social Media
Before you return, you need to understand what the trap entails. Colors might play a role in this situation but it is only the icing on the cake.
Doom scrolling, or scrolling which is the main factor here, triggers dopamine in the brain that is equivalent to gambling. It is like playing the roulette game because you don’t know what is coming next. Scrolling is exactly the same, you don’t know what will show next. I almost fell for this trap again, but luckily I analyzed the traps during my social media detox duration.
Keep in mind that receiving high mounts of dopamine right after you woke up will make your day seem dull because it’s not as exciting or rewarding as when you woke up. This may lead to depression over time.
Every time when you turn on the screen, you create a larger gap between potential idea generation and switching off your brain. This is known as the cloud/fogginess in your brain. The over stimuli of short term dopamine causes that fog. It can be caused from pornography, reels, masturbation, anything that gives a sudden huge spike in dopamine really.
Another trap is procrastination in work or to even sleeping. I have found myself countless night where I was tired but the moment I went onto social media, the tiredness faded away.
Procrastination is the word for delaying important tasks that needs to be done. It’s hard to be productive if I am distracted constantly [especially if you’re ADHD].
Sleep is the utmost important action of the day. There is a reason why 8hrs of sleep is recommended. In Choke, Sian Beilock wrote that our brains needs rest which is called sleep because during that time our brains are getting rid toxins that is not great for you [feel free to look up beta amyloid].
When sleeping, your brain is literally being cleared from fogginess which is the toxins. Getting the right amount of sleep, drains out enough toxins to clear the brain that creates a clearer mind to think. Thus, sleep is really important and nonnegotiable.
When Returning To Social Media
A classic for starters, do not go onto the media right after waking up! If you ask why, reread the previous section of this letter.
When you download the app, immediately put a timer on it in order for you to get into the habit of using the time on it sparingly. My time limit is 15 minutes max on my phone. If it’s too short for you, you can use your PC/Laptop for posting the remainder. Reason is, I found it allot easier to not doom scroll and only stick to posting. Why is it easier? It is easier because the bad habit have not yet been created. Use this chance to create a healthy habit from the beginning.
Every time when you go onto the platform, go in with the mindset of only posting and then leave. Don’t go and start scrolling, that is when you create room for falling into the trap.
For notifications, turn it off. Turning notifications off is a form of showing that you value your time and focus. You don’t need to know immediately what is going on if it’s unrelated to what you are working on. If something unrelated is very important, that person can call you instead. It is easier to lose focus than gaining momentum getting back into the work flow and focus.
Do not go onto social media right before you go to bed. We already covered the importance of sleep. The trap here is, dopamine gets triggered and it causes for you to become more awake. Then there is the blue light topic of the electronics’ light that influences your nightly brain patterns causing a disturbance in your sleep routine. Bottom line is, don’t go on your phone right before bed.
This is all my tactics that I have found working for me. Doing a detox is really good for you; it resets your brain receptors’ sensitivity. Seeing a post on Instagram, you will literally feel the overload in dopamine. Please do not chase after the dopamine feeling, otherwise you’ll end up back at square one. Use the dopamine feeling as a guide for “Watch out, I should take a break immediately.”
If I can achieve this type of discipline, so can you.
Safe Travels — Sleep Safe