Take an Internet Break This Year

Let’s be honest, 2023 hasn’t been a good year to be on social media. How about: It seems that as we sink deeper into the clutches of advanced capitalismour Internet refuges get worse with the aim of making billionaires more money. Apps like TikTok, Instagram, and spy on us, ruin our self-esteemAnd let the racists run rampant — while co-opting the characteristics of each (YouTube short films? Instagram Reels? What is the difference?)

Now that 2024 has arrived (much too quickly, I swear it was November last week), a new year means new resolutions for many. For me, one of those resolutions is to give up social media. Now, I won’t try to convince you to give up social media completely, because studies show that despite the known damage it causes to our brains, we still like to use it – but if you want to stop and you don’t know how I’ve got you covered.

Delete social media apps or limit notifications

The first and most obvious step to starting your digital detox in 2024 is to delete apps. This advice may seem simple, but it is not. Social networks are increasingly main source of information in our lives, so stepping back can be difficult. Plus, like all addictions, you could end up replacing one vice with another that’s just as unhealthy.

This drastic measure can significantly improve mental health and sleep quality while increasing productivity. It also encourages more meaningful real-life interactions and greater focus on personal goals, leading to improved overall well-being.

There are fewer extreme ways to quit social media, of course. Experts suggest put obstacles in your way to limit the amount of social media that grabs your attention on a daily basis. This includes actions like turning off notifications from social media apps or grouping notifications for apps so that they are only sent once or twice a day. It also helps to develop awareness of how you use your phoneas Mashable’s Rebecca Ruiz pointed out.

Try app blockers or limits

One of the biggest obstacles when trying to quit social media is discipline. If you want to force yourself to quit smoking in 2024, try an app blocker. iPhone’s built-in app limits or app blockers like Opal provide a balanced approach to reducing social media use. They help gradually decrease dependency by setting controlled access times, which can lead to better concentration and reduced distractions. This method is beneficial for those looking for a less abrupt transition than quitting all at once, contributing to better time management and healthier digital habits.

In addition, apps like Forest offer a unique and engaging way to limit social media usage by encouraging users to focus on their tasks while a virtual tree grows, blending productivity with environmental awareness, and making the digital detox process more visually and rewarding satisfying. This is ideal if you love your social media apps and don’t want to delete them while limiting your usage.

If you don’t want to use another app to limit your social media use, or you know it will be a difficult process for you, try leveraging the support of your family and friends. Your loved ones can help fill the social void left by your digital detox, offering real-world interactions and activities instead. This emotional cushion can help alleviate feelings of isolation or anxiety that might come from disconnecting from online networks.

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