Can’t live without checking your phone every 5 minutes? Spend at least 3 hours on social media a day? You probably need a social media detox!
If you can’t stop Instagramming, Snapchatting and Facebooking whilst studying, you’ve most likely already discovered how distracting this can be.
So, let me take you through all the reasons you should probably put the phone down and take a social media detox!
Which ‘Symptoms’ Do You Have?
Many Year 12 Students suffer from one of the symptoms below (myself included).
If you have any of these symptoms, it’s a sign that you need a short social media detox during Year 12!
Social Media Withdrawal Pains
- You experience social media withdrawal pains – if you haven’t checked your Facebook, Instagram or WhatsApp in 5 minutes, you feel this strange compulsion and itch that is completely irresistible to check your accounts to see what’s happening.
- If you don’t check your accounts frequently, like a smoker you start to feel anxious, and start pacing or tapping your leg incessently
- When you don’t have your phone on you or you run out battery, you feel naked and vulnerable. Like something bad is going to happen.
- It stresses you out, so you carry around an additional battery charger pack or charge cable.
- You’re one of these weird people always looking for a spare plug point so you can charge your phone or tablet
Multiple Device Syndrome
- While you’re watching TV, you’re also using your phone to check Facebook, and scrolling through Instragram pictures – and this is during the actual show (not just during the ads!)
- You get bored really quickly with the show, and constantly refresh your social media accounts in the hope that there’s something new
If you think you have any of these symptoms, a social media detox may be just what you need.
While we aren’t advocating quitting social media cold turkey or forever there are many benefits to starting Year 12 by stopping social media use for a few weeks.
Why Should I Detox?
Reason #1: It’s Distracting
It’s super easy to spend hours online without actually achieving anything — you know refreshing your news feed every 5 minutes isn’t going to produce anything you haven’t seen before, but you just can’t help yourself.
This takes away from valuable study time and leaves you more stressed when you have to start the work you’ve been putting off.
If you’re a click-bait (like myself) taking a break from social media can be super useful to help minimise distractions and time wasting.
If you’re curious in seeing what social media you spend the most time on and how long check out this app. Having recently downloaded this I can say the results are very eye opening.
Reason #2: It Reduces Your Attention Span
Up until Year 12 you’ve probably studied with Facebook open or your phone nearby and have subconsciously checked for updates every few minutes as habit.
Constantly checking news feeds leads to a shorter attention span, which breaks up studying.
This causes disruption in study as your are breaking your focus often meaning you have to study for longer to learn the facts which is something no one wants!
Reason #3: You Can Be More Productive
If you are not using social media during the week it will allow you to study productively and without pausing every few minutes to check status updates and tweets.
All the time you would have spent aimlessly scrolling through Facebook can now be put to a better tasks be that studying, hanging out with friends, exercising or a hobby!
Reason #4: You Can Get Into a Routine
By not constantly checking for status updates and the like you are more focused and driven.
This mindset is really useful to have when you are trying to establish a study routine and/or change your routine to fit in new requirements.
By having a break from social media your allowing all your extra attention to focus on following through the plan rather than constantly being distracted and not getting into a set routine.
Now that you’ve decided to make the change and stop using social media for a while you’re probably wondering how to stop — right?
Below we’ve got some simple and easy to implement suggestions on how you can reduce or stop social media time in order to have an effective detox.
It’s also important to note that we’re not suggesting you quit social media forever, rather we want you to be able to use your time more effectively.
How to Decrease Your Social Media Usage
Strategy #1: Set a Time Limit
Set a time limit for how often you allow yourself to spend on social media. If you spend all afternoon on Facebook try cutting down to 1 or 2 hours a week for the first week. Then less and less as the term progresses.
Strategy #2: Download a Self-Control App
If you don’t know what to block I’ve included a snapshot of my self-control blocks just below.
Strategy #3: Leave Your Phone in Another Room
There’s actually no need to have your phone next to you while you work – it’s simply a temptation!
Often times, out of habit, you pick up your phone while working purely because you’re used to checking it every 5 minutes.
This chews into your work time and concentration massively!
You’re much better off leaving it in another room where you won’t be tempted to pick it up.
Strategy #4: Turn Your Phone Off
If none of the above work, why not just turn your phone off?
And when I say off I mean ‘power off’, not just ‘standby’ mode.
That way, you won’t even hear that notification or buzz go off, which means you can focus completely on your studies.
How to Undergo a Social Media Detox
Step 1: Delete unnecessary apps from your phone.
Step 2: Block social media sites using a computer app like ‘self control’.
Step 3: Get a family member/ friend to change your password (make sure they don’t forget it!)
Step 4: Give your phone/tablet to your parents when you get home from school and don’t collect it until the following morning.
Step 5: Create rules e.g. no social media on weekdays, Facebook only after 9
Step 6: If you feel ready delete/deactivate you accounts – you can still have a detox without completing this step.
Hopefully you’re inspired to put down your phone and block websites on your computer until you’ve firmly established your study routine.
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Milana Gusavac thought she had seen the end of HSC until she realised that others out there needed help surviving year 12 just like she had. Now she’s a member of the Art of Smart team while perusing her studies at the University of Sydney, studying a Bachelor of Psychology. When not learning or helping other’s Milana can be found with her nose in a book or marathoning TV shows.