16 Oct Make your own Social Media Outage
The recent outage of Facebook, Whatsapp and Instagram showed just how reliant we all are on social media. What should have been an opportunity to read a book, do some exercise or do any number of beneficial non-tech related activities instead caused global panic and hysteria. However, many people unexpectedly found they enjoyed it, and even called on Facebook to arrange another outage again soon. But, instead of waiting for someone to kick the plug out again in Silicon Valley, how about going about creating your own social media outage? Here are some tips on how to establish your own, and keep it going.
Turn off Push Notifications
One way to alleviate the inevitable stress that you might feel initially when being off social media, is to turn off push notifications as an initial step. This will not only partially or wholly eliminate any fear of missing out, but also allow you to interact with the people around you in ways you could never do on a screen.
Logout of Social Media Apps
If you have your social accounts logged in on multiple devices, chances are you will be tempted at some point to break your outage. To counter this, log out on every device. If you’re not ready to do that at once, you can ease gradually into it. Try a week off on your smartphone, maybe two. You have a much better chance of keeping your outage going if you are able to remove immediate temptation
The beauty of apps is that you are able to install and delete them at will. So why not do just that? On a more practical level, deleting apps removes the immediacy of social media (you can’t post from a browser). This step can also form a useful halfway house between logging out and wanting to stay connected. Plus, it allows you to remove “non-essential” apps and de-clutter the feed on your existing apps. Reduce the number of platforms you’re juggling and you may well reduce your anxiety levels.
Focus on Self Care
Whilst it may seem a cliché, it’s important to re-focus on the most important aspect of your health: your emotional wellbeing. Go for a bike ride. Meet up with a friend. Or just focus on good old fashioned relaxation. Either way, caring for yourself rather than obsessing over ‘like’ counts means that when you eventually return to social media, you may have learned how to use it in a healthier way. Plus, it’s well documented that quitting social media, even in the short term, can result in benefits to both health and mood.
Make it A Team Effort
It can be daunting when trying to give up a part of your life that has likely become intrinsic on your own. Sharing the effort with someone else who also rather enjoyed the six hours when Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp were done will provide a useful network of moral support and accountability. It also makes it more likely that you will stick at it for longer. And, sooner rather than later, you may both have created more responsible and better versions of yourselves.
For more tips on managing your social media outage or your relationship with tech in general, take a look at our new book My Brain Has Too Many Tabs Open, available to order from Amazon now.