While it can be downright tough to pull away from our work and personal email accounts over the course of a whole weekend, it could feel even tougher to pull away from social media. With frequent updates and notifications, apps like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Tumblr, and Pinterest are designed to keep us refreshing and reading, scrolling and posting. Talk about a lost weekend!
Fortunately, there are tried-and-true ways to unplug and go social media-free for a couple of days. Try it out—you’ll be glad you did.
- Spread the word. If social media has long been your go-to way of engaging with the world, you might want to let it know you’re taking a break. Put out a message to your social network letting everybody know you’ll be out of pocket for a couple of days. Also consider setting up an auto response on your email, saying you won’t be as readily available as usual.
- Have alternative ways to fill your downtime. Staying active is, of course, a great way to keep you from constantly checking for status updates. Schedule a day trip to a nearby place of interest. Or maybe fill each weekend day with a rigorous physical activity, like hiking or tennis with a friend. Playing cards, knitting needles, and origami are all good ways to keep you away from your smartphone without missing it. Reading a book remains a constructive use of free time. Just to be safe, make it the pulped wood kind, as opposed to the digital kind.
- Make it hard to slip. Set your smartphone to airplane mode so that you don’t see any updates or incoming messages. Or turn off your notifications and log out of those social media apps. And be sure to turn down the volume on your smartphone in case you miss any — you don’t want random beeps or chimes to remind you that you might be missing something.
- Designate a limited amount of time to use the internet. If the idea of giving up social media for an entire weekend gives you the willies, maybe allow yourself a 10 or 15-minute session each day, just enough to reassure yourself that the world hasn’t stopped spinning since last you checked. When the planned time is through, it’s time to power down.
- Let an app help. Ironic, yes, but when it comes to keeping your smartphone usage in check, there’s an app for that! Consider these recommended apps to assist in curtailing your cellphone use and ensure your social media-free weekend is a true success.
What’s the benefit? A social-media-free weekend gives you a chance to reset with friends and family, to enjoy a slower pace, and appreciate the little things. What are you waiting for?