How to do a social media detox and feel way better about your life

By Priya Alika

It’s 2019, and we are all frayed thin by social media. Facebook makes us feel inadequate (why haven’t we managed to put a down payment on a house yet?), Twitter is exhausting (what has the President tweeted today?), and Instagram gives us raging FOMO (when will we be able to afford trips to Milan or that cute new handbag all the #influencers are carrying these days?) Our attention spans are shorter because we keep opening apps every two minutes, and we feel a deep anxiety when we get too many notifications (or not enough notifications!) The Internet is sucking us dry of our happiness – and replacing it with anxiety. Not the great deal we’ve been looking for. 

Enough, sis. If you’re looking to revamp your life and be more relaxed in 2019, we have a handy guide for you – just read on. 

Chop your Following list in half 

IN HALF! Why are you still following the updates of some woman you met on spring break in Belize ten years ago? She constantly posts bikini progress pics that make you feel bad about your own body. You don’t owe it to anyone to follow them on social media – hit that Unfollow button and move on, girl. 

This doesn’t just apply to strangers, of course. If one of your friends is stressing you out with her social media habits, it’s absolutely fine to unfollow her (or mute if you think unfollowing will upset her). You can like someone without liking who they are on social media. 

Once you’ve decluttered your list of all the random models, influencers, acquaintances, and other people you don’t really need to be following, you’ll be left feeling much more relaxed and calm. (Also, you’ll see much fewer updates when you log on to each app – win/win.) 

Set rules of engagement for each platform 

If it stresses you out to see constant political updates on Twitter…limit your time there to ten minutes a day! If you’re having a bad body day… don’t go on Instagram at all. Promise yourself you’ll spend your Facebook time looking at Fluffball Kitten Pics instead of checking what your ex is up to. Try a week without Tinder and see how you feel. 

It may seem silly, but rules are the first step to cutting down your social media usage. Over time, you’ll notice that you want to spend less time on apps, and soon you’ll lose that instinctive urge to open and check every social media platform you’re on. Who knows, you might delete some altogether, and not end up missing them one bit. 

Download podcasts, music and book apps 

Here’s the cliché but still true thing about the Internet: it’s a wonderful place to learn. Spending time online isn’t necessarily bad: there’s no need to detox from the Internet altogether. Where else can you teach yourself how to meditate, or how to do yoga? Where else would you find wonderful and instructive podcasts or new music recommendations? Where else can you learn Italian, one day at a time? 

Once you stop spending so much time on social media, you’ll free up a ton of time to do other things. Things that are actually productive and that add to your day in pleasant ways. Download DuoLingo. Download a cooking app. Download Buddhify, or an app so you can listen to This American Life on the subway. What are you waiting for? You’ll thank yourself in six months, when you’ve improved your life by about, oh, five thousand percent. Go ahead and get your happiness, girl. 


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