How to Do a Social Media Detox (And Why You Should)

4 different ways to help you do a social media detox

How to Do a Social Media Cleanse

It seems like social media has been promoting more hate and negativity as of late. It might just be the PERFECT time for a social media detox.

OR maybe you’re starting to feel like you might have a social media addiction (or someone else says you do), chances are you (or they) are right. If that’s the case, it might be time to do a social media detox (or cleanse).

How do you do a social media cleanse? Well, I’ve done this myself and I want to share a few different ideas that can help you ease into a detox, or cut the social media cold turkey.

Not sure if your social media and phone usage is a problem? See my post showing signs that it’s time for a social media detox.

Still not convinced? You can install an app like RescueTime (that’s what I use) to help you determine how much time is wasted spent on social media. They have a free version and you might be surprised what you find out!

P.S. Doing a social media detox doesn’t mean you have to quit social media entirely, you just need to be reasonable about how much time you spend on it. You could quit, and there are benefits of quitting social media, but it’s still useful for a lot of things!

Turning off notifications is a great first step in a social media cleanse

#1 – Turn off notifications

Notifications are nothing but distractions. If someone REALLY needs to get ahold of you, they can text or call. You don’t need a push notification anytime someone posts in a group, likes a photo, tags you in a photo and so on.

Go to the app settings and turn off ALL notifications. I dare you. 🙂 This way, YOU will determine when you’re going to plug in and see who is talking about what. Rather than have the app distract you.

#2 – Take all social media apps off your home screen

One of the first things I did to start my detox process was to remove the social media icons from my home screen. I did this so it would be a little more “labor intensive” to get to them.

Also, the whole “out of sight, out of mind” thing can come into play. As you detox, you’ll search for it less and less.

#3 – Take your phone out of your bedroom

This was a big one for me. Not only do I use my phone as my alarm, but I also set nightly and morning reminders on it to help me get into good habits. But in all actuality, when my phone is in my room, I take longer to get out of bed! I would check my email and social media before getting about my day. I’d get sucked in, and then before I’d even get out of bed, I’d be running behind.

At first, it’s hard. But after a short amount of time, you’ll feel free! I keep my phone charging in my office at night. Then I try to leave it in there until I get into my (home) office, ready to work.

Quit social media

#4 – Remove social media apps from your phone

This is a big one! It’s one I can’t do because of the work I do (I have to do facebook live and Instagram stories on a regular basis), so I need to leave these on my phone. But I no longer have Pinterest or twitter on my phone. And I love it!

My 19-year-old daughter, who inspired this post, went cold turkey and removed ALL of her social media apps from her phone and has had them off for the last two weeks. When I talked to her last night, she reported that the last two weeks, her school and workload has been less stressful. She wasn’t sure if that was related to not having the social media distraction (but this mom thinks it definitely has something to do with it).

I know that the thought of removing social media apps from your phone can cause some anxiety in some. So if nothing else, tell yourself you’re going to do it for two weeks. Consider it a social media fast.

After two weeks, you might find that just checking Facebook or Instagram on your computer is enough. You might discover you are able to accomplish more, have more time, and are happier by NOT having those apps on your phone!

Benefits of Quitting Social Media

When I stopped browsing my phone at night before bed, I started reading books or watching TV (gasp!) with my husband (note that we finally started watching This Is Us together in February… it was the first television show I’ve watched in at least 3 years!).

It’s actually been good for our marriage for me to leave my phone in my office at night. My hubby is really good about putting his phone down when I come to bed. We either read alongside each other, watch something together, or talk.

In the mornings, while the kids are getting ready, I’m getting more things done around the house. Rather than multitasking, checking email or facebook while getting the kids off to school, my attention is 100% on them. While they are eating, I’ll find a little area to declutter. Or I’d go upstairs with my girls while they get ready and guide them in tidying their room a little more thoroughly.

I’ve also found that I do a better job about thinking ahead and doing a little dinner prep in the morning, like pulling meat out of the freezer or making sure I have everything needed for dinner.

Cathy and her family


I’ve realized that when I get sucked into my phone and spend too much time on it, I start to feel drained and down. One weekend we were out of town for my niece’s wedding. I left my phone in the car for several hours and surprisingly I enjoyed NOT having it! I felt free. And I delayed getting it back as long as I could.

Taking those periodic breaks from your phone and unplugging 100% is really freeing. My sister has a friend who unplugs every year on her birthday. She goes out shopping by herself, gets her nails done and pampers herself for the day and doesn’t get interrupted at all because she intentionally leaves her phone at home.

I try to completely unplug from my phone on Sundays because it’s our day of worship and our family day. I do my best to keep my phone stowed away (although I’m not perfect) and 100% enjoy my family. Taking that break resets me and I feel refreshed Monday morning.

Take the No Social Media Challenge

Are you ready to see what will happen if you decrease your time on social media? Then take the no social media challenge!

All you have to do is commit to doing at least 2 of the actions listed above. Even if it’s just for two weeks!

Comment below if you’re in and share your commitment. Then come back in two weeks and report how it went. Did you notice any changes? Did you miss out on some life-altering information? Did your real-life relationships improve? Were you more productive without the constant flow of notifications? Did you feel happier because you feel more satisfaction and joy in your own life?

I’m excited for you to create some intentional change! Let’s gooo!

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  • I gave up social media for lent. It feels great. I don’t have to read about my friends or family posting about what they’ve done. I can go enjoy life with my own family. I think I’ll stay off longer than lent.

  • OMG I WISH I could quit social media! If it wasn’t for this whole blogging job, I would delete everything but Instagram and actually enjoy it again. 🙂 These are FAB tips, though – I *do* make it a point to put down my phone after 5pm or whenever my hubby gets home, and try to relax and unwind with ANYTHING else!

  • I turned my notications off a long time ago and it was one of the wisest things I’ve ever done! Putting my phone away after a certain time in the evening has also helped. These are great tips! 🙂

  • I turned off notifications recently and I use the usage tracker. It’s like a report card every Sunday morning and it really motivates me to use my phone less. Thanks for this!

  • I have decided to go on a 3 week social media break! And your post inspired me more to do so. Thanks a lot

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