My Social Media Detox

Oct 15, 2019

My social media detox. I see the contradiction. You’re watching a video about how I’m doing a social media detox…and yet you’re watching it on YouTube, or have read a post and followed a link from Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc. 

I get it...but stick with me.

The truth is social media is here, and if you’re in business and keeping in touch with the world and the world to keep in touch with your business is important, then social media is a great, and for the most part free, resource to help you do that.

But getting the balance right can be a challenge. What started a nice, easy way to keep in touch with people just a few years ago has nowadays morphed into something far bigger and demanding.

So, if you’re feeling overwhelmed by the sheer relentlessness of social media, yet still want to utilise it as part of your business marketing, brand awareness, and just plain keeping in touch with people, then in today’s video I’ll be sharing how I’m doing my social media detox, and how by doing it I’m managing to replace overwhelm with balance and calm. 

Let’s jump in!

According to a recent Ofcom Media Nation report in the UK after BBC1 and ITV, YouTube is now the 3rd most watched channel by adults. The Wall Street Journal reports that more than a billion hours of video are watched on YouTube everyday. More broadly with social media, according to Statista, the average person now spends more than 153 minutes on the various platforms each and every day (around 6 years, 8 months in an average person’s lifetime)…and that number is growing!

We’re switched on, plugged in, and spend more time updating our profiles than we do interacting with people on a personal basis, and we’ve never felt so overwhelmed by it all.

Yet we still have the same human capacity to engage as we did before social media, email and the internet. Think about it; only 10 or 20 years ago we’d have maybe a handful of close friends, a slightly larger circle of family members, work colleagues and acquaintance. The total would have been between 100-200 people! Compare that to today’s thousands (or millions) of social media ‘friends’ and ‘followers.’

And the truth is I began to feel overwhelmed by the relentlessness of it all, and in doing so losing sight of why I began using social media in the first place. It was time for a reset.

That’s why I decided to do a social media detox. Not to disappear from social media, but to build a new relationship with it. 

What I came up with is what I’m sharing with you today.

Step 1: Step back and survey.

How many social media platforms are you signed up for, how many times per day do you check in or post updates…and how many hours does all that take? 

What do you use social media for? 

Stepping back and considering those two words is interesting; ‘social’ and ‘media.’ The first, ‘social’ is easy since as human beings we do tend to be social creatures. We like to keep in touch, to share, to gossip. We’ve done so for thousands of years. But ‘media,’ is a newer concept in our daily life. 20 years ago ‘media’ would be to watch TV, buy newspapers, magazines, or read books. Nowadays social media can us plug into all that. 


Social media has a habit of seeping into your life and growing, taking up more space and hours in your day. A single personal Facebook profile becomes an additional Facebook page, Facebook groups, and ditto LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, etc.

Taking time to step back and survey means taking a moment to find out exactly where you are, and what that you’re doing with social media now.

Step 2: Decide on the new reality. 

We evolve. We make new decisions and agree new guidelines based on what we know, where we are now, and where we want to go in the future. 

When I did this exercise I applied it to the two areas in my life affected by social media:

  1. Personal - I decided what to keep private, and what it was okay to share on social media. My family, personal relationships, and for the most part everyday things we all do I decided to leave off social media.
  2. Business - I decided my primary focus was to share the fun stuff, achievements, and occasionally the hiccups on social media, though to avoid using it purely as a promotional tool, which personally I don’t like on social media.

Step 3: Devise a social media plan, and stick to it! 

Thankfully most smart phones give you weekly reports telling you how long you’ve spent on your phone (including social media) on a daily and weekly basis. That information, along with the decisions I’d made in Step 2, helped me come up with the following plan: 

  • Use Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and YouTube only, and coordinate updates according to weekly, monthly themes.
  • Spend a maximum 15 minutes twice a day updating social media. 
  • Decide at the beginning of each week what the aim is for that week’s social media will be, so that most posts throughout that week are in some way aligned to that week’s theme.
  • Don’t check social media after 8pm. 
  • No social media (including checking phones etc) during meal times, watching tv or being together with family or friends. 

Final thoughts…

I end where I began this article; whilst social media is an incredible opportunity to keep in touch with infinite numbers of people, both personally and as part of your business. It is also worth remembering that life is about being lived, being ‘fully present’ and not experiencing a version of it by feeling the need to constantly be engaged with social media. Busily recording a perfect or ideal version of life, rather than giving yourself the permission to live it fully. 

Question of the day!

What do you do to make sure you’re in control of your social media output, rather than it seeming like it’s in control of you?


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