kasey schumacher | social cues | jan. 2019
New year, new opportunities and new challenges. I recently participated in a seven-day social media and smartphone detox, and I lived to tell the tale! I found a detox recommendation on Pinterest and thought it wouldn't be too difficult. It wasn't hard, but I did learn a few things!
Monday — Unfollow people who aren't your real friends, unsubscribe from unwanted email lists and delete apps you don't use. This step took far longer than I anticipated! I realized I am on SO many email lists! It took me forever to go through and unsubscribe. I don't think all of the holiday cyber deals and emails helped this situation at all! I need to make this more of a routine effort. Unfollowing people who aren't my real friends was easier because I usually don't add people as friends and followers unless I know them. Deleting apps was a quick, yet effective way to clear out some of the clutter on my phone. I had forgotten about apps I'd downloaded for one reason or another that I rarely, if ever, used. This was a good first step in my social media and smartphone detox because it made me more aware of what was important and not important.
Tuesday — Turn off push notifications.This one was crazy helpful for me! I have a tendency to check something as soon as I get a notification. I don't do well with the little red bubble on my app telling me how many things I haven't looked at yet. By turning off notifications, I had to consciously check my apps, including social media channels and email. It forced me to take dedicated time to check apps instead of opening the app whenever a notification popped up. I spent my time more wisely on social media by checking it only when I thought of it, instead of when I was reminded to open it.
Wednesday — Resist the urge to look at your phone first thing in the morning.This step was surprisingly easy for me. Maybe it's because I have a baby at home? There are way too many things going on in the morning (diaper changes, feedings, playtime, etc.) to really spend a ton of time on my phone.
Thursday — Set up a charging station outside of your bedroom and don't look at your phone an hour before bed.I struggled with this one because I don't want to miss an emergency in the middle of the night if it were to happen. I always play the “what if" game in my head and don't want to have my phone out of range if I truly needed to be reached. I compromised and put the charging station on the way other side of my bedroom. Not looking at my phone an hour before bed took some effort, but I found when I did it, I didn't miss my phone as much as I thought I would. I spent time watching reruns on Netflix or reading a book (with actual paper and everything!!!)
Friday — Go out to dinner and leave your phone at home.This one wasn't too bad because I usually am too busy talking to my husband at dinner to focus on my phone. We're pretty good at reminding each other to set the phone down during meals. Unless I have to show him something important (as in an adorable video of our son), I try to leave my phone out of reach during meals.
Saturday — Spend the day not looking at or posting to social media.This wasn't too hard to do for one Saturday, but I could see it being difficult to do long-term. We do family activities on Saturdays and I often post about them! This is a day or step I'll probably try to implement more regularly though because I did find it refreshing.
Sunday — Turn off your smartphone for the entire day. I couldn't do this, and I don't even feel bad saying it. Like I was explaining on Thursday's day, I have a hard time knowing I am unreachable in case an emergency were to happen. I turned my volume off and didn't check any social media channels as a compromise. I don't think being completely inaccessible is necessarily a good thing these days, but that's my personal opinion. I understand the point this day was trying to make, but still, as a new mom, I don't think it's smart for me at this point to go a full day without being able to be reached.
Overall, I would recommend trying a detox of your own! It put many of my habits into perspective and allowed me to reassess some choices I was making on my smartphone.
Kasey Schumacher is the marketing director for Let Me Be Frank Productions by day and a performer for the troupe by night. When she isn't updating Facebook or singing a 1970s classic, she enjoys running, cooking, questioning final rose picks on 'The Bachelor" and planning overly extravagant trips to Disney.