When it comes to what we eat, our generation seems to be in total control. We can cut out gluten, dairy, meat, entire food groups without a blink of an eye. But when it comes to cutting back on social media… um, can we talk about something else? Ever since Camille wrote about taking a digital detox last year, we’ve become more and more aware of just how much time we spend every day on social media.

But what if instead of doing the occasional full-on detox, we simply starting implementing better habits every day?

I’ve been experimenting with this for a while, and my biggest discovery has been this: you can learn to spend less time on social media without actually experiencing any less of it. The secret is to view it more efficiently.

Example: if you scroll your instagram feed just once at 10pm, you’ll see the exact same content that you would have seen if you compulsively scrolled it here and there all day long. But the 10pm check-in took you 5 minutes, and the sporadic, all-day check-ins took you a total of 20. (Not to mention that they distracted you from the world and people around you.)

The idea behind my “diet” isn’t that social media is bad (hey, we’re bloggers), but instead that we should be mindful about how and when we consume it.

Read below for my 6 step social media diet that you can actually stick to, and say hello to having more focused time throughout your day.

image by gigi new york

Put your purse in the back seat of the car.

We’ve all done it (and by “it” I mean killing time at a red light scrolling through our feed.) It’s a bad habit, and not just because it’s seriously dangerous. Kick the habit by placing your bag in the backseat of the car, out of reach. You can use your commute time more wisely by tuning in to a great podcast or listening to a new album.

Never put your phone on the dinner table.

Let’s go ahead and make it official: it’s just plain uncivilized to leave your phone resting on the dinner table when you’re eating with other people. If there was ever a time you shouldn’t be playing around on social media, it’s when you’re face to face with someone sharing a meal. Make it a rule and stick to it.

Stop posting in real time.

Bloggers have known this secret for a long time — it’s usually not efficient or even necessary to post in real time. Take all the pics you want, but save the editing/captioning/posting process for later when you can sit down and focus on that task by yourself. Enjoy the moment you are in!

Designate two social media check-in times per day. 

For me, I like to use the early morning for my “outgoing” social media. That’s the time I typically edit, caption, and post images from the day before. I use the time right after work (around 6pm) for “incoming” social media. That’s when I catch up on my feed, respond to comments and messages, etc. My 6pm check-in is a treat after a hard day’s work!

Unfollow accounts that aren’t truly inspiring to you.

Following fewer accounts will naturally cut down on your social media time, and if you take your editing seriously it can actually increase the value of the time that you DO spend on social media. Ask yourself: do you really need to know what Kaia Gerber ate for breakfast today? Only you can answer that.

Plan a trip somewhere without wifi.

Okay, so this is definitely the most fun step of the diet: plan a trip somewhere off the grid. Maybe it’s a weekend camping trip, or a visit to a remote beach in Mexico, or just a trip where you keep your phone in airplane mode the entire time. Take as many pics as you want — you can share them all on social media once you get back. You’ll be surprised at how light it feels. With nothing to check in on, you can totally check out.

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Comments (10)
  1. 1
    Andrea D McAlister April 19, 2017 at 9:19 am

    It sounds weird to say that another device has helped my social media diet. But since getting my Ringly my phone and social media habits have changed a lot. If I am expecting a call during a dinner out, my Ringly alerts me so I don’t have to have my phone on the table. Same with checking social media through out the day. I realized that I was checking when there was nothing to check. Ringly lets me know when I have something to check on social media and honestly I don’t check as much now. I love the tip of putting your handbag in the back seat. Doing that next.

    • Renee May 3, 2017 at 7:18 am

      Just note that putting your purse on the back seat would definitely attract smash-and-grab attacks, as a person is walking past waiting cars at robots, and signs to another person that he saw for instance a purse. *Best advice is to put your purse next to your seat behind your legs, or under your seat, but out of sight of possible attackers*. And just resolve never to take out your cell phone while driving your car.

  2. 2
    Caryl Lyons April 19, 2017 at 10:08 am

    Great reminders and I love “go somewhere with no wifi.” It’s amazing how we get sucked into social media and our brain just forgets the boundaries.

  3. 3
    Marissa Kubinski April 20, 2017 at 9:49 am

    Great list Camille!

  4. 4
    Hannah Chambers April 21, 2017 at 8:57 am

    I’ve already been implementing the tip about having one specific I check-in time in the day for social media (so fun to see that tip on here!) but I have never successfully taken a vacation without wifi. It seems almost scary to me. Maybe I should try it 🙂

  5. 5
    Eva Hamden April 21, 2017 at 6:23 pm

    Great post! A few months ago I found myself up late scrolling Facebook for what ended up being 2 hours! After a long talk with my spouse, he suggested I delete the app completely from my phone. It was an amazing change! Instantly I gained 3 hours on my day – hours I didn’t even know I was losing from checking. Now I go on once every 2 days and mostly to check that my blog posted correctly. It’s a life changer and I really suggest it for people who are struggling with social media addiction – you wont miss anything!


  6. 6
    Natasha Campbell April 27, 2017 at 12:05 pm

    I took a cruise and opted out of the wifi. BEST DECISION EVER!!! I highly recommend everyone take a vacation where they get to completely disconnect.

  7. 7
    Isabel April 22, 2019 at 2:13 pm

    Very interesting post! It’s amazing how many minutes of our days just go to die in a pit of instagram scrolling and refreshing. No phones on the table is a great rule. I am also gonna have to start a “no phones on the desk” rule, to see if I can focus more on work.