We should all follow this advice from Kim Kardashian about getting off social media
That’s what Kim Kardashian is urging people to do when it comes to social media.
The reality star preached the anti-social message recently on “Live!” with pal Ryan Seacrest, reflecting on her extreme social media blackout last October, following her harrowing attack in Paris where she was robbed and held at a gunpoint. The selfie queen, with more than 100 million followers, refrained from posting for three months — costing her an estimated $300,000 per sponsored post.
“I took a couple months off and I just wasn’t on social media. And honestly, I think it’s so beneficial for everyone in life, no matter what you do, who you are, how old you are, you need a digital detox,” she told Seacrest.
“We have to go on vacation. Even if you stay at home and have your digital detox vacation it is so important.”
Kardashian is hardly the first to cut back from obsession-inducing apps like Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. Her husband, Kanye West, is currently inactive on social media, and has been on and off since he was hospitalized for exhaustion last year. In July, Ed Sheeran quit Twitter because he was sick of people “saying mean things” and hasn’t posted in more than a month; last year, actress Leslie Jones left the same social site “with tears” after trolls harassed the star with racist and sexists tweets. She returned two weeks later assuring followers, “I always get back up.” And Justin Bieber threatened fans he’d make his Instagram private last year when they tweeted negative comments about his then girlfriend Sofia Richie.
Others use it in moderation. Tom Hanks takes to social media as a “lost and found” of sorts, only posting photos of lost items he stumbles on the street rather than feeding into trending “fads.” And Emma Watson comparies her daily social intake to counting calories.
“Social media takes so much of our attention,” Watson told CNN in April. “It’s so important to keep an eye on what your daily diet is. In the same way we think about what we eat, we should think about what we read, what we’re seeing, what we’re engaging and what we’re interacting with everyday.”
The average person will spend more than five years of their lives on social media, according to a study by marketing agency Mediakix.
Experts say like any crash diet, you can’t quit social media cold turkey, instead it’s all about cutting back in small increments.
“If you just try quit, you’re going to try to come back. It is just like dieting — you must purposely take in less,” says Melanie Alvarez, assistant news director at Walter Cronkite school of Journalism, where she’s constantly immersed in social media for more work than pleasure.
“If you spend an hour a day, try for 30 minutes,” she suggests.
It’s easy to get burnt out. Alvarez went on a social detox herself last month for 30 days. And If you follow her strict digital diet, you can expect extreme results in as soon as one week, she assures. You’ll feel less anxious from having to keep up with the Hadids or Kardashians — and feel more refreshed.
“The fuzziness of your head getting caught up in these rabbit hole conversations on social media lifts quickly when you don’t expose yourself,” says Alvarez.
“You’ll feel the differences in about a week and a habit can form in about a month.”
Here’s how to trim the fat out of your life with this moderate-to-intense social media detox:
Step one: Rid yourself of toxins
Alvarez suggests assessing what you use each social media platform for — news, celebrity gossip, stalking old friends — and reducing the number of people you’re following for no “good reason.
“Don’t expose yourself to the things you know are toxic, or will bring you down or take up time when you know you’re time is better served. Unfollow people you don’t need to see,” she says.
“You can create lists of close friends or family, the people you really want to stay in touch with. You don’t need all of the other chaos of what happens in your feeds,” says Alvarez.
Step two: Turn off your notifications to reduce temptation.
Silencing your cell phone by literally turning off notifications for all social apps will help reduce the urge to check your feeds.
“Once you turn off notifications you don’t have something shouting ‘Look at me!’ says Alvarez.
Step three: Cut back.
Reduce how much you’re posting. If it’s hourly, make it daily. If it’s daily try every few days and, for the advanced folks up for a challenge, work your way to one post per week.
“You feel like you have to post every single picture of everything you see,” notes Alvarez.
“Resist the urge. Everybody else is posting what they had for breakfast, or what their kids are wearing at every given point. You don’t. Taking the time to post is not worth missing what’s in front of you, it just adds to the bloatedness of social media.”
Step four: Interval training
Alternate between social media and other “exercises.”
Reduce the time you spend on social media to one chunk of your day instead of say, 10 minutes every hour. Get it all done at once, and switch over to real things: like making a phone call, going for a walk, or finishing that work project.
“Clock yourself. You can set little reminders on your phone — when you launched this app and half an hour later you close it. Can you get everything done in the time you allotted yourself?” asks Alvarez.
Step five: Have a cheat day
We’re all human, and sometimes we want to belly up to that Taylor Swift and Kanye drama saturating our news feeds.
Alvarez suggests not notifying your followers via status update about your social media diet, that way, you won’t be too hard on yourself if you break it — like eating pasta three days into a real diet.
“You stay in control, you know when you want to have a cheat day and you’re going to be fine, rather than announcing it to the world and feeling bad when you have a lapse,” she says.
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