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Grayson and Ethan Dolan are among the many influencers partaking in a digital detox. The celebrity twins recently stayed off their phones during their week-long trip to Hawaii; their Instagram posts revealed how they felt happier and got a chance to truly make the most of their tropical vacation.
Digital detoxes are the latest trend among those trying to step back from their self-diagnosed “screen time addictions.” But, detoxes seem to be difficult to keep up with and many fear they’ll lose their followers if they don’t continuously and actively update their accounts. With some of the most influential millennials taking a break from the technology that defines their generation, why not consider stepping back to be more present? However, more often than not, digital detoxes fall through and we’re back—hooked on our devices. For some, like the Dolan twins, social media is their livelihood, how were they able to be off their phones while still keeping their followers engaged and staying relevant? Here’s a way to make your digital detox last and still maintain your followers:
1. Create a plan and stick to it
- Whether it’s no phones an hour before bed or completely cutting all devices out for a week, detoxes require commitment. Layout a plan, preferably on paper so you can access it (ditch the Notes app!). Know your limitations and start with baby steps. If no devices for a few days is too large of a leap for you, start off with just deleting an app from your phone. A good plan that’s easy to follow through will ensure that your detox is successful.
- Plan your posts ahead of time and schedule them on social media management platforms like Hootsuite. Have content ready and do a few photoshoots to fill up your Instagram while you’re gone. Know when you’ll be off your phone so you can optimize the times you will be on social media. You can start by allowing yourself an hour in the morning or an hour during the afternoon to catch up with posts and respond to comments. You don’t need to be on your social media accounts every second to interact with your followers.
2. Engage your followers indirectly
- Post about your digital detox and encourage your followers to join you. While you can’t check if they’re doing it with you, you can use this as an opportunity to promote your other endeavors. If you have a book or tour coming out, urge your followers to take a quick break from their phones and social media to read your book or visit your events. This way you’ll have a community of people supporting you and your content is still relevant in the minds of your followers.
3. Consider your schedule
- Do you have a family wedding or highly anticipated campaign coming up? Maybe hold off until you know you won’t need to be on your phone 24/7.
- If you know you’ll need your devices for basic functionality, have easy access to emergency phone lines and write down important contact information.
4. Know what you’ll do in your free time
- Often, we just cut our phones out without anticipating what we’ll do in our free time. Set the time to meet with friends or buy a few books to fill your time—explore your newfound freedom from the digital world.
- Use this as an opportunity to think of the next steps for your business and brand. What do you want your accounts to look like in the future? Draw inspiration from the natural world.
5. Go easy on yourself
- If fighting your screen time addiction is too difficult for you, it’s okay! Caving in is alright, practice makes perfect. If your goals were a bit too ambitious, be realistic and lower the time you’re off your devices.
6. Try to implement small changes daily
- Watch your screen time report go down and be mindful of the media that you consume. The free time you have off social media may give you a shifted perspective and will allow you to curate more content. Spending time off your devices will provide you with the opportunity to think outside the box and ideate what you want your channels to look like in the future.
Digital detoxes are an emerging trend among Millennials. A detox will help you appeal to new audiences and develop a more personal connection with your existing followers. Your time off the grid will ultimately improve your well-being and could potentially benefit your channels. It will give you a chance to step back and view your business from a holistic lens. It’s easy to get wrapped up in the details behind each post but use your digital detox to curate a vision for your brand. You’ll be able to identify your target customer base and streamline your marketing channels.