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Time to take a breather from social media? Here are some apps and tips to help you with your digital detox

By AYIE LICSI Published May 11, 2022 1:20 pm

Social media—whether it be Facebook, Twitter, or TikTok—can get overwhelming during politically charged times like the elections. Comments sections are filled with arguments and feeds are blasted with updates, inducing anxiety in some Filipinos.

After all the dust has settled, wouldn't a breather from the social media world sound nice? While it's hard to go cold turkey as you might still want to read the latest news, you can always limit the time you spend on platforms like Facebook. Here are some apps and tips to help you start your digital detox.

Cleverest

Cleverest is an app that helps you minimize your phone usage. To start, the app will let you select a category you want to focus on (social, relax, work), then it allows you to set a time you don't want to use your phone so you won't be tempted.

Cleverest helps you train mindfulness by showing your personal progress within the app. It's free to download for iOS from the Apple App Store.

Flipd

Mainly a productivity app, Flipd can help you spend less time on social media. Like Cleverest, you can set your own amount of daily screen time, but with Flipd, all your social media apps will disappear once you've used all of it up.

Other handy features available include free focus music and background sounds, study rooms so you can follow your friends who are also using the app, and an achievements board so you can track your progress.

Flipd is free to download for iOS.

Freedom

Whether you're on your phone or on your computer, Freedom will block specified social media apps and websites to help users reclaim their peace. This app also has a lockdown mode, which makes it impossible for you to edit your blocklists while a session is active.

The downside is Freedom has a price tag. You can, however, try it for free.

Cold Turkey

Similar to Freedom, Cold Turkey lets you block specific websites and apps for a specific time so you won't be tempted to visit them while you're on a detox. It also has a feature called "Frozen Turkey" which you can use if you want to totally unplug from your computer.

Cold Turkey has a free and paid version for $39 (~P2,000). The free version gives you access to basic features like blocking sites, exempting certain sites, timed blocks, and user statistics.

Download news apps instead of relying on Facebook for updates

Who's guilty of relying on Facebook as their source of news? This could make it hard to kick the habit of checking the platform every now and then, but you could always download apps like Google News to stay in the know with the latest happenings.

Another thing you can do is create a shortcut for your trusted news site, tap on the Share icon at the bottom of the screen, and select Add to Home Screen. This way, your news site will show up on your home screen like an app.

Hide your social media apps in the meantime

On iPhones, you can hide social media apps that you want to detox from your home screen. To do this, tap and hold your desired app, then select Remove App. Finally, tap Remove from Home Screen.

To put the app back on your home screen, keep swiping right until you open your App Library. Using the search bar at the top of the screen, type in the name of the app you want to unhide. When the results appear, tap and hold the app icon and swipe left without releasing the app to move it to your home screen.