Today is National Social Media Day, which is kind of like having a National Kids Day: Pretty much every day is dedicated to them anyway (as any parent would tell you). In fact, social media use has gone up since I wrote my 2013 book, Our Virtual Shadow: Why We Are Obsessed with Documenting Our Lives Online.

Instead, this is a great day to actually remember to shut down. There are a few simple ways to unplug today:

Walk: Briefly leave the house or office - and do it without your phone. Fresh air will give you a break from the phone, give you the excuse to connect with your surroundings and even help you identify smarter business strategies. And if you do bring your phone, it will be virtually impossible to walk and text at the same time without unintended consequences.

Uninstall social media apps: Very few of us have an addiction to social media, but just a habit. Break the habit by removing the official social media apps from your phone. You will still be able to access most of them, but it will require you to open the Internet browser, go to the official website of the platform, and manually log into it. The cumbersome process alone will help you unplug.

Turn on airplane mode: The now-standard way of turning off cell phone reception when you get on a flight is also an excellent way to unplug from the Internet/social media while still having your basic smartphone functions. Try toggling it on for brief chunks of time - and, after the first few minutes, you may be surprised at how long you can go without needing to check your phone.

Published on: Jun 30, 2017