We all have those friends we follow on social media who make this big announcement one day.

I’m going to be leaving [Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Periscope, etc] for a while to take a break from social media. I just need to take more time to [focus on myself, spend more time with family, finish my book, etc].

Some of you may roll your eyes when you see this announcement. I know I have. It always seems so dramatic. It makes more sense, to me, to just take the detox. When you come back, people will see that you’ve returned. But some people prefer to make an announcement before they take a break. I’ve since stopped rolling my eyes. Digital detoxes are important and maybe these announcements will inspire others to follow suit. While the delivery of the decision to take a social media/digital detox may vary according to the person, there is a real need for it.

For the uninitiated, a digital detox is when someone takes an intentional break from any form of digital media. Some people focus their detoxes on social media while others take full detoxes from all things technology related.

The digital world can be very information heavy, whether you spend time watching cat videos, tragic current events or updates from friends and family. Information overload is a real thing, and it has nothing to do with age or exposure. What may overload one person may be completely palatable to another. But taking time away from the digital world can be beneficial for everyone.

However, a simple break from the digital world isn’t enough. You should follow your detox up with a digital refresh, especially when it comes to your business. The holidays are a great time to take a digital detox because the offline world tends to become more demanding than the online one.

But, what happens when you log back in?

Your newly detoxed brain can quickly become overwhelmed by the same things that caused you to need a detox in the first place. If you take your rested eyes and open mind and use them to refresh your digital platforms, the positive effects of your detox will be much longer lasting.

A digital refresh is when you organize and streamline your digital tools and platforms. It can be a layered process, but once you do it, you’ll really appreciate it.

  1. Clean up duplicate images. Make sure your photo albums or folders don’t have duplicate images in them. Do a quick scan and remove any duplicates
  2. Prune groups and lists. Look at all of the groups you’re in and lists you’re on. If you don’t see an immediate, actionable value in them, un-join.
  3. Clear your news feed/timeline. This can be the most time consuming but start small. Make a goal to remove 10 followers a day or week between now and the end of January. Focus, first, on removing people who don’t post very regularly. Then focus on removing people who share posts that don’t align with your brand.
  4. Create a content calendar. This is more important for your business but can definitely be used for your personal digital platforms as well. Take some time and plan what you will be sharing online for the next three to six months. This will go a long way towards cutting down on your digital overwhelm.

A digital refresh should be done every six months or so. This will keep your digital world much more clean and tidy. The first time you do it will be the most time intense but you will definitely notice an improved digital experience afterwards. So, while you’re planning, preparing and setting your resolutions for the new year, incorporate a digital refresh in the mix.