How to take a vacation from social media

(NEW YORK) — Ed Sheeran’s decision to take a break from his phone, emails and social media — the ultimate digital detox — sounds like a lofty undertaking for many people who are constantly glued to their phones.

If the “Thinking Out Loud” singer has you feeling inspired to take a vacation from social media, thankfully there are a few tech tools and tips that will help you be successful.

Take Care of Mobile

Delete the apps on your phone but don’t deactivate your accounts if you intend to return to social media in the future. When you’re ready to rejoin the world of social media, simply re-download the apps, log on and enjoy.

Call in Re-Reinforcements

You’ve taken care of your smartphone but now it’s time to call in reinforcements for your browser.

The Self Control app for Mac users lets you choose which sites to block and for how long. Until that self-imposed timer expires, users won’t be able to access their blocked sites, even if they delete the app.

Mac and Windows users can also download Stop Procrastinating for $4.99. The app promises to help keep you away from those sites that suck up your time.

Want to take it a step further? The Freedom app will let you not only block certain sites but also the entire Internet. It’s like the 1980s all over again.

Know Your Options

Before you deactivate any accounts, make sure you read the fine print.

Users who think they’re swearing off Twitter for good and deactivate their accounts, are given a 30-day window to change their mind. It worked for former One Direction member, Zayn Malik, who in 2012 deactivated and then reinstated his Twitter account. Facebook lets users deactivate their accounts and come back when they’re ready. A permanent delete is also available but means you’ll have to start from scratch if you ever want to come back. Instagram also offers a temporary disable function.

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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