New notification on Facebook?
How many likes did I get on my Instagram post?
Did I forget to send a streak on Snapchat?
These are just some of the things you say, hear, or at least think about on a daily basis. Social media has become such a massive part of our lives that it is almost impossible to remember a time without it. In fact, many youngsters may not have even experienced a time where they weren’t constantly glued to their screens, jumping from Facebook to Twitter to Tumblr. But what does this all mean? And where are we headed?
The Nuances of Social Media
The invention of social media certainly brought about a new age of communication. It is easier than ever to stay connected with your loved ones – even if they are on the other side of the planet. It can also help you discover new places and meet inspiring people that you may not have otherwise.
However, everything is good in moderation, and the same applies to social media. The issue is that most people nowadays spend more time on their phones than they do in their real lives. How often have you found yourself spending endless hours as you scroll through various feeds only to realize that you’ve wasted a lot of precious time doing nothing? This can often leave you feeling dissatisfied, drained, and even anxious and depressed.
Constant consumption of social media can have a negative impact on your mental wellbeing. Consequently, it can also affect your creativity and productivity while also taking away time from activities that make you feel happy and content.
Taking A Break From Social Media
Relax. You don’t have to quit social media entirely. However, doing a social media detox every now and then can bring immense benefits to your mental health. In essences, social media detox is just a fancy word for removing yourself from social media for a few days, or even weeks if you’re up for it.
Although you should ideally give up on all social media applications for a while, there really aren’t any social media detox rules. If you feel that cutting out certain apps is enough for you because you need other apps for work or other purposes, by all means, decide what’s better for yourself.
Here are a few reasons you should consider doing a social media detox.
Discourages You to Compare Yourself to Others
If you use social media, the chances are high that you compare yourself with other people. You may not even be doing it consciously, but you’d see a picture of someone you knew from school who now has a perfect body or that blogger who keeps travelling around the world, and you’d inevitably start wishing that you could have that.
Most people know but still don’t seem to accept that people portray very filtered versions of their lives on social media. All the travelling, food, wedding, baby, party, etc., pictures you see on that Instagram feed are the highlight of these people’s lives – not the whole picture.
Yet, just seeing all the happening and exciting pictures can lead you to feel lonely, isolated, and behind in life. By taking a break from social media every now and then, you can break the cycle of comparing yourself to others and focus on all the good things in your life.
More Time to Be Productive
When was the last time you wished you had some free time so you could learn to play the guitar? Or develop a workout routine? Or just finish that half-read book that has been lying on your shelf since forever? Did you know that the average person spends around 2 hours on social media every day? By doing a social media detox, you can spend all this time doing something more productive.
In fact, this may be one of the most apparent benefits you’ll get from taking a break from social media. At first, you may find it difficult to scratch that itch of checking your notification. In fact, the initial side effect may be very similar to giving up alcohol. But if you spend a few hours and start investing your focus and energy in other things, you’ll find that you have so many productive things to do that you didn’t pay attention to due to social media.
In contrast to the previous, this may be the most unnoticeable yet practical benefit of taking a break from social media. Although social media is a convenient way to stay in touch with your loved ones, it comes at the sacrifice of your privacy. Did you know that WhatsApp messaging now allows all the data to be shared with Facebook?
Instead of just logging out of your account for a few days, you can use a social media detox to delete apps and accounts. Only preserve the ones you really use in order to provide yourself with the best privacy options possible. And remember, if you don’t want Facebook accessing your cellphone number, do not have it installed on the same phone as WhatsApp.
As you can see, there are some serious benefits of social media detox. In fact, it can bring so much peace of mind that once you give it a shot, you’ll likely want to do it again and again.
That being said, social media in itself isn’t the culprit.
As Catharine Price, author of How to Break up With Your Phone, says, “Reflect on your habits and evaluate how social media makes you feel and how it impacts your life.” Once you are better able to control how you use social media, you’ll be able to benefit from it more rather than just mindlessly scrolling for hours.