Social Media Detox - Why You Need One

Social Media Detox - Why You Need One

Social media is all fun and games until it slowly begins to take over your life. Whenever you take a break from your busy schedule, it’s a common reaction to pick up your phone and scroll. And scroll. And scroll. And scroll, until you’ve gone down the social media rabbit hole and don’t even know how you landed on the page you’re browsing. This happens to pretty much everyone. Today’s society is so technology obsessed, it’s actually a little frightening. Sure, social media is great for connecting with friends and growing a business, but it also has its dark sides. Whether you use the variety of different platforms for business or pleasure, it’s always a good idea to take a break from social media every now and then. 

If you feel like the numerous apps on your smartphone are beginning to rule your world, it’s time to take a break. Put down your phone, leave it in a different room, or better yet- turn it off. A detoxification from social media can have many positive benefits on your overall mood and life perspective. 


Break the Chain of Social Comparison

It’s a natural reaction to compare your life to those you see on social media. But it’s incredibly important to understand that social media is all a facade. Nobody’s life is perfect. Even that person you see incessantly posting about their next big travel adventure is battling their own personal struggles. Most people don’t air their dirty laundry on media platforms; they only feature the good things going on in their lives. Stop the constant competition and stop comparing your life to others. This can take a major toll on your self-esteem. For instance, if all you see on Instagram and FaceBook are your friends getting married and having babies, you may end up feeling lonely and isolated, which can lead to serious depression. It’s a very unhealthy cycle we all need to learn to break away from. 


Reconnect with the Real World

Real human interaction is something we all need. Connecting with people face-to-face is so much more important than chatting online. Nowadays, social media has made it way too easy for people to forgot how to hold a meaningful conversation. Many people are so used to hiding behind their screens, they’ve forgotten how to interact and connect with other people. This can actually lead to extreme social anxiety. Don’t hold yourself back by gluing yourself to your screen. Do yourself a favor, disconnect from the internet, and reconnect with the rest of the world. You might be surprised to find how much this will drastically improve your relationships. 


Live in the Moment

Life is all about experiences, but you aren’t living up to their full potential if you’re constantly updating your news feed with your latest activity. Forget about what anyone else thinks and live in the moment! Of course, it’s always nice to document a vacation or a life milestone while it’s happening. Pictures and videos will help you reminisce, but so will your memories! If you’re living your life through the lens of your phone rather than directly interacting with it, your experiences are going to become less memorable and less valuable. 


Additionally, some social platforms include a feature that reminds you of things you posted from years ago. Unfortunately, these aren’t always welcome reminders. Sometimes they unintentionally bring up painful memories. What’s the best way to avoid these unwanted reminders? Don’t open them! Rather than scrolling through all of your posts from last year’s vacation with your ex and feeling sorry for yourself, put your phone down and look towards the future!  


Take Back Your Free Time

If you’re on the fence about taking a break from social media, do a little test. For one whole day, take note of every time you go online to browse your favorite website. Write down which website or app you went on and how long you stayed on there. At the end of the day, total up all the time you spent on your phone or computer. You’ll probably be very astonished to see how much of your free time social media is sucking up. Imagine what you can do with all that extra time! Read a book, go for a hike, spend time with your family and friends- devote your energy to improving your life rather than mindlessly floating about cyberspace. 


Protect Your Privacy

This may not be a big deal to most people, but it should be! Posting your every move on the internet is actually pretty dangerous. There are predators out there who specifically prey on people based off their social news feeds. You honestly never really know who might be following you. A detox from social media doesn’t necessarily mean you need to delete your favorite app, but maybe just post less and don’t share personal information. In fact, many social networks are connected so even if you enter information into one website, it spreads to numerous others. Then, your information is out there forever for the entire world to see. 


Social media breaks can come in many different forms. Leave your phone at home for the day; deactivate your most-used platforms for a week; delete the apps that give you the biggest headaches for an extended period of time. The length of your break really just relies on your dependence upon social media. If you use Instagram for your business, it’s probably not a good idea to delete the app. But if you have a personal account that you can’t seem to stop refreshing every hour, disconnect the account for a while. It’s the internet- everything will be there when you decide to log back on. 


By: Sydney Daly-Weber

Holly MacKinnon