Three Reasons Why You Should Take A Social Media Detox And Tips For Success
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While social media does have its perks, it’s hard to deny that there are also some pretty big negatives that go alongside the popular platforms of today such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
Research suggests that people are now checking their phones up to 27 times a day, and some spend more time online than sleeping which highlights how addictive the platforms are, both psychologically but also physically.
Regardless of how much time you spend on your social media, it never hurts to take a step back and have a break. In fact, here are three compelling reasons why you should.
It’s good for your mental health
Research has found strong links between frequent use of social media and anxiety, as well as an increased risk for other mental health illnesses such as depression, self-harm, and even shockingly, suicidal thoughts.
False realities are often painted on social media, and while many users know this, it can still bring out negative emotions and leave you feeling inadequate about your appearance or your life, compared to the accounts of those you are following.
This shows that the social media experience isn’t always a positive one and can leave us feeling even more cynical and continually comparing ourselves to others. Therefore, taking a break will slowly, but surely, make you feel more positive and lower your anxiety significantly.
More free time
By cutting out social media from your life, you will clearly be able to see just how time-consuming it can be. While we think we are quickly browsing from one platform to the other, what appears to be minutes can actually be hours when you add all of that time up, particularly mornings in bed when we wake up, and just before we go to sleep.
While at first, you might find yourself a bit bored, you can use all the free time you now find yourself with, to do something more productive. Whether that’s spending time with friends in real life, exercising, making time for a new hobby, or investing in yourself and learning something new via an online course, use this time to try something new.
That compulsion that you once had to open Facebook or Instagram as soon as you have your phone in your hands will slowly but surely become a thing of the past once you start engaging in other, more beneficial activities.
You will become more mindful
Once you force yourself off social media for a while, you will start to really live in the present moment a lot more.
Most people often reach for their phones to go onto these platforms every single day without really thinking about it – it’s now become a programmed automatic reaction. Once you are no longer a social media zombie, you will realize how much time that scrolling took away from getting on with your life and how often it is used as an unhealthy antidote to boredom and escaping reality.
Once you take a step back, you will be more mindful of your daily routines and activities, giving you the opportunity to try out more rewarding activities such as exercising instead.
If you like the idea of taking a break from the online world but aren’t sure how to get started here are three tips to help make your detox a success:
1. Reconnect with the physical world
While a big argument for social media is that it helps people to stay connected no matter where they are in the world, some could argue that it can actually do the opposite and fuel connections that aren’t actually all that meaningful.
Instead of scrolling through your feed and pressing the like button on a photo, status, or comment posted by a friend or family member, use this detox time to reconnect with them in the physical world instead. Plan a day or weekend with your family, or lunch and drinks with friends, and nurture the real-life relationships with those who are closest to you.
Social media might leave the impression that you have interacted with your friends and family, but this is an excellent time to step back and objectively analyze if this interaction has any value in your relationships.
2. Delete or deactivate
While it is probably unrealistic to expect you to delete and never use social media ever again, for the purposes of the detox it is a good idea to delete or deactivate your account so that you aren’t tempted to take a sneaky scroll through your feed quickly.
If you are afraid to delete entirely, deactivating is a great option and one that all of the leading social media platforms offer to their users. Many shopping platforms, while not technically social media, can also sometimes feel inescapable and detrimental to mental health, so it could be wise to get rid of these as well, even if only temporarily.
If you don’t know how to deactivate amazon or other similar eCommerce platforms, you can easily find step-by-step instructions online. Deactivate for a day or two and remind yourself that you can always easily log back in or reinstall it.
Experiment with the length of time you can go cold turkey for, and you will see that slowly it will become easier to go without for long periods of time until you don’t feel the need for it any longer. This is an excellent way to achieve a long-term goal of spending less time on your feeds and make the substantial life-style change more permanent.
3. Set a bedtime for your phone
One of the most common times for people to be on their phones is when they are in bed. What starts as a quick look quickly escalates into mindless scrolling and before you know it, several hours have passed, and it’s way past your bedtime.
While it can seem harmless at first, it results in less sleep and poorer quality sleep as well. Counter this and set yourself a specific time when your phone gets put away, or switched on for charging, and isn’t touched again until the next morning. A good time to set yourself would be anywhere from 7 pm – 9 pm, to give yourself time to properly unwind before going to bed and get away from the blue light that is emitted off your screen, ensuring you get a better night’s rest.
Plug your phone into a socket that is far out of arm’s reach when you are in bed so that you aren’t tempted. By setting these restrictions, you will have less quick and easy access meaning that you won’t be up and on your phone in the middle of the night.