Online communication has blown up in twenty-twenty thanks to COVID-19, but is it possible to consume too much social media? And how do you know when it’s time for a social media detox?
There’s long since been a debate surrounding social media and its impacts on our mental health. For some, it’s akin to the fall of socialization. While for others it’s all they’ve known. We constantly hear stories about children as young as six becoming addicted to social media. Or how some have used it to bully and ‘dox‘ influencers, streamers, and even those they know in everyday life.
Despite the pros and cons of social media, it’s possible that you can always experience too much of something. Much like detoxing our bodies, it’s also important to switch off our online presence too.
Why you need a social media detox.
Social media might be considered the brain behind almost everything we do. Upon first introduction, it’s become somewhat normal to ask another for their Instagram or Facebook. It’s a way of staying in touch with those we don’t necessarily deem as close friends. Or, at least not close enough to have their personal contact details. But, just like everything else in life, social media has both positives and negatives.
Although a fantastic tool for socialising, awareness, and educating, social media can have a massive influence depending on how you use it and the importance attached to it.
What are the positives gained from social media?
In the last decade, social media has helped pave the way for the quick creation and sharing of information. For example, when I publish a new article, the first thing I do is share what I’ve written. Likewise, if you launch a new business and want people to find it, social media is the place to be. Above all else, during twenty-twenty, we would’ve been lost had it not been for places such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
In regards to the economy and job creation, social media has provided job opportunities in various sectors for a wide range of people. We can now work from home or on the go by simply using our mobile phones. Charities can even live-stream events and encourage supporters to get involved, giving more people volunteering opportunities from afar.
I, for one, volunteered with a charity for well over a year. During that time I attended a variety of meetings and support groups, all of which were held on Zoom. What would have meant an hour or more in traffic, was instead replaced by a laptop screen from the comfort of my own home.
What about the negatives?
One of the biggest disadvantages of social media is that it can present things in a ‘chic‘ way. That is, it has a way of making things look better than they really are. In fact, a whopping sixty percent of things we see on social media are fake. The use of sites such as Instagram can present the myth that everyone is living a fabulous and happy lifestyle. As a result, we begin to feel pressured and inadequate next to our peers. This can lead to various insecurities.
In reality, everything’s not always perfect and our flaws can’t be edited out. Of course, social media isn’t the only source of such feelings, but can easily add fuel to an already thriving fire. Especially in regard to young children and adolescents when development is at a vital point.
The word ‘addiction‘ is frequently thrown around. Many people, both young and old, can become caught in the web of social media, and some can even be addicted without realizing.
When it comes to internet safety for kids, social media can be one of the biggest concerns. If you’re concerned about your child, check out this post.
5 Reasons you need a digital detox.
A social media detox will help you focus on what’s important.
Have you ever planned to do something productive but found yourself scrolling through Twitter? Or spent hours ‘liking’ and ‘sharing’ on Instagram? Guilty! There are so many occasions that I’ve found myself scrolling through social media, instead of researching an article or working on posts. In fact, when it comes to illustration, a simple hunt for references can lead to an hour wasted on social media platforms.
By forcing ourselves into a social media detox, we can better focus on our goals and priorities. But I’ve learned from experience that this only works if you physically have no access to the platforms. Or, if you have an extreme amount of willpower behind you. I often remove platforms from my mobile altogether as a way to remove the temptation.
If you’re planning to remove social media from your mobile device, here are a few things to remember.
- Ensure you know how to log back in. Check what email address or username you’re using, and write them down alongside the password in a secure location.
- Know what to do if the above fails. Most social sites are fairly easy to get in touch with about such issues. Note these solutions with the above information.
To preserve your mental health.
Social media has a lasting impact on our mental health. In fact, various studies have shown that those who are always online are at a greater risk of conditions such as depression and anxiety.
As previously discussed, social media can play a huge part in creating and nourishing insecurities and comparison. By taking the time to step away from the web, we’re able to separate ourselves and readjust to reality.
It helps you reconnect with yourself.
By stepping away from being online, we’re better able to focus and reconnect with ourselves. Being online all the time can prevent us from focusing on our health, goals, and everything that exists off-screen.
You will stop being competitive.
Likes and comments are like validation! But seeing someone get more likes and recognition can bring out your competitive side. A detox will help you stay away from unhealthy competition and help you realize that your worth is not dependent on how likes or comments.
It helps do away with FOMO.
FOMO, FOMO, FOMO; The fear of missing out. When I think about going on a digital detox, the first thing that comes to mind is what will I miss? Yes, I always want to be in the know and to be connected, but going on a digital detox will help minimize my fear of missing out and instead increase my JOMO; Joy of missing out!