Have you ever heard about a social media detox? Social media user numbers continue to grow exponentially. As a matter of fact, the average person spends at least one hour and 40 minutes per day online. They spend that time looking at their favorite social media sites and apps. That’s a lot of time that could be spent in other ways. It’s also indicative of the current social and business culture.
However, this doesn’t mean that spending this much time on social media is good for you. Although your work may require you to remain social online during business hours, it’s very helpful to detox. Perhaps you could take a social media detox over the weekend or during a vacation. How exactly is social media ruining your life? Watch this video to find out:
Here are twelve benefits of taking a break from social media:
It allows you to break the social comparison cycle
Scientists discovered that most people who use social media end up comparing themselves to the lives of everyone they know. The only problem with this is that it can have a serious impact on their self-esteem.
For example, if everyone you know is getting married and having babies but you’re still single, you may end up feeling isolated and lonely. This can even lead to serious depression for some people. Try breaking away from this unhealthy cycle. Just take a break from social media so you can reconnect with all of the awesome things in life.
A social media detox will help you avoid falling prey to the worry of the day that makes the headlines, feeds, or trends. You’ll even find yourself being more positive, as social media tends to jade you. It makes you more cynical.
You’ll also find yourself comparing yourself less to other people. You’ll no longer feel like you’ll have to keep up with the Jones, so to speak. This will help lower your anxiety significantly. A lot of evidence suggests that most of today’s anxiety comes from social media use and consumption.
You’ll stop feeling incredibly competitive
Even if you aren’t aware of it, social media brings out your competitive side. This is because the main basis of social media networks like Facebook is to attract attention to your posts. Each reaction and comment is a measure of how popular a particular post is. In addition, this can make you strive to outdo others and even yourself.
This type of competitiveness isn’t healthy and can even cause anxiety and depression. Take a mental health break by stepping away from social media for a while.
Improve your overall mood
Studies discovered that the more time you spend on a social media site, the more likely you are to develop depression. The amount of time you spend on these social media sites is directly related to your overall mood.
Do you feel stressed out, sad, or happy? In other words, if you’re feeling highly anxious and stressed out, take a break. If you feel depressed, it’s a good time to take a social media detox. It may feel weird at first. Even so, your overall mood should begin to improve by staying away from Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and other sites.
Conquer your fear of missing out
Computer World pointed out that social media is engineered to be as addictive as crack cocaine. This isn’t just a hyperbole. When you first stop using social media, you can expect to feel withdrawal symptoms. Scientists say that this is due to the naturally ingrained fear of missing out. After all, you could miss something entertaining or important if you step away from your laptop or smartphone.
The notification number makes it even harder to stay away. Nevertheless, those who become addicted to social media can end up destroying their personal and professional relationships. You can highly minimize this effect after your social media detox. Simply schedule a once a day visit to your favorite sites. After that visit is over, don’t look at social media for the rest of the day.
Reconnect with the real world
Do you connect well with others online, yet never connect with people in person? Although this can be ideal for introverts, you still need some face-to-face human contact. Sadly, people who spend a lot of time on social media report feeling lonely and isolated in real life. They’re also more likely to suffer from a weakened immune system.
The good news is that, even if you’re an introvert and uncomfortable with a lot of in-person interaction, you can boost your mood by going out in public. Go to your favorite park or restaurant if you prefer to be alone. You could even go to a movie or concert. If you want to make new friends, try to use a service such as MeetUp to find like-minded individuals. Face-to-face interpersonal relationships are generally stronger than those online.
Live in the moment
Do you post everything you do on Instagram while each activity or life event is actually happening? There were even instances when people, oddly enough, updated their Facebook and Twitter accounts immediately after they got married. This is a viable way to document your life. However, it can also become a burden that takes you completely out of the moment.
Many people live everything through the lens of social media instead of directly interacting with it. Hence, their experiences will be of lower quality and be less memorable. There are many ways you can live in the moment and grow. Perhaps you could start by making mealtime a ritual. Work to get in quality time with your family every day, even if it’s just a few minutes.
Stop obsessing over the past
Do you spend a lot of time looking at old tweets or Facebook stalking your ex? This can keep you stuck in a negative headspace. It makes it much more difficult to recover from that overwhelming breakup. Leaving social media behind for a while can give you the space you need to stop obsessing. This way, you’ll actually move on with your life.
Make sure that, when you do return to social media, you take the extra step of blocking exes. You should also block anyone else who it pains you to see online. You can also tweak your Facebook memories to remove certain items so you stop being reminded of them. The idea is to let go of your past once and for all.
Gain a lot of free time
Do you feel like you never have enough time to exercise, read, or clean your house? Putting social media on pause will help you regain almost two hours per day. During this time, you can devote your energy to improving your life.
Walking for at least 30 minutes a day has many physical and mental health benefits. It’s a much better way to use your time than scrolling through your Facebook news feed. You’ll also feel less stressed out if you take some time to get your house in order.
You’ll boost your self-esteem
Accept it or not. Social media is a place that can either boost or negatively affect your mood. You post a picture and may not get the number of likes you expected. This will ultimately affect your self-esteem and will even lower your self-confidence. Remember that not everything that you do on social media matters; there’s life beyond that.
Other people’s validation and whether they like a picture or not shouldn’t bother you. Instead, focus on things that you think will help you achieve important goals in life. Staying off social media will give you time to learn a new hobby. You’ll also do things you love and, therefore, boost your self-esteem.
You’ll get more work done, and you’ll do it faster
When you don’t have to worry about your devices buzzing left and right, you can truly focus. You’ll find your productivity levels shooting through the roof. “The thing about social media is that it constantly interrupts us,” says Dr. Joanne Cantor. She’s a professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and author of the book Conquer CyberOverload.
Checking your social media every 10 minutes is another form of multitasking. Multitasking makes whatever you do take longer, and you do it in an inferior way. In fact, the American Psychological Association (APA) estimates that juggling multiple tasks at once reduces your productive time by as much as 40 percent. These multiple tasks refer to clicking back and forth between Instagram and an important project. That’s a high price to pay for a few likes and comments.
Get your creative juices flowing
Do you feel like you’re stuck in a creative block? It surely has something to do with your obsessive social media habits. According to Dr. Cantor, the key to an imaginative mind is taking breaks every now and then. By taking a social media detox, you have time to work on something more creative and important.
“Having social media in the background, calling to you and asking you things, interferes with your creativity,” Cantor says. If you give up social media entirely, you rid yourself of these nagging notifications. You allow your creativity to flourish.
In short, social media networks are a big part of many people’s lives. It has many advantages and disadvantages.
Are you having a difficult time unplugging from social media completely? Try other activities such as reading books, walking your dog, or learning a new language.
Are you ready to try a social media detox? What are you waiting for? The first step to a successful detox is to simply try it out.
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