Social media is a fabulous way to stay connected with people, but it can also be very damaging to our relationships, productivity, and wellbeing.
- After a long scrolling session, have you ever felt anxious or drained?
- Do you find yourself comparing your life and circumstances to that of other peoples’?
- Do you feel stressed out about negative comments and feedback–or no input for that matter?
If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, this post is for YOU.
Taking a break from Social media helps us overcome some of the negative impacts of excessive social media use when we learn to focus on something other than a screen for a while.
There are quite a few benefits to a social media detox:
1. Say “goodbye” to comparison syndrome
It’s easy to fall into the trap of comparing your life against the lives of others on social media. For the average person, social media can be depressing when it comes to people who seem to be having a great time while we’re living a REAL life with lots of ups and downs.
“Social media is training us to compare our lives instead of appreciating everything we are. No wonder everyone is always depressed.”Bill Murray
Without other people to always compare ourselves to, we can relax and appreciate our gifts, talents, blessings, etc.
2. More privacy and protection from online scammers and thieves
I personally believe we share too much about ourselves on social media sometimes, e.g. the whole world doesn’t need to know we disagreed with a colleague, or where we are at any given time, etc.
While it’s nice to share special occasions like birthdays, anniversaries, special holidays, etc., we should also be careful about what and how much we share.
Remember, scammers and thieves, are online too, looking to discover who’s at home and who’s not! You could be inadvertently putting yourself and your friends’ personal information at risk.
Furthermore, if you share personal details such as your favourite colour, food, holiday destination, birth date, your dog’s name, private photos, etc., you may be making yourself vulnerable to identity theft!
3. JOMO (Joy of Missing Out)
When all your friends are posting holiday photos while you’re at home studying or cleaning, it’s easy to feel left out. Or when you see negative, or sad posts —how do they make you feel?
Unplugging from social media will release you from unnecessary feelings of jealousy, negativity and sadness so you can begin to feel your joy return.
4. Be authentic
How can we enjoy an experience if we spend all our time focused on taking the perfect photo or video to post to social media to portray some imaginary ideal life?
RK Green has this to say in her post “The Social Media Effect: Are you really who you portray online?”
“Authenticity is Key. Stay true to your real self, instead of creating an inflated, unrealistic version of yourself. People like individuals who are relatable, yet, authentic. Do not be afraid to show who you are. If you’re consistent and transparent in your online and offline persona, you have nothing to fear from exposure (Emily Magazine, 2013). Everything about your online persona should reflect your offline persona, i.e. your background, experience, education, etc. Rather than focusing your attention and effort into creating an ideal online persona, use your time and effort to accomplish the goals that align your “real self” with your “ideal self”. By doing so, you will ultimately become more fulfilled as you accomplish the goals that will lead to your path to self-actualization, i.e. becoming the best you—the “real” you. —RK Green
5. Free up time
Taking a social media detox will save you time reading or listening to lots of fake news circulating online. You don’t need to worry about a FOMO (Fear of missing out) because if there’s any important news, you’ll eventually hear from family or friends.
“Time is the most valuable thing a man can spend”.
Theophrastus (Greek philosopher)
On average, global internet users spent 144 minutes per day on social media.  All this time works out at 1008 minutes per week or 16.8 hours per week!
What else could you be doing with that time? Spending quality time with loved ones, reading a book, learning a new hobby? The possibilities are endless.
Dare to Unplug
I challenge you to try a social media detox and let me know if you feel any positive benefits in your life. I promise it gets easier (after the first few days of pulling your hair out that is), lol.
Next week: 4 ways to feel better starting right now
 Gary Henderson for Digital Marketing
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