On Sunday, a notification popped up on my iPhone home screen to congratulate me on spending 5% less time on my phone for that week. Apparently, I spent an average of 6.5 hours a day on my phone. SIX AND A HALF HOURS?! I had no idea how that was even possible, considering I work 8 hours a day Monday through Friday, but according to my screen time analysis, it was true. I thought about the amount of time I spend listening to music on my commute to and from work (which I factored into screen time) or if I had watched any Hulu shows or videos on my phone instead of on the television... and it still made zero sense. The reason I spend so much time on my phone is because of social media, whether that’s scrolling through Instagram or watching YouTube, and I am 100% embarrassed to say that.
Aside from the fact that it’s a ridiculous amount of time to spend in a day doing just one thing, it’s also affected my eyesight and I now wear glasses (coincidentally, science continues to show data to corroborate that). It’s also just not healthy.
Social media is great for a lot of things: networking, remaining in contact with friends and family, staying informed on current events and for general entertainment purposes; but, it’s also a major distraction from daily productivity and can be a bummer to your self-esteem. The time you spend on social media can be used to study for an upcoming test or preparing a presentation for the promotion and raise you want. Instead of celebrating said promotion with friends, you find yourself feeling unworthy once you see someone you follow posting and boasting about buying their first home. Just five minutes ago, you were basking in your own success and now you’re dwelling and comparing yourself to others for what you think you don’t have.
If you find yourself in these situations, it’s beyond time for a social media detox. Here are the benefits of taking an extended leave from your online persona.
Break the Comparison Complex
Experts say that most people who use social media end up comparing themselves to the lives of everyone they know, which affects self-esteem. This can also lead to depression, unstable moods, stress and even overworking to achieve unnecessary goals. Break away from this unhealthy cycle to reconnect with yourself and to reflect and appreciate the awesomeness in your life.
Protect Your Privacy
Social media is great to keep in touch and share photos, but it also requires you to give up a lot of your privacy. It can cause you to feel as though everything you do and have must be shared versus living in the moment. An added layer of adjusting your privacy settings (private pages that others must request admission onto, eliminating your contact information, etc) is to take a break overall.
You’ll Be Happier
Studies show that the more time you spend on social media, the more likely you are to develop depression. It may feel weird at first if you’re not checking your social media everyday because it’s become second nature to us, but your overall mood should begin to improve as you stay away.
You’ll Be Able to Live In The Moment
I’ve heard at different conferences that social media is as addictive as crack cocaine. It’s not exactly false, because you can experience withdrawal symptoms once you decide to detox that are just as bad as not using narcotics, which is crazy! Experts say that this is due to the naturally ingrained fear of missing out. I know the first thing I did after my social media break was go on The Shade Room’s Instagram page and scroll down for all of the days I missed to get caught up with current news, which was a task! I learned that the only thing I truly missed was what was right in front of me and it gave me the confidence to stay off of the grid and truly enjoy life’s moments without it. It was nice to be on a girls weekend and actually enjoy each other’s company and conversation versus being on our phones all day.
What are some tips that you can put into practice to avoid the pitfalls of social media addiction?