Do you feel like sometimes you need to have a social media detox and take break from it all?
Social media plays an enormous role in modern day existence. With Facebook having almost 2 billon active users it’s easy to feel invisible online.
Social media habits have recently led to concerns about mental health. Specifically, the negative effects that ‘likes’ are having on individual’s self-perception. This is why it is important to do a social media detox.
There is a growing trend among easily influenced teenagers of viewing their self worth based on the number of likes a ‘selfie’ receives.
Platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram may have created positive social movements and increased globalisation but on an individual level, people are finding their moods worsened.
We log into our apps almost ritually, checking first thing in the morning and last thing at night. Most of the time expecting to see something wonderful, however the opposite often occurs.
Instead individuals report that what they see on social media doesn’t make them feel better about themselves.
These feelings of isolation are causing many teens to take a break and disengage from social media for extended periods of time.
An American study has found that the top three reasons teenagers are choosing to do a social media detox:
- The conflict and drama was getting too much
- They wanted a break from always having to keep up with what’s going on
- It was getting in the way of their work/school
This study found that teenagers who take a voluntary break form social media find it a calming experience. However, those who are forced to take a break become more anxious about what they are missing out on and return to social media faster.
Many individuals seem to be driven by a desire to get more likes, to the point of paying for them. Unfortunately research indicates that these individuals are likely to suffer from low self-esteem and be less trusting.
This also holds true for people who delete posts and change their profile pictures based on the amount of likes they get.
Avoiding social media in this modern world is near impossible. With this in mind, here are some helpful hints to creating a positive relationship with social media:
1. Schedule time
Scheduling time for social media may help you cut the cord a little. Pick certain times through the day to use social media, such as the train ride home. This will prevent it from overtaking all aspects of your day
2. Remove the Apps from your phone
When we have Facebook, Instagram and Twitter just a tap away on our phones the temptation to check every minute of the day increases. Instead stick to logging into the internet browser. Next time you have a spare minute you may not be as tempted to ‘quickly check’.
3. Think before you post
We hear this all the time but it is important! Think before you post anything on social media. Try and understand the pros and cons of posting certain things and whether these posts could offend or be misconstrued in any way. Better safe than sorry.
4. Be selective about your followers and who you follow
Unfollow those accounts that make you angry, sad or disappointed. If following celebrities is influencing you in a negative way, unfollow. Similarly, be selective about who is following you. You may not get as many ‘likes’ but your account will be more protected and less susceptible to those nasty internet trolls.
5. Post it later
One of the biggest issues with social media is that it takes you out of the present moment. Often we are too focused on getting the right picture and adding the right filter that we miss out on what’s real. Instead of letting your dinner go cold as you choose between Valencia and Ludwig enjoy your meal and the company. If it’s a great picture, don’t forget you can always post it later.
There are many benefits to a social media detox so give the above tips a try and see if they help you!