Social Media Detox The Right Way
With restricted social interactions and limited entertainment options available for individuals at home and outdoors, social media usage has picked up speed on a whole new level. The young and old alike have resorted to using gaming and entertainment apps, scrolling through social media platforms such as Twitter, Reddit, Instagram, Facebook, and other applications to occupy their free time. The excess time spent on mobile phones, robotic scrolling through online feeds to continuous clicks, the cycle is slowly becoming toxic. Some visible cons of excessive social media usage include anxiety, stress, body aches from awkward postures and lack of movement to weak communication skills and even unchecked addiction. It is slowly pitching the welcomed stay-at-home endeavor to a mindless downward spiral into a social media obsession frenzy. A social media detox is much needed for many of us to get our mental and physical health back on track.
Why is social detox good for you?
It is a safe claim to say that excess of anything leads to addiction, and addiction of any form is not a healthy habit to possess. The cycle needs a break and what better time to do so than during quarantine. Imagine a conveniently set up environment in your comfort zone, a moment of rest from the buzzing outside world with a sense of security and peace, an escape from the other end of the spectrum filled with the noise of work, structure, standards, goals and constant competition. A social media detox is not only good for us, but it is also a relief pill we didn’t ask for but need. The noise needs to be cancelled for our mental well-being, taking a step back from the barrage of news articles counting down every new Coronavirus case or the unrealistic standards of how productive you need to be during the quarantine. Instead, we need to step back from social media and reconnect with friends, family and nature. We should be waking up to the sound of birds chirping instead of the nonstop WhatsApp group notifications, replacing Netflix with watching the sunrise and sunset, opting to read a good book or meditate instead of scrolling endlessly on the phone. The little things in our daily routine that have a much positive impact on us in the long run than we care to think.
Social Media Detox Tips
Find a detox buddy: Having someone keep you company when opting to do a particularly challenging task helps make it easy. Plan to go on a social media purge with a reliable and motivated friend or family member as this can help make a sudden change in your daily routine bearable. Having friends and family that you are close to and who would not hesitate to point out your slip-ups while also encouraging you in your weak moments are the best kind of moral support to have. This process of social media detox will serve as a means to strengthen your bond with family and friends due to the amount of time spend in each other’s company doing productive tasks that keep you occupied and motivated.
Switch to real resources: There is no question that technology has brought us many comforts and made life easy for all of us. For example, the elimination of middle resources like wallets, calculators, clocks, flashlights, etc. are no longer necessary for us to carry everywhere we go. Our phones have built-in apps that store our credit card information and help us pay on the spot or online. Flashlights, calculators and clocks are some other accessories around the house, slowly going into extinction now that all of them are readily available in our phones. Reintroducing these small home accessories during the social media detox period will help us avoid the temptation of reaching for our phone altogether.
Time limit on apps: For those who use their phones for their daily work, have an addiction or are habitual phone-reachers, allotting time slots for social media apps can help create a healthy usage cycle. This time slot can progressively decrease over time, helping in curbing the addiction slowly but consistently until a point wherein no time slots are required to stay away from social media.
Long term benefits
Any positive changes that we bring about in our life, no matter in what shape or form, are bound to blossom positive results. Whether it is a healthy diet plan, exercise, meditation, taking a vacation or break from the daily bustle of our busy lifestyle, every affirmative action is cause for a positive outcome. Similar is the case for social media detox, this purge is not only beneficial in the short term but if implemented correctly, has effective long-term benefits for our mental and emotional well being. Some prominent pros that can be spotted include:
No more social comparison: From looks and possessions to lifestyle and hobbies, a common trait found in every social media user that leads to self-esteem issues, emotional and mental harm is the act of comparing ourselves with the fictional lifestyle led by influencers, bloggers and sometimes even our friends online. Eliminating this unnecessary desire to reach an unrealistic standard of perfection set by some of the most prominent users of these social platforms is not only healthy but also helps us grow into more accepting and understanding individuals in society.
Reconnect to reality: Our world is a mixture of fast-paced competition and a constant need to reach perfection. Social media platforms amplify these to an extent where it is almost normal to feel disconnected to our reality. When we remove the middleman that is social media, we regain control of our surroundings, we begin to live in the present and our focus shifts from what others are doing and where they have reached, to ourselves, and things we care about.
Have a happy and healthy detox journey!