Online communication has blown up in 2020 thanks to COVID-19, but is it possible to consume too much social media?
There has long since been a debate surrounding social media and its impacts on our mental health. For some within a certain age bracket, it’s seen as something akin to the fall of socialization. We constantly hear about children as young as six becoming addicted to social media, or adults spending too much time with their noses buried in their phones.
Despite the pros and cons of social media, you can always experience too much of something. Much like detoxing our bodies from cheap booze and toxic vibes, it’s also important to switch off from our online presence too.
Why you need a social media detox.
Social media could be considered as the brain behind almost everything we do. It’s all anyone ever asks you for upon the first introduction. But, just like everything else, social media has both positives and negatives.
Although a fantastic tool for keeping in touch, raising awareness, and even education, social media can have a massive influence depending on how you use it and how much importance you attach to it.
What are the positives gained from social media?
In the last decade or so social media has helped pave the way for the quick creation and sharing of information. When I publish a new blog post, the first thing I do is go on social media and share what I’ve written. If you launch a new business and you want people to become aware of it, social media is the place to be.
During the various lockdowns of 2020, we would have been lost and completely cut off from the world had it not been for places such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
Social media has even created and provided job opportunities in various sectors for a wide range of people. We can now work from home or on the go by simply using our phones. Charities can live-stream events and encourage supporters to get involved, giving more people volunteering opportunities.
What about the negatives?
One of the biggest disadvantages of social media is that it can sometimes present things in a really ‘chic‘ way. It has a way of making things look way better than they really are, and a whopping 60% of things we see on social media are fake. The use of sites such as Instagram can present the myth that everyone is living a glam and fabulous lifestyle. We can begin to feel pressured and inadequate next to our peers, and this can lead to various insecurities. In reality, everything’s not always perfect and our flaws can’t be edited out. Of course, social media isn’t the only source of such feelings, but it with children as young as eight using the internet, it can add fuel to the fire.
Addiction has often been a word used along with social media. Many people, both young and old, can become caught in the web of social media, and some can even be addicted without realizing it. I’m a social media person and even I’ve been tangled in its web. There’ve been times when I’ve spent the whole day scrolling through Instagram or Twitter instead of doing what I should be. But this year I made a conscious decision to reduce the amount I spent online and detox as often as possible.
When it comes to internet safety for kids, social media can be one of the biggest concerns. If you’re concerned about your child, check out this post.
5 Reasons you need a digital detox.
A social media detox will help you focus on your goals and priorities.
Ever planned to do something productive at a particular time but found yourself scrolling through Twitter? I’m guilty of this! So many times I’ve found myself scrolling through social media at a time when I should be doing something more productive. A detox can help us to focus on our goals and priorities instead of worrying about our follower count.
To preserve your mental health.
Social media has a lasting effect on our mental health and studies have shown that those who’re always online are at a greater risk of things such as depression and anxiety.
As mentioned, social media can play a huge part in creating and nourishing insecurities and comparison. By taking time to step away from the web, we’re able to separate ourselves and readjust to reality.
It helps you reconnect with yourself.
By stepping away from being online, we’re better able to focus and reconnect with ourselves. Being online all the time can prevent us from focusing on our health, goals, and everything that exists off-screen.
You will stop being competitive.
Likes and comments are like validation! But seeing someone get more likes recognition can bring out your competitive side. A detox will help you stay away from unhealthy competition and help you realize that your worth is not dependent on how likes or comments.
It helps do away with FOMO.
FOMO, FOMO, FOMO; The fear of missing out. When I think about going on a digital detox, the first thing that comes to mind is what will I miss? Yes, I always want to be in the know and to be connected, but going on a digital detox will help minimize my fear of missing out and instead increase my JOMO; Joy of missing out!
Have you ever gone on a digital detox? How often do you step away from the online world? What are your thoughts on FOMO? Let us know in the comments below.
Check out Ruthee’s Blog for more of her writing.