Technology has revolutionized the world. While it has undoubtedly eased our lives and existence, it hasn’t come without a price, and it has influenced our mental and physical well-being in a plethora of ways.
Having 24/7 access to social media platforms affects our lives more than we think. For example, scientists have discovered that most people who use social media consequently compare themselves and their lives to everyone they know, which significantly impacts their self-esteem and confidence. Taking a break from the comparison cycle is essential to reconnect with reality and the fact that nothing is as perfect as it seems on social media. Moreover, a social media detox can also help with protecting your privacy. Even though it is a convenient way to keep up with the people around you by sharing news, pictures, and important moments of your life, it means giving up a lot of privacy as many of these social media platforms require you to share your data.
Social media affects not only our psychological well-being but also our physiological well-being, especially our sleeping habits. Scrolling through social media can take us five minutes or five hours since keeping track of time is next to impossible in a simulation. This often leads to inadequate sleep hygiene and a poor sleeping pattern. When we spend more time interacting with others through social media instead of in-person, we tend to feel isolated. Human beings are made for in-person interactions, which is one of the reasons why being isolated in our homes during the pandemic was so challenging. When we spend more time disconnected from “real life” with minimal in-person interactions with others, it can lead to loneliness and even depression.
Even though it seems hard at first to let go of an addiction, life becomes better after we get through the withdrawals. Here are a few tips to help you get started:
1. Eliminate all gadgets one hour before bed and one hour after waking up (“Sleep modes” are very effective)
2. Turn off all notifications to minimize the number of times you are habitually checking your phone throughout the day.
3. Whenever you feel like you need a break, delete the app from your phone. Whenever you feel like you have had your break, you can always re-download it.
4. Set a screen-time alert, deciding how much time you want to spend on each social media platform. Try not to exceed 15 minutes.
If you’re looking to improve your mood and get yourself together again, try a social media detox. You don’t have to delete all your accounts and stop using social media all at once, rather, you can start small and observe the effect it has on your mood and life.