Social Media Detox is less talked about in our daily life for some obvious reasons, I will try to address the same in later part in the article. But more importantly, I will discuss why everyone needs social media detox for some time period. I personally gave up social media for around 50–60 days, the following article is my experience and opinion of the same.
Let’s start with a cigarette. It has zero nutritional value, it’s a blow of money, makes you addicted and harms physical health.
Now let’s see social media. It is a waste of some good time, it makes people addicted, it harms mental health, and it is often not used to connect with people but just browse and browse endless minutes on pointless images, videos.
As fast as the technology evolved we were served the boon of social media. Social media applications were started by people who wanted to help people connect with each other faster via the internet. Contrarily it has not only done that but also made people use it for wrong purposes. People are not only watching pointless videos and images but also wasting their time in the process.
There are many mental health issues related to such platforms; anxiety, depression, FOMO (fear of missing out), cyberbullying are some of them.
Stress and FOMO
If you open up your Instagram right now there’s a high chance that the first image that it will recommend you will be of a social media influencer or one of your favourite celebrities. While it’s fine to look at these people and draw inspiration from them, most of the times they are selling products of brands. Subconsciously when someone looks at such posts they want their life to be like that. They want that car, they want that Gucci bag, the Jordans or maybe even a find a partner.
These kinds of situations create an imbalance between real life of what we possess, see and can feel vs the blasphemy of what we don’t possess, can view on a small screen phone and can’t be felt. Just try to put your self in this situation and you can imagine the nonexistent societal pressure that makes you stressed and depressed about the same.
Most of the internet data consumption is from teens and adults. Many of which work 8–9 hours a day and after a stressful day they come home to spend time with family, have dinner, and before they sleep they scroll through an Instagram wall full of useless pictures that are no help to their sleep.
Again think of this, just before sleeping an individual is telling their unconscious the things that they don’t possess. This is not the energy around you, just before you sleep. This kind of stress keeps on piling up on mind and eventually, mental health issues are born.
Waste of time
In 2019 an average social media user spent 144 minutes or 2 hours 24 minutes a day on social media platforms(reference). That means more than 6 years of life the average person wasted on social media.
Only if you could manage that time and limit your social media time, you can manage to learn new things or even spend extra time with your family.
Just imagine if you spent 2 hours minutes a day reading books and educating yourself, working out and staying fit, or learning a new skill every year in that same time. We can learn so much in life that will help us at some point in life or spent a lot more time with family :-).
Matt D’Avella is an amazing YouTuber who released this video in late 2018. Matt shares his experiences on how he quit social media for 1 month and how it helped him in his life.
What should I do?
There are many methods to lose social media addiction. You can find many resources on Google with good resources.
The way I followed was disabling my Instagram and not installing it again for the next 45 days. After that, I had to replace my time by doing something that was meaningful and I could acquire some knowledge from. So I started reading my pile of books that I bought but procrastinated to read, some of those were:
- Rich Dad Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki and Sharon Lechter
- The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho
- The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
- The Monk Who Sold his Ferrari by Robin Sharma
Other than that, being a Software Engineer I started learning new technologies, started posting tech articles on Medium. You can do similar things or seek new opportunities or just grab that guitar that has been lying in the corner of your room and start learning how to play that thing.
After 50–60 days (I lost count after a while) I reinstalled my Instagram and lost the urge to check the feed every few hours, then I started unfollowing social media influencers that brought no value to my feed. I didn’t give a lot of time to do that, I just unfollowed them whenever I saw their posts. Eventually, the feed consisted of more friends and fewer celebs/influencers.
More importantly, I have become more creative, productive with my time and stress has reduced significantly. The stress is less compared to earlier. Now I only have little or no stress about how many tasks I can achieve in a day.
I hope this article brought you value and you start your social media detox journey soon❤