Social media is the new addiction. You are constantly switching from one social media app to another mindlessly. From watching stories on Instagram to retweeting on Twitter, social media is a huge component of our lives today! In fact, the average person spends at least 1 hour and 40 minutes per day looking at their favorite social media sites and apps. Spending so much time on social media may not be good for you and a social media detox every now and then could be a great idea! Taking one day or a weekend to quit social media and take a break is good for you.
What is a social media detox?
Post the release of The Social Dilemma on Netflix, we have seen a rise in the search of Social Media Detox, which means complete elimination of social media from a person’s day-to-day life. This mean removing social media apps from your phone and disabling your social media profile. The primary goal is to reduce distraction from apps such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat etc. where we often waste time in mindless scrolling.
Why social media detox?
The goal is reduce our dependency on dopamine hormone often abused by these apps. Slowly our brains are being rewired to the system of instant gratification offered by these apps and research has shown that this reduces the value of real life gratification events example a half marathon, a workout etc.
How long should a social media detox be?
The earliest positive effects are visible in 7 days post a complete shutdown of social media. Usually people try it to do for 21 days as it takes 21 days to form a habit and 90 days to form a lifestyle as per the 21/90 rule.
So how would a social media detox help you out and be beneficial? Let’s find out.
How a social media detox helps you:
- Boost productivity
- Improve your mood
- Reconnect with yourself
- Reduce FOMO
- Helps Sleep Better
On average, you spend nearly 2 hours on social media everyday. That is a lot of time that could be spent in other ways. Be it work, personal hobbies or something else, you could improve your productivity. In case you’re in the middle of work, you may get distracted with a notification. But when you’re doing a social media detox, that distraction never occurs. As a result, you’re able to continue your work and keep your focus.
Improve your mood with a social media detox
Social media, while fun, comes with a lot of negativity. There’s a lot of sad news, horrible incidents and quite many not so nice people. Constantly being engaged in social media can increase your stress and anxiety levels, leading to more tension and a bad mood. In fact, quitting social media will help you stop looking at the lives of other people and feel bad for yourself as well! If you’ve been feeling stressed or worried, this is a good time to take a social media detox. It may feel weird at first, but you will slowly find your overall mood improving as you quit social media!
Reconnect with yourself
A social media detox is the perfect way to connect with yourself again. Rather than browse through apps and watch mindless videos, you can spend this time with someone more precious. Yourself. Do something you enjoy, journal your thoughts and spend time with your own thoughts rather than looking at what others are thinking or saying. If you want to spend a quiet weekend with your book and some loved ones, quit social media!
Fear of missing out or FOMO has been accelerated due to social media. Looking at holiday pictures, food images or videos of friends together creates a fear within you that you’re missing out or not enjoying enough. Social media has got you addicted and the dopamine hit you get every time you use it gets balanced out by the negativity of FOMO. Moreover, there is an inherent fear that you could miss out on something viral or funny if you aren’t always logged in.
You can minimise and conquer your fear of missing out by cutting out all notifications in case you can’t delete all social media. If you can delete all the apps, then that is best. By doing so, you will experience withdrawal at first and may tap on your screen to open the app, but after a while it will disappear. You will start becoming more understanding and at peace with the fact that you’re off social media. When your overall mood and emotional health improves, your FOMO will also disappear. Moreover, you’ll learn to show yourself some love and enjoy yourself rather than constantly compare your life to others.
All of us have been in the situation where in we just wanted to check social media for 5 minutes before bed and ended scrolling for more than intended. This not only cut our sleep time but you will notice that you will have a hard time getting sleep as your mind is now restless which the external stimulus delivered by these application.
If you want to sleep better, you should read our article on How to sleep fast in 5 minutes
For many of you, social media is already a big part of your lives. But despite the benefits there are also downsides to using it, especially if you spend a lot of time on it.
If you have a difficult time unplugging completely, try a mini social media detox by deleting one of the few apps you use or chalking out specific time to use the apps. Over time, it’ll help you overcome difficulties and do better everyday. In case you’re looking for a quick social media detox, try it for a couple of days or a weekend. Whatever you do, try and make screen time productive!
Evolve’s guided audios help you reduce stress and anxiety and make your day joyful with a variety of proven techniques. It’s a good alternative to social media apps as you can really reach inwards, connect with your mind and body and feel balanced. The Evolve app is now live globally on Android & Apple, click here to try for free!
Jash is an expert on mindfulness.