The purpose of social media platforms is to bring people together to share their stories but the addictive nature of the apps has created major mental health problems in a lot of people.
Psychology Today reported that the early months of the year are traditionally a time for abstinence, introspection, and renewal. Scheduling a social media detox can be the first great thing you do for your mental health for the upcoming new year.
Taking a break from all social media was life-changing. I stopped caring about posting and staying active because the person I “needed” to be was not the person I was.
Social media tends to create a false sense of reality where “keeping up with the Joneses” was an everyday extraneous activity and to be honest, I’d rather “keep up with Jody” than anyone else.
Why is a social media detox good?
When social media first came around, I was one of the people who never wanted any parts of it. I had a MySpace account but when Facebook came around I did every and anything to stay away from. I allowed my peers to talk me into creating a profile and from then on it’s been a love-hate relationship.
“Love” in the sense that I was able to connect with old friends that I never thought I’d get to speak to again and “hate” because now random people can find me if they looked hard enough.
Once I made the decision that a social media detox was needed, I deactivated Facebook and I deleted and eventually permanently deleted my account. I was forced into doing something I didn’t want so when I restored my personal power, I got rid of it.
Social media can do that to you. It will have you scrolling aimlessly for hours looking for something satisfying while increasing your anxiety and depression levels. Taking a break will force you to be with yourself and your thoughts instead of ignoring them.
The plus-side about being alone with your thoughts is that you begin to learn what habits are uniquely yours and what habits you’ve picked up along the way by scrolling aimlessly.
What happens when you give social media a break?
Multiple research has been done to understand the mental effects that social media has on individuals.
Occasional social media users are less likely to be depressed than someone who is constantly on. – The National Institutes of Health
Limiting social media use significantly reduced loneliness, anxiety, fear of missing out (FOMO), and depression over a three-week study. – Guildford Journals
Young people who use social media more than two hours per day have rated their mental health as fair to poor. – The Center of Addiction and Mental Health
Taking a break from social media, as shown by research, is beneficial to your mental health.
Do a social media detox challenge
A social media detox can last for a few hours, a week, 30 days, or a whole year. If you really want to feel the effects of the detox consider doing the 30-day detox.
Like every detox, there will be withdrawal side effects; be mindful that you’re not allowing those side effects to control you.
Here are a few tips to help with your detox
Delete ALL your social media apps
Do not give yourself the excuse to check who sent you a DM or who posted a new photo/story. It can wait. If that message was urgent, that person would either call you or if it’s business, send you an email.
Tell your friends
Pass on the message to your friends through a text or a call and let them know how to reach you. You might have developed the habit of sending posts to each other as a way of communicating. Removing that form of speechless communication will force your friends to have meaningful conversations.
Work on a goal
Replacing the time you’ve wasted scrolling social media with a positive activity like actively working towards achieving a goal will maximize your time and improve your lifestyle. You don’t need random people giving you validation to know that you’re doing a great job so use that time wisely and achieve some goals.
Do something fun
Try something new, if you’re out of ideas try this 30 days challenge to keep your mind and body active.
Do yourself a favor in the upcoming new year and take a break from all social media, your mental health depends on it.