Ho much time do you spend on social media each day? 1 hour? 2? 5? The average person spends about 1 hour and 40 minutes.
Now, that might not seem like a lot, but it’s a lot of time you could be spending doing something else. And that 1 hour and 40 minutes (or more) could actually be bad for your mental health.
It’s time for a social media detox. Be it just for the weekend, a week, or a whole month, there are many benefits to be had from taking a break from that social feed.
Benefits of a Social Media Detox
Even if the impacts of social media get unnoticed, chances are, what you are seeing flow across that screen is impacting your life, and often in a negative way. A social media detox can help you take back control.
1. Higher Self Esteem. On social media, most of us only show the “good” in our lives. In a social world of filters and positivity, that created perfection often causes us to judge our own lives by the lives of others. Or at least the lives those others show to the rest of the internet. Scientists have even discovered that this constant comparison can lead to depression. Taking a digital detox can give you the breathing room to focus on yourself and reconnect with the things that really make you happy.
2. Boost Productivity. If you’re scrolling when you’re working, your productivity probably isn’t as high as it could be. Even just a 5 check-up every hour takes your mind from the task at hand and can cause productivity to take a nose-dive. And let’s be honest, it’s never just 5 minutes. If you need a break from work, get up from your desk and do something else – walk around the block, do the dishes, snuggle the dog – just don’t open that app.
3. Real Connections. Unfortunately, people who spend a lot of time on social media sites tend to report feeling lonely and isolated in real life. They are also more likely to suffer from a weakened immune system. It might be harder in this Covid world we’re living in, but even still, taking a break from social can help you get back to those real life connections that are so much more important. Pick up the phone, or plan a socially distanced visit to get in some real in-person time.
4. Better Sleep. This is especially relevant if you scroll before bed. Blue light from your cell phone or tablet messes with your circadian rhythm, and can keep your brain from getting into relax mode. It can also ramp up anxiety at a time when your brain should be winding now, not getting wound up. Instead of TikTok or Insta before bed, read a physical book to quiet your mind. And, the keep the blue light impacts at bay, put the phone down 1-2 hours before bedtime.
5. Reduce Anxiety. Social media tends to bring out our competitive sides, even if we’re not competitive in nature. The need for likes and comments on posts, and the cycle of constant posting and checking can cause a great deal of anxiety. For many, a break from this destructive cycle can be really healthy, and it gives us a chance to appreciate the good inner own lives, without the need for constant validation that comes from that little red heart.
6. Live in the Moment. All too often these days, when we’re out enjoying life we stop to take a picture. That’s fine, but then we also take the time to post it to social, stressing over creating the perfect captions and status updates. That thing you were doing before you stopped to post? That was enjoyable. Get back to that. Don’t let social take you away from the memorable moments, the things that matter. Take in those adventures for yourself and those you’re with, instead of for the internet.
A social media detox is a great way to get over that FOMO (fear of missing out), to get back to the people and things that matter, and to take more time for yourself! Tonight, or this weekend, or heck, even this whole month, give yourself that much needed break and say so long to social. Afterwards, you’ll be thankful you did!