Social media certainly has that addictive nature to it. But how do you know when it is time to follow a low information diet or a social media detox, if you will?
Some of us are interested in following a detox, or just a diet for a while that keeps it all simple. Back to basics. We do that for a reason, too much of a good thing is never good. So I was wondering after all the attention Essena got, which was mainly spreading via social media, are we not too busy with other people’s life?
When is social media too much of a good thing?
I believe there are two kind of people on social media. The ones that show their kids and/or dog, mostly to family and friends. And then we have the ”commercial types”, that for example want to make a business using social media as a platform. This is a bit rough categorized, I’m by no means an expert on this. When you are following the latter group of people, you have to realize that to some extend social media is not real life. If someone is selling a product/person, the most realistic picture will not make it online (first a lot of editing will take place). And if you are too much online and are easily influenced or very unhappy with your life, this can (unconsciously) affect you.
I can imagine how difficult it would have been for me, the 14-year-old me, slightly overweight and insecure. I felt the pressure that I had to look good (better), because I had a model in my class, but oh … how lucky did I was that I only had to compare myself with just one girl and not a whole ocean of perfect girls on social media where anything is modified and perfect.
Then there is the problem of simply spending too much time online and therefore not really living in the moment. How often do you see couples in a restaurant having dinner ”together” heads down, fully focused on their iPhone screens. I simply can not understand this. I do not think a screen can give as much fulfillment, joy and quality time as spending time with real persons.
Through social media it is possible to follow hundreds of people that we don’t know, and probably will never know. Social media paints a picture perfect and allows us to indulge in that.
Is social media a bad thing?
Absolutely not!! It brought so many of us together! And it gave me personally the platform to spread my story, my advice, and my recipes with the world. We all can be writers, sharers, make friends all over the world, and yes also make a business out of social media if we want to. Social media connects us to people that socially, geographically, or culturally we might never have been able to know.
As long as you know what social media is, I don’t believe it is a bad thing as such.
Do you need a social media detox?
Do you need a detox from these digital platforms that have become so important for so many of us? I think there are some ”signs” you might want to switch off the phone and maybe even the television.
- if you are always busy, but you can not get things done. I suppose you are too distracted by what is going on in the world wide web
- if you can not seem to schedule a work out or meet with friends, but have time to keep your Facebook timeline up to date
- if you do not have good conversations with important people in your life anymore
- if you are the couple in the restaurant that never have good conversations with each other
- if you always want more or what other people online seem to have
- if you keep comparing yourself to others online
- if social media makes you feel bad or restless
- if you can’t seem to switch off your phone an hour before going to bed
These are just a few examples. I believe it is very hard nowadays to switch off and make contact. But it is worth giving it a try. I struggle with this very much myself, but started slowly by switching off the phone in the evening. We are habitually returning to Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram, without awareness. The awareness is important. How often did you have a nice conversation with a friend and she or he keeps looking at that little screen on the table without even noticing it might make you feel like a third wheel on the wagon?
I think that these lifes that are portrayed can be misleading, because nobody has the perfect life no matter how appealing they make it seem. We should not compare ourselves to people that we do not know, nor subconsciously disparage our own lives. This is easy said, I know. Although I am incredibly grateful for the things that I have achieved via social media, I do not want social media to become a thing that is reminding me of what I do not have. A social media detox can give you the awareness and will make you (again) appreciate what you DO have.
Did you know that our seratonin levels decrease after using sites like Instagram?
Perhaps a detox from social media might be something to think about. Focusing on the ”me”, rather than the virtual one. It might do us good to put the phone down for a weekend, don’t you think?
photos by the green creator (c) (copyright)