Social Media Detox
As you stare into your phone reading this, oblivious to the reality around you – ask yourself, what happened to the days where we would chuck on our swimming costume and goggles over our clothes and propose a game of hockey in our spare time?
Regardless of whether you were as weird of a child as me, the above photo take us back to time where, instead of spending our days glaring intensely into our phone screens, we would make our own fun – for no one else’s pleasure except for that our of own/ our friends and family.
A few weeks ago I did a post about Social Media vs. My Reality, in which I briefly highlighted how social media provides both advantages and disadvantages to our daily lives.
I’ve been doing some research on Social Media Addiction and I’ve come to realise that the majority of us suffer from it, by no fault of our own. Most of us are classed as Generation Y/ Millennials (people born between the 1980’s and mid 90’s-OO’s), meaning we have grown up around the rise in social media. As time has gone by, our access to social media platforms has become easier, and thus our dependency on it has grown substantially.
On a typical day I’ll wake up to my alarm, hit snooze, then pick up my phone and start doing the rounds. I’ll check Instagram, Snapchat, Whatsapp, Twitter and Daily Mail. Once, and only once, I’ve caught up with my social media will I actually get out of bed and get ready for work. I will continue to check my social media during my commute to work, at any break I can get during my working day, my commute home, 50% of my gym session in between reps, my walk home, once I get home, for about an hour before I fall asleep in bed, and almost certainly if I wake up during the night.
I check my phone whilst at dinner with friends, spending ‘quality’ time with my family, when I’m out at events, on a night out… there is actually very little I won’t do without automatically picking up my phone out of a force of habit.
But what am I looking for, really?
We post updates to our social media waiting for some sort of validation in the form of materialistic attention. When our update gets more likes/ comments/ shares, we feel good… when it doesn’t, we feel down. This is because we are addicted to social media, much like any other form of addiction. I post a photo of my dog that died, something that actually affected my real life, and it garners 5% of the attention of a photo of me in a revealing outfit from a night out – why? Because probably only 5% of the people that follow me genuinely care about my real life, if that.
A few months ago I watched the below video and it really hit a nerve because it was so relatable to my life (it is 100% worth watching):
As part of my research, I came across other bloggers/ writers that have tried doing a ‘Social Media Detox’. I believe, as with many aspects of our lives, if you take a step back to evaluate something, you tend to view it with more clarity. I feel much the same towards Social Media.
As much as I love using Social Media, as much as I am fully addicted to Social Media, as much as I (quite frankly) don’t want to do a ‘detox’ from Social Media… I am equally as frustrated at how dependent I’ve become on it. I very much value my friendships/ relationships with people, and I’ve found my quality of communication is negatively affected by my use of Social Media – one example of this is my tendency to check my phone whilst someone is talking to me.
I hate the fact that instead of picking up the phone and calling someone, instead of arranging to meet up with someone, instead of messaging to someone to ask how they are because you genuinely care… we are logging onto Instagram/ Snapchat to see what they’ve been up to.
Therefore, starting from tomorrow I am going to do my own Social Media Detox for 7 days.
As part of my Detox, I will not cut out Social Media completely like a lot of other SM Detoxers (came up with my own slang for it), because I still need to post stuff for my blog on Instagram. However, I will only log on for 30 minutes each evening.
My Social Media Detox will involve me cutting out – Instagram, Snapchat and Twitter (I don’t really use my Facebook anyway).
I am going to document my 7 day journey and provide my thoughts in a blog post next week.
I know this isn’t going to be easy for me, and I actually feel really reluctant to do it all together, but I do want to take a step back and appreciate my surroundings more.
I hope I can inspire some people to do the same, be that doing the detox alongside of me! Or reading about my journey and wanting to try it themselves.
P.S. Everyone important enough to me has my number to contact me on Whatsapp or call me, so if you miss me – message me , text me, or call me. (I’m also saying this so that my friends screenshot memes and send them to me on Whatsapp cause I have a meme addiction that I’m not quite ready to part from yet!)
I’ve included some more material on Social Media Addiction/ Detoxing if you are interested 🙂
- 30 Signs of Social Media Addiction
- Short Social Media Addiction Animation
- How to Detox from Social Media without Losing your Mind
- Social Media Detox Exp. 1
- A Month Without Social Media
Any questions, please feel free to contact me 🙂
Ciao for now – Elz, the Witch.