Friday, 19 January 2018

Do you need a social media detox?

This is something that's been on my mind a lot recently, with the stresses of work, university and life in general. The over-use of social media was actually highlighted by three lovely older women at work the other day, they were complaining about how the radio station I work for always tells them to enter competitions online when they're listening using an actual radio and have no access to the internet. It got me thinking how I would be without the use of smart phones, the internet and social media and maybe that could do me some good.

For me, and I'm sure everyone else, social media is so useful in terms of social and work life, but because these platforms are all accessible 24/7, it's hard to just completely switch off. Did you know 57% of people talk more online than in real life? That to me is absolutely crazy BUT realistic. Do you find yourself constantly scrolling down Twitter, thinking about doing something just to post it on Snapchat or spending too long editing that photo for Instagram? I know I do, and thousands of us are guilty for it.

There's nothing more annoying than being sat opposite someone in say a pub or a restaurant and them being completely fixated on their phone and not the company around themHere's an idea, next time you go out for dinner with a group of friends have everyone put there phone's face down on the table and have the first person that touches their phone pay the bill, then anyone after that split it. You'll soon realise the difference it makes.
Straight away a social media detox sounds like a punishment to me, but what are the benefits?

1. Stops you feeling so competitive - whether it be that holiday your friends been on, the new shoes they've bought or even the amount of likes they've got on their recent post we're all guilty of feeling a little competitive when it comes to social media. Comparing how 'popular' a post is in terms of likes or comments is in some way a measure of 'popularity', even if you're completely unaware of it we're all a little competitive online.

2. Live in the moment - take a moment to ask yourselfwhen was the last time you spent a whole day offlineI'm pretty sure mine would have been way back when on a family holiday and even then I would've wanted to go to the lobby to use the free wifiYou might find yourself posting everything on SnapchatInstagram and checking in on Facebookthere have even been cases of people updating their social media accounts from the altar after getting marriedLiving your life through a lens could mean you're missing out on memories in real life.

3. Conquer your FOMO - ever seen all of your friends in the same place on snapmaps, or all checking in at the same place and feel left out? When you first take a break from social media you may get withdrawal symptoms; it's the 'Fear of Missing Out'. Not knowing what your friends are doing or what's going on online can cause anxiety, but you'll soon realise that it doesn't really matter what everyone else is doing and start focussing on yourself.

4. Break the social comparison - People selectively post what they want others to see, and this allows us to flaunt our good sides while hiding their bad ones, we're all guilty of it! Do you constantly find yourself comparing your life to others based on their social media posts? The most common issues concerning body image, especially in summer! This comparison can have a serious impact on your self-esteem and taking a break will do wonders with stopping the comparison.

5. Reconnect with the World around you - you might be connecting well with people online, but what when it comes to real life. How many times have you said to someone you need to have a 'catch up' but it never actually happens? I know I'm guilty for it. Take some time offline and meet up with old friends, spend quality time with loved ones because let's be honest how many of those followers can we class as friends?

As with everything, social media is great in moderation but too much isn't great for the mind. The ironic thing is that you've most likely stumbled across this post through social media. Try taking a break and see if you notice the difference.

Try it out for even just a day! Uninstall your social media apps, what's the worst that can happen?

Beth x
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