These days, it is not uncommon for people to have their faces practically glued to their phones for hours on end, repeatedly and aimlessly switching between a handful of social media apps for no particular reason.
It is no wonder, therefore, that people are feeling more and more disconnected from their friends and loved ones, which, in turn, amplifies their feelings of isolation and loneliness.
Not only that, prolonged use of social media seems to foster—and even encourage—latent feelings of discontent and even jealousy at the lives that other people live.
Suffice it to say, the advent of social media and constant connectivity has proven to be more of a bane than a boon. This is there seems to be a noticeable increase in depression and anxiety cases among the worldwide population, which is why it is becoming increasingly clear that a social media detox should be encouraged, maybe even made mandatory. And if you still remain unconvinced, here are more reasons why:
To break the cycle of social comparison
The fact of the matter is being on social media long enough will eventually drive people to compare themselves and their lives to the lives of the people in their network. This, in turn, can have a severe impact on one’s self-esteem and can do more harm than good. In fact, this can even trigger depression in some people. It is indeed an unhealthy cycle that one needs to break away from immediately.
To stop feeling so competitive
Being in a constant state of competitiveness brings about anxiety and depression, and is, therefore, utterly unhealthy. Unfortunately, social media not only brings out one’s competitiveness but even encourages it. After all, the main point of social media is to get people to notice your post. And with no shortage of features like reactions and comments to measure a post’s popularity, you will likely find yourself always checking how you measure up in your network and even striving to outdo others!
To protect your privacy
Social media is a great way to show off your life by means of photos, videos, and other posts. But what not many people realize is that you are actually giving up a lot of your privacy by doing so. Not only that, social media apps seem to be evolving into tools designed to encroach on your privacy, so you do not even have to share anything for them to know what you are doing. Suffice it to say, your phone and cadre of social media apps are keeping tabs on you and everything you do, and you should be very, very afraid.
To improve your mood
As we have already mentioned, being always in touch with other people’s lives on social media can lead to depression. It goes without saying that your mood is directly proportional to the amount of time you spend on social media. So if you are feeling anxious or sad, try staying away from Facebook and the likes to lighten your overall mood.
To reconnect with the real world
Many people would justify that they do better connecting with other people online than they do in person. However, the fact of the matter is this does not really satisfy our inherent need as humans for person to person contact. This is why a lot of people who spend copious amounts of time on social media feel lonely and isolated. It is, therefore, a good idea to close those apps and go out in public. Take in the sights by really taking in the sights—that is to say, without the distraction of social media.
To live in the moment
Most of us find social media as a great way to document the myriad details of our lives, as well as significant life events and activities. This is all well and good, but if you are consistently and religiously doing this, it invariably takes you out of the moment. After all, some events and experiences simply cannot be paused for you to take a picture and post it on Facebook with a meaningful caption. So if you want to enjoy and really remember something, interact with it directly, rather than behind the lens of your camera phone.
To get more free time
Nothing consumes more time than social media, believe it or not. You will be surprised how much time switching from one app to another eats up, so that before you know it, hours have passed. Hours, mind you, that could’ve been used for worthier and more productive pursuits. There’s actually a neat little iPhone app that helps you track how much time you’ve wasted on social media and even lets you limit the time you want to spend on these apps. That ought to give you a rude reality check! But think of it as a social media cleanse instead.
So if you’ve ever procrastinated from work or missed an exercise because you were lying in bed with your phone, then you know you’re in trouble. This alone should be reason enough for you to put down that phone and enjoy the rest of your life.