Do You Need a Social Media Detox? Learn the Red Flags of Social Media Addiction
Nov 7, 2019   •   Kyzia Maramara
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Nov 7, 2019   •   Kyzia Maramara
While social media has been helpful in many ways, most of us have to admit we’re drowning in it. We’re supposed to be the masters of our time, but with social media, the concept of time flies out the window. Most people’s idea of relaxing is sitting in a corner with their phone out, scrolling through your feed endlessly. But is this really relaxing?
We’ve listed signs of social media addiction below, and if you find yourself guilty of even one of the items, you might want to consider going on a social media detox. It does wonders, we heard.
When you wake up, your phone is the first thing you reach for. You’re constantly on it—during your commutes, meals, and every chance you get throughout the day. When it’s time for bed, you phone sends you to sleep, but even when your eyelids are heavy, you just can’t stop scrolling! It’s more than the need to stay updated with what’s happening out there, it has become a habit that is extremely difficult to destroy.
Phones have saved us from many scenarios (going alone to an event, commute boredom, when you’re lost at a new place, etc) but it has also made us dependent. Think about it: the last time you accidentally left your phone while you went out gave you anxiety, right? You were afraid that people wouldn’t be able to contact you or that you wouldn’t get to listen to your music on the road. But if you get uneasy even after leaving your phone in another room, that’s something else. Learn to spot the red flags and act accordingly.
The first thing you do when you’re at a new place is to ask for the Wi-Fi password, and if they don’t have an internet connection, you’re at a loss. “What is this place?” The thought of not being able to access social media for a day makes you anxious for all the memes and status updates you’ll miss.
Social media addiction also affects us physically. Our eyes tend to get strained, blurry, or dry when we stare at blue light coming from our gadgets, especially at night when it’s your only light source. If your neck feels sore, it might be because you’ve been looking down at your phone the entire day.
Social media content also tends to overwhelm us with a lot of news in such a short amount of time that it’s a challenge for our brains to process the information. With all of this combined, you’re bound to get an angry headache which could also be exacerbated by late nights with nothing but your phone for company.
In the age of social media, people tend to live their life for the people online. Where’s the fun if you don’t take a photo and let your friends know you’re doing something cool? Being online 24/7 blinds and distracts us from the life that we should be living outside our screens.
You get FOMO when you can’t see your friends’ posts, you get triggered by seeing political posts on your newsfeed, you anxiously refresh a photo you just posted to see if people “like” it, and if you don’t get enough likes, you even debate whether or not to delete it. These are some of the few things that scream ‘social media addiction’ and create anxiety. Escape social media for a while. You might find it refreshing.
On social media, it’s easier to feel closer to people you admire, be it a celebrity, an artist, or even someone barely famous. You only need to hit that follow button to watch their life, post after curated post. Eventually you can’t help but be envious. It’s almost inevitable.
You wish you owned that bag, had that relationship, went on that vacation, or had that Instagrammable body. Remember that social media is a curation of posts people want other people to see. It almost never reflects reality. Real life isn’t perfect and if you need a reality check, get off social media.
If social media is affecting your work, you obviously need to take action. Unless you have a career in social media, who tagged who on a meme is not important and neither is what’s trending on Twitter. Evennews about your favorite celebrity can wait. In other words, you can’t just put your career at risk just because you have a strong urge to go on social media. Trends and memes are fleeting but your job performance has real-world consequences.
If you’ve humbly accepted that you’re indeed addicted to social media and you need a detox, it’s fairly easy. If you have the discipline, that is. Some of the steps you can take are limiting your time for social media, quitting social media altogether for 30 days, spending more time with the people around you, or even just turning off your notifications. If there’s a will, there’s a way!
Got anything else to add about taking a social media detox? Share it with us below!
Kyzia spends most of her time capturing the world around her through photos, paragraphs, and playlists. She is constantly on the hunt for the perfect chocolate chip cookie, and a great paperback thriller to pair with it.
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