One of the latest trends might just surprise you. Instead of staying glued to social media, many people are taking a social media detox. Even celebrities are getting in on the action to escape the constant deluge of new posts and pictures. Outside of being trendy, taking at least a brief break from social media could also make you happier.
Why Take a Break?
Take a moment to think about how using social media makes you feel. How often do you question your own life choices? How often are you envious of that perfect couple or the friend who just got your dream job?
Despite how much you might love staying in constant contact with hundreds of friends and family members, social media isn’t always rainbows and unicorns. Instead, it can have the direct opposite effect and make you feel absolutely miserable.
Many studies have shown that not only is social media addictive, but it leads to feelings of sadness, isolation, depression, and anxiety. Between comparing yourself with others and trying to keep up with friends who seem to have it all together, it’s a never-ending cycle that makes you feel like you’re just not good enough.
Overall, staying on social media too much isn’t good for your mental health at all. For kids and teens, the effects can be even more severe.
Related Read: How to Keep Your Kids Safe From Social Media Predators
A Growing Addiction
When you have access to all your friends and family on your phone, it’s easy to just post a quick update or scroll through posts while waiting in line or sitting and watching TV.
In 2014, a survey of social media users found that 28% would find it hard to give up social media. In 2018, that percentage grew to 40%. Sadly, 33% of people say they hide away from their friends and family just to check social media.
With most people socializing on multiple platforms, the time spent on social networks continues to grow. It’s difficult to realize how much you might rely on them until you do a social media detox. After all, social networking has been a part of our lives for over a decade.
Social Media Detox Success Stories
If just the thought of stepping away from social media makes you anxious, you’re not alone. In fact, that’s how most people feel before a social media detox. It’s also a clear sign you need to detox.
If you’re still on the fence, it might help to read a few success stories from people who have walked away for anywhere from a few days to even a month. One important to thing to remember is some of these people have actually created their businesses on social media, so if they can detox, anyone can.
Stephanie Vozza described her experience during a 30-day social media detox. She didn’t even consider herself addicted until she was at a party and felt like she was missing out on something just because she couldn’t post pictures to Facebook. It wasn’t until she ended her detox that she realized she wasn’t missing out on anything.
Victoria Hoff quit social media for a week, which might sound less stressful than an entire month. She admitted the need to constantly log on and see what was happening and connect with friends and fans. Unless it was strictly work related, she stayed off of social media. Her day-by-day journal showcases the withdrawal and benefits. Finally, she finds she doesn’t have to be connected 24/7.
Jason of Jason Does Stuff kept a daily journal of his 30-day social media detox. It’s one of the more detailed looks at how a little time away makes a major difference in how you see social media in a different light. It also helps you see you don’t actually need it.
Elizabeth McLaughlin took a smaller detox, but one that’s likely easier for first-time detoxers. Her 48-hour getaway taught her a valuable lesson – there’s more to the world than social media. It helped her relieve stress and discover ways to change her life for the better.
Of course, you can’t forget about all the celebrities who have detoxed. Some liked their detox so much, they quit entirely.
Noticeable Mental Health Benefits
Does a social media detox really help that much? While results may vary for everyone, studies have shown there are some positive mental health benefits, such as:
• Reduced anxiety
• Improved social skills
• Less fear of missing out (FOMO)
• Improved sleep (better for mental health in general)
With the growing problem of online bullying and harassment, taking a detox helps you to step away from negative and toxic attitudes, which can boost your self-esteem and confidence. Plus, by interacting more face-to-face, you’re able to create better relationships. While social media is great for keeping in touch, it shouldn’t replace face-to-face relationships.
Doing a Social Media Detox Step-by-Step
1Ease into It
If you feel like you might be addicted to social media or you’re just curious if a social media detox actually works, start by setting a date and time limit for your detox. It’s best to start with a few days to a week. This is a little easier, especially if you need social media for work or school.
Create rules for how you’ll avoid social media. This may mean removing apps from your phone or staying offline completely. Don’t give up if you slip. It happens to everyone. Just keep going.
For best results, plan some distractions. Schedule a short trip or make a to-do list. Take the time to finally get together with some of your closest friends. By having some plans in place, you’re less likely to want to constantly check your phone for updates.
4Enlist a Friend
If possible, do a social media detox with a friend or relative. After all, seeing your friends living on social media while you’re trying to interact with them in person isn’t easy. After your detox, you might just find it doesn’t bother you anymore.
You don’t have to give up social media or your favorite technology. Just give yourself a break from time to time to see what’s beyond your screen.
Related Read: Is It Time for a Digital Detox?
Contribution by Crystal Crowder
About the Author
Crystal lives and breathes tech. She’s spent over a decade writing tutorials, reviews, and more on tech, business, and lifestyle sites. Her idea of fun is settling down with the latest tech and gadget news.