A Digital detox can seem scary. How could we possibly live without social media for an extended period of time? I’ve been there and done that.
Personally, I am a strong advocate of digital detoxes. When I used to be younger, I was heavily addicted to social media. I would constantly be checking in on my friend’s social media updates as well as finding content to post frequently.
At first, I thought it was completely normal for me to behave this way. Everyone was on social media and everyone was posting what was going on in their lives. I only realized my unhealthy obsession with social media once I started feeling depressed and unsatisfied with my own life and body image after scrolling through other people’s profiles. On top of that, I would whip my phone out during intimate social gatherings with my friends, sometimes even asking them to reenact something they said or did to post content. (Yes, embarrassing.)
I hit an all-time-low when I entered University. I had graduated from polytechnic and decided to pursue a degree. My batchmates on the other hand, became freelancers or started their careers in the industry of their choice – on social media they seemed like they loved their lives and had so much fun working. Seeing them happy and successful, threw me off because I was struggling to get use to the University workload and was doubting my decision in pursuing my studies. I felt unsuccessful and left out and this eventually led me into a state of depression.
Constantly comparing myself with my friends on social media actually started having an adverse effect on my actual life. I knew that I had to take a break from social media to actually start picking up in my own life again. I decided to temporarily deactivate my social media accounts for a limited period of time. In this time, I met my friends and concentrated on my studies and work. This allowed me to be more present in social situations and forced me to start working on my own life.
I found my mental health improving as well as my relationships with my friends. I slowly started adjusting to school and work. This break helped me realize that I should look at what I see on social media on a surface level. Also, check out this list of resources from Samaritans of Singapore (SOS) if you or someone you know needs mental health assistance.
Here’s some reasons why you should take a break from social media.
1. Your Relationships Will Improve
When you go for social gatherings without a social media account, you’ll notice that you start being more present. You don’t feel a need to constantly update your Instagram or reply to chats, instead you’ll focus on the conversations and activities you are doing with your friends.
You will start to appreciate the friends that you have. On social media, you can tend to compare your friend group with others. When you are present and pay full attention to your friends, this could blossom deeper connections and rekindle close relationships with them.
2. You’ll Start Feeling Happier
Without the constant need to appear like you are living your best life or the pressure to come up with content for social media, you will start appreciating the small things around you.
This was the case for me when I had the internet detox. I felt like a burden was lifted off my shoulder, I didn’t need to prove to anyone that I was social, that I was busy or that I was doing well. I was given the time to truly focus on myself, including the imperfect parts of me.
This gave me happiness and peace because I felt like I was in control of my life again.
3. You’ll Be More Productive
How many hours of the day do you spend scrolling through social media?
With that out of the picture, you will have more time to focus on your work and your tasks at hand. After work, you get to truly cherish you break time with your family and loved ones as compared to wasting precious hours online – and you’ll feel refreshed and ready to start a new day of work.
If you haven’t already taken a social media detox, I urge you to try one. You don’t have to commit for months, just try deleting your social media accounts for a week to give yourself a break from the hectic life of social media. Your mind and body will thank you for this.
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