Life is one big road with lots of signs. So when your riding through the ruts, don’t complicate your mind. Flee from hate, mischief and jealousy. Don’t bury your thoughts, put your vision to reality. Wake Up and Live! – Bob Marley
Over the past 2 and a half months I have had a social media detox. It started when I was feeling fed up and slightly unmotivated and I had seen another blogger recently record her account of her 1 week social media detox and I thought to myself, “I’m going to do that. It’s going to be hard, but I am going to do it.”
At first it was harder than ever because I was so used to checking my phone and social media platforms all the time, it was part of my daily routine and it was a habit that had to be broken. However, I cannot describe how helpful it has been. I know at first you are going to think, ‘give up social media, ‘How on earth am I going to do that?!’ It’s hard at first, especially if you are used to using it a lot, but after the first few days it gets easier and you start to become more mindful and present to what is happening in your life and in the world around you.
There are so many benefits of having a little time away from social media and the internet.
It allows you to socialize in more of a verbal way
Not being online for a while snaps you back into reality. We connect online but do we really connect to people in the real world? I myself, prefer to connect to people on the internet rather than in person as I am a very quiet person. But I am slowly developing and learning to connect to people in real life as well as online. Sometimes I really wish I were to be more social-able and talkative to people face to face and I used to beat myself up about it but when I think about it realistically, everyone is different. Not everyone is able to talk to people well in person, and that is okay.
It is okay to be different. Being able to connect to people in the real world gives you a sense of belief and leaves you more open minded. You do not have to go around talking to everyone having extremely long conversations. You could just pop into your local shop or park and say hello to a regular or you could have a quick chat to your next door neighbour and see how they are doing.
It enables you to be less isolated
I think this is one of most peoples guilty pleasures. We all tend to sit down and say to ourselves ‘ill just check a few messages, oh and Facebook, and then Instagram and before you know it one hour has passed while we have just been so drawn into our phones. Sometimes being away from that social media attraction stops us feeling isolated because you will be spending more time with people you value than on the internet browsing for the latest review, clothes to buy with this months pay slip or checking into someone else’s lives. You get the typical people that stereotypically say ‘oh just another teenager or person addicted to their phone’ which in some aspect is true to society today.
A lot more people now compared, to 10 or even 20 years ago, use their phone up to 65% more. But that doesn’t mean everyone is addicted to their phone. If I see someone on their phone I don’t instantly think they are addicted or have been on their phone all day because that is hard to judge, I haven’t been with them all day. Moral of the story.. ‘don’t judge a book by it’s cover’. Being away from your phone for just that little longer means you can do things with the people you care about. You could be missing out on wonderful opportunities whilst sat on the internet.
It stops you comparing yourself to others
This is an important benefit that can help so many of us as we unintentionally tend to do this. Being off social media lets us layoff and stop comparing ourselves to others and other peoples lives. So many of us look at other people and think ‘I wish I looked like him/her’, or ‘I want my life to look like that’ or even ‘she/he has the perfect life’, but the truth is we only see what other people want us to see. Other peoples lives may look like the perfect life but it could be completely different in real life.
Constantly comparing yourself and your life to others is just going to leave you feeling down in the dumps and helpless.On the other hand, I believe that getting inspiration from the internet can be so powerful and helpful but the big difference is the difference between how you use and take in that inspiration. Do you compare yourself critically? or do you benefit from getting some daily inspiration to start off your day and create wonderful things? One thing to ask yourself, why would you want to live in someone else’s life when you can live in your own life and create anything you want. Anything is possible if you put your mind to it.
To minimize unrealistic competition:
Sometimes I wonder how we as humans became so competitive? Everything now a days is a competition, and the internet and social media is one of the most competitive places. Sometimes we are not even aware of it. We write posts on Facebook to attract attention and wonder how many likes we will get. Or we post a picture on Instagram and want to get more likes and comments than someone else. Constantly checking to see if the number has gone up. This type of competition is unhealthy because it causes a huge amount of anxiety and low self- esteem. Do yourself a favour and take a step back from social media at times and think to yourself. Am I being really competitive and is it helping me in any way?
Use social media as an idea generator. Don’t get sucked into the false reality of the internet. Look, Live, Learn.