At the start of a new year, you constantly hear “New Year, New Me.” Along with these resolutions comes an inevitable?plan to achieve the desired goal(s). Dieting and weight loss are of course the most popular; a broad spectrum of different methods are used to achieve a healthier lifestyle, such as detoxing from certain foods or beverages. However, there are many other detoxification processes out there, and one rising in popularity is that of detoxing from social media and related electronic communication. There are so many great things about social media, such as being able to get free instagram followers, but social media can turn into a dangerous place at times, which is why so many people like to take a break from it every now and again.
Being already halfway through 2016, many are looking for a way to refocus their attention, and what better way to do so than to take a break from social media platforms?
Millennials are notorious for being glued to their phones
Our days seem to revolve around the likes on Instagram and Facebook notifications we receive. The infatuation is understandable; we are lucky to have almost any information we desire available in mere seconds with just a swipe and a few taps of our fingers. Younger generations are in even deeper than we are, as they have never experienced a life without technology readily available at their disposal. Keeping up with the latest news on the Kardashians can be so addicting that we forget how precious the current moment is; we sometimes forget to put down our phones and truly live.
We all sometimes need a gentle reminder to be more present in our day to day lives, and taking a break from social media can be extremely beneficial. Being more present can help you to relax and de-stress; we could all use a little R&R and now is the perfect time to do it!
Giving up anything you love?for a period of time can be difficult, but social media can produce especially surprising withdrawal responses for some. Perhaps without even realising it, you likely reach for or glance at your phone a minimum of 100 times a day (and that’s probably falling on the low end of the scale). Just like anything else, social media becomes a habit. It has?been ingrained in your daily routine, and you will notice its absence. Without access to news, pictures, and stories about your friends (and even the people from school that you barely speak to), you will quickly fall out of the know on breaking news and gossip. You may even feel isolated for a time.
Social media is a mindless, relaxing way to fill the void of boredom as you lazily scroll through your timeline, and it will not be an easy task, but as they say, pain is gain. So, what are the benefits of detoxing from social media?
Better body image and self-confidence.
Media portrayal of women and girls frequently exhibit exaggerations (or blatant lies) about the definition of beauty and what it is to be sexy. Women struggle with their own bodies as they try to perpetuate the myths illustrated by models who look like they ?“woke up like this.?? ?None of these images explain how they are on a strict regime of diet and exercise, and still struggle with their weight and appearance. What we see is the perfectly staged, scantily clad bikini picture on Instagram that garnered over 15,000 likes with nary a fat roll (or even fold of skin) to be seen.
Even the most confident of women can experience self-doubt thanks to the filtered version of reality social media presents to us. Remember that you only see what people want you to see online; the reality of social media is that what you see often differs from what is “real.” Essena O’Neill (the 19-year-old model, now famous for her dissection of her own Instagram account and the truth behind each photo) is proof that you can’t always believe what you see on social media. Focusing on our day to day happiness without being distracted by the unrealistic images on our screens will enable a healthier state of mind and allow us to achieve attainable goals at our own pace.
Increased satisfaction (and attention) in interpersonal relationships.
Think about the last time you were out to dinner with your friends; how many times did you check your phone, or even hold an entire conversation while multitasking, phone in hand? It’s safe to say that others around you were doing the same. We are so glued to our phones nowadays that many have tried instituting a rule that whoever looks at their phone first has to pay the check (or some other form of “punishment??).
After all, ignoring others to take a call or browse social media is rude behaviour, and really should be unacceptable. Without your phone luring you away from the people around you, your attention will be focused on your loved ones, and they will feel more connected to you as a result. Instead of sitting next to each other in silence on social media, you will engage with each other and in quality conversation – perhaps you will even get to know them better than ever before.
Appreciation for the world around us – and the life we are living.
After a long, gruelling working week, how many of us sit, slumped on a couch, TV blasting a?reality show in the background, while simultaneously scrolling through social media to “catch up??(raises hand sheepishly)? Instead what could be more cleansing for body and mind than soaking in the sunshine alone or with friends?
How about taking a hike, and catching up on that beautiful view of the mountains? Drive along the coastline and see how breath-taking the beach looks at sunset. Walk downtown and enjoy the stars overhead as you make your way to meet friends at the new pub that just opened. When you really stop and take it all in, you can appreciate how amazing this world – and this life – really is.
There are many benefits to detoxing from social media, and becoming more conscious of ourselves and others around us is certainly a great goal to reach for. Life is precious and short, and should never be taken for granted. While social media can be a fun way to whittle away a half hour during downtime, don’t let it ever prevent you from living each moment to the fullest, and practicing gratitude for the life you have been blessed with – now get up, get out there, and carpe diem!