We’re all guilty of it. Late nights in bed, lost in the entrancing glow of our smartphones that serve as a conduit into the lives of others. Perhaps it isn’t the messy gossip news, envious “relationship goals”, or the attractive flashy lifestyle of others that feeds our interest. Perhaps its the latest political propaganda, vegan lifestyle recipes, or fashion inspiration that we “pin” to our virtual “walls”. In any event, social media is a borderline obsession that has taken command of our daily lives. Some people rely on social media solely for business purposes while others are just completely addicted watching other people’s lives. For the latter, it may be time to try an experimental social media detox to unplug and enjoy life differently.
Here are 7 benefits of detoxing from social media:
1. Eliminating Comparisons
Social media browsing (aka stalking in some cases) of other’s lives leave too much room to compare yourself to others. This is probably one of the fastest ways to build an insecurity complex or feed an existing one. You have to remember that just because someone flaunts their material possessions or picture perfect relationship, doesn’t mean you’re getting a full scope of their life. Social media is designed to highlight the best parts of who you are, and even fake it to the entire world. Take the time to step back and evaluate the good that is occurring in your own life with the people who love you the most. Spend time with them and create your own memories. You won’t even care how you measure up to others.
2. Experiencing the World for Yourself
It’s definitely inspirational to watch people’s videos in Dubai, or get caught up in the entertainment of someone’s drunken trip to Vegas but what are you doing with yourself as you watch them? Have you taken the steps to get your passport? Have you worked that overtime to plan your next trip? Or are you simply content with watching other people live their best lives while you sit at home wishing? Minimize your time with online distractions, and position yourself to become the person who inspires others. You only live once.
3. Traditional Networking
There is absolutely nothing wrong with building a professional network with social media. In fact, I encourage it. However, it should not totally replace the need to interact interpersonally with live human beings. Some of the most high-level professionals don’t even spend much time on social media. A lot of them are movers and shakers that you may only have a real opportunity to interact with at professional conferences, seminars, and networking mixers. Find a balance between both types of networking. Get out more, collect and pass out cards, shake some hands, build lifelong connections, and watch your business relationships grow immensely. There’s no substitute for real-life human interaction.
4. Fake News
This term is so overused, it’s disgusting but it really exists. At times we get so caught up in headlines of distorted narratives, we believe anything the media feeds us. Although there’s no way to stop what’s being written, there is a way to limit our exposure to it. Try becoming more aware of worldly affairs first hand instead of he said she said.
This is almost the flip side of comparing ourselves to others. Social media creates a space for us to embellish our lifestyles in exchange for attention. This feeds our precious egos as human beings, and the number of likes usually e/quate to a self-esteem boost. This is just another way for us to feel accepted by our peers and seek approval from total strangers. The best parts of who you are cannot be measured quantitatively. You were amazing way before social media, and you don’t need a certain number of likes to reinforce that.
Scrolling through social media always starts with a simple click and then leads to an entire background investigation or viral video binge. Before you know it, you’ve been on YouTube for 3 hours with only 4 hours of sleep left before you have to go to work or school. Sleep is so essential to a healthy and productive day. Why rob yourself of potentially having an awesome, well-rested start to your next day?
Safety is the most obvious and also the least concerning for most people on social media. We share so much of our personal lives online, we’re even willing to give up our location so strangers know where to find us. Be smart about this. It’s not necessary to check in every time you’re out. It can cost you the safety of yourself, and others around you.
There are so many valuable reasons to disconnect from social media for a while. Challenge yourself. I guarantee you’ll feel renewed.