Social media has become a big part of people’s lives. In 2020, the number of social media users worldwide was approximately 3.6 billion. People use social media for several reasons. Most go on social media to communicate with friends, family and other communities. Marketers use social media to improve brand visibility and push businesses forward.
But there’s a long-running debate on whether social media does more harm than good. Through the years, people have observed the many negative effects of social media due to frequent usage. Some effects include addiction, anxiety and depression, the fear of missing out and constant self-comparison, among others.
If you’re experiencing any of these effects, you might want to go on a social media detox. Taking a break from social media can help you improve your well-being, boost your productivity and develop healthy habits.
Prevent Constant Self-comparison
When you go on social media, you can’t help but compare yourself with the people you see on your feed, whether they’re your friends or celebrities. For example, a single woman scrolling through her feed may see pictures of her friends getting engaged or married. These pictures may make the woman compare herself to these friends. She may even criticize herself for not having a relationship, even though that isn’t a bad thing anyway.
Social media can potentially damage your self-image and self-esteem. And if self-comparisons continue, you may develop mental health issues, such as anxiety and depression. Thus, a social media cleanse could help you improve your mental health. You can use your time off social media to rediscover yourself.
For instance, you can look at the things you currently have in your life that you can be thankful for. And since you no longer need to spend hours scrolling through your social media accounts, you can even pick up a new hobby that can keep you distracted and content.
Improve Your Mood
Social media can ruin your mood in many ways. In some way, this benefit is linked to preventing self-comparison. If you always compare yourself with others, you might just make yourself feel bad. Or you might feel dissatisfied with some aspects of your life, such as your career or relationships.
Also, even though the original purpose of social media is to keep people connected despite physical distance, it has done the opposite for many users. One study found that some Facebook users felt lonely, frustrated and angry due to envy. These feelings push people to isolate themselves from others and keeping things to themselves.
Another thing that may make you spoil your mood is the news. Social media has become a source of both legitimate and fake news. And if you’re exposed to these things all the time, they can also affect your mood.
Staying away from social media, even for a short while, can help you recollect yourself and regain control of your mood.
Get Rid of FOMO
FOMO means “fear of missing out.” It’s the fear of missing on experiences that other people are having. Maybe your friend went on a beach trip for some soul-searching. Or someone else posted a photo of event supplies like balloons and banners to prepare for a birthday party at home. And because you didn’t have these experiences, you may feel pressured. FOMO can make you feel like your life is less exciting than others. And this feeling can be bad for your mental well-being. Thus, removing yourself from social media will help you get rid of FOMO.
Improve Sleeping Habits
There’s a strong link between social media and deprivation. Some users mindlessly scroll through their feeds that they don’t notice how long they’ve been doing it. Also, the blue light from smartphone and computer screens block melatonin, which is a hormone that helps in regulating sleep. The result? It will take you longer to fall asleep. And sleep deprivation can lead to other health problems. A social media detox will help you take back a healthy sleep pattern.
Quitting social media can be challenging. The best way to do it is by uninstalling all social media apps from your phone. You can also block social media sites from your browser. And you probably need to inform your family and friends about your social media detox. This way, they’ll know to reach you via text message or call. After a few days or weeks of social media cleanse, you’ll be able to see the positive differences it can make in your life. You may even be convinced to do it more frequently.