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Have you heard of “social media detoxing”? People who feel they are overwhelmed by information and fatigued by keeping up with social media are deleting apps and leaving their phones at home when they go out to get away from social media. The social media detox has been trending among celebrities who have tired of social media, like Selena Gomez and Kendall Jenner, in the past few years. Though both celebrities have returned to social media, Kendall claims that she deletes all apps when she tires of social media. The 2019 research article “Associations Between Time Spent Using Social Media and Internalizing and Externalizing Problems Among US Youth,” suggests that youth who spend upwards of three hours a day on social media are more likely to suffer from mental health problems than those who do not.)

I often feel an urge to check social media during a two hour movie. When I watch television dramas, I do so while scrolling on my phone. It’s the first thing I do after I wake up and before I go to bed. I get sick of envying others on social media everyday for travelling to a beautiful destination or owning something I want. Especially now that we are staying home, I feel like I spend more time staring at my phone. I decided to delete Instagram, the social networking site that took up most of my hours, from my phone entirely. There may be those of you reading this article who think “I could never do that!” but if someone bordering on instagram-dependency like myself can do it, so can you! Today I want to introduce three different ways to get away from social media. 

Turn Off Your Phone

Have you ever picked up your phone to look something up only to end up scrolling through social media with no recollection of what you originally wanted to do? This happened to me numerous times. Turning off your phone entirely is the quickest way to get away from this problem. Once you turn it off, turning it back on becomes a hassle and you’ll be less likely to reach for your phone. When I turn my phone off, my productivity skyrockets and I get my homework done several times faster. 

Log Out of Apps

 

When you’re studying or hanging out with friends, if you leave your phone on your desk, you might wind up checking your notifications. It’s not any sort of emergency, you can check it whenever you want, but for some reason you feel like you “need to check it now!” It’s likely you have a dependency. If you log out of the apps, you won’t think this way because you’ll never get notifications. It’ll seem ridiculous that you spent so much time on your phone while hanging out with friends before! 

Don’t Carry Your Phone With You 

If you’re just going to a cafe in the neighborhood, you can get home easily if you need to, so you won’t need to carry your phone on you. When I first tried this, I was so worried that I kept over thinking about “what ifs.” Now that I’ve made this a habit, I can’t even recall what I was so worried about before. I would recommend this tactic for anyone who wants to fully distance from social media. 

Now I want to tell you about my experience with getting off of social media. When I erased the apps from my phone, there was so little information coming into my phone that I wondered “is there so little to do on smartphones?” Once I had this free time, I started playing with my pet cat, working out, reading, and even doing my homework. Thanks to this, I was able to read seven books in August. At this point, I could already recognize that I was spending my time more meaningfully. When I was hanging out with friends and the conversation shifted to “have you seen her Instagram?” I just told them that I wouldn’t know because I don’t have Instagram on my phone. They would show me whatever they were talking about on their phones, so I ultimately ended up wondering if I needed the apps on my phone at all. Now that I’ve erased Instagram and have more time to myself, I feel like my heart has been refreshed. 

 

People on Instagram and other social media always seem perfect and look like their having so much fun. But that’s only natural. No one would bother to post about what their worried or unhappy about. I feel like recently, I had forgotten this fact and lived in a world where Instagram was the reality. Social media can be fun to look at when you’re bored, but that’s exactly why there’s a danger of getting in too deep. For now I don’t plan on going back, but I hope to return once I feel comfortable showing my imperfections online. If you’re reading this and feel fatigued by social media, why not take a few days to detox too? 

Hana Nakai

ICU Japan '24

Hi, I'm Hana and am currently studying at International Christian University. On campus, I perform as a member of the Dance Organization of International Christian University.
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