If you’re like most people you likely check your social media every chance you get during the day: when you wake up, when you’re on the toilet, in between classes, while watching TV. On average we spend 135 minutes – TWO hours per day looking at social networking sites (Statista). That’s not even including the time you spend messaging, watching Netflix, or playing games.
If you’re like me at times social media can be overwhelming. Look at all the information I need to look at before I can start my day. Although there’s a lot of good in there, there’s always an overwhelming amount of bad information, the things that have happened while I’ve been away. If you feel this way, going on a social media cleanse might help in offering some perspective. I’ve listed some reasons below from my own month-long cleanse that might help.
- Gives You Time for Other Things
My cleanse was forced in the sense that I couldn’t just get back on if I wanted to quit. I was living and working in a rural area of South Africa where internet access was very limited. That being said, all my time was dedicated to the projects that were going on, as opposed to updating everyone back home on what I was doing as a way of showing off or patting myself on the back. Instead of just staying in bed scrolling through you’ll have time to actually go out and do things you’ve only talked about.
- Reduces Anxiety
I’ve touched a bit on this point, but social media has been proven to cause anxiety. If you’re already someone who’s anxious or depressed the constant pinging can cause more issues. Instead of feeling dread every time your phone goes off, you may feel much more relaxed.
- More Likely to Sleep Longer
Let’s be real. Most of us end of staying up later than we mean or want to because of the time we spend online. It can be hard to put your phone down when there’s so much information to see, read, and watch. You’ll be able to sleep much better without this added distraction; plus, minimizing blue light exposure makes falling asleep easier and quicker.
- Forces You to Interact in Other Ways
I know, it’s crazy. How are you supposed to show people you care if you don’t like their pictures or send them a Snapchat that says ‘streak’? Limiting your social media doesn’t mean you can’t still use your phone to reach out to people. It just means you do it in different ways, the most direct (and possibly anxiety-inducing) way being face to face.
- Helps You Remember What Makes You, You!
Getting off social media means you’ll have more time to remember who you are outside the persona you put out online. Instead of constantly absorbing the societal pressures on what you should be doing, you’re free to get out and do whatever the hell you want. Whether it’s about what you wear or what you do on a Friday night, you’ll have more free time to explore and appreciate you.
This isn’t the end all be all list, but as someone who’s been through it, I can promise it’s worth it. Once you’re done you may be like me and choose to go back, but limit the sites you use and the amount you use it. Or, you may choose to forgo all social media and change the structure of your life. Both options are valid and should be appreciated for the lessons they teach us.