Why You Need a Social Media Detox

Ever heard of social media? Of course you have! Isn’t it great? You can tweet a long rant on Twitter, send your friends a picture of your new outfit on Snapchat, and not-so-secretly stalk your crush on Instagram. There are always videos you can laugh at and you know you’ll never be bored because there are so many different accounts on social media to scroll through. Okay, now, let’s back up. What if someone replies to your rant saying it’s stupid? Or your friends open the Snapchat of your new outfit, but don’t even bother to reply? Just a moment ago you were fine, but now for some reason, you feel so insecure. Unfortunately, that’s just what social media does to us, and once you’re on that road it can be hard to turn around. So rather than letting these negative thoughts take over, I say it’s time to take a little social media detox.

Social media is at its peak popularity. Think about it, when is the last time you've met someone who doesn’t have at least one of the most popular social media apps? It's probably been a pretty long time. That’s because the videos on social media are entertaining, and keeping up with Chrissy Teigen’s Twitter encounters with the president is always fun, and all those “fitspiration” posts can be motivating. But there comes a time when you find yourself scrolling through social media, watching and reading those funny videos and tweets, yet you don’t even crack a smile. You find yourself unbelievably annoyed with the “influencer” that wants you to try her new favorite diet pill because, duh, then you can look just like her. Social media is such a huge part of our lives now, but eventually, it just becomes a lot. It’s fun when used in moderation, but if it starts taking up all of your time it may be time to take a break. 

It has been proven that social media can negatively affect mental health. One night you’re home alone and can’t stop staring at whatever posts pop up and suddenly you feel overwhelmingly lonely. These aspects of social media are what hurt us. You end up asking yourself why you weren’t invited or why you don’t look as thin as the model on your screen. When you ask yourself these questions, you have to remind yourself that an image is just that: an image. Maybe the person you want to look like skips meals because of the pressure they feel to maintain their figure. It’s possible the person who posted a video of the party left right after because they were having a terrible time. Of course, this isn’t always the case, but it’s always something to be aware of. Better yet, though, instead of trying to analyze if the party is really that fun or if that picture is photoshopped, it’s probably best to forget about it and delete those apps from your phone for once and for all. (Or at least for a little while, to start.) It may seem pointless and you may think that social media doesn’t hurt you like that, but you never know how refreshing it could be unless you try. 

All of this being said, I’m definitely not the person to say that you should completely cut social media out of your life. (Unless you want to, then go you!) Honestly, I’m addicted to social media just as much as the next person, so this article is for my own good as well. But what I want to do is encourage everyone to just take a break. It’s all about balance, and even just limiting yourself to an hour of social media per day instead of 5 is a good place to start. It’s easy to get caught up, and hard to break free. You have to focus on improving your real life, not the life your followers see. Eventually, social media will be put on the back-burner because suddenly your days will be spent working at your dream job or raising your children or simply focusing on a new chapter in your life, so now may be a good time to start letting your social media life rest for a bit. And while that probably sounds a little too much like a cliche movie scene, that scene might just have a point. If we try a little bit harder to let the thoughts about social media leave our mind, we’ll have that much more time to concentrate on the more important life we live, the one that’s outside of the screen. 


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