I used to be so judgmental about those people who casually hang out with their friends but constantly stare at their phone waiting for a new notification to pop up. Until I have become that person as well.
In our today’s world we tend to spend hours scrolling through our Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest feed to gain all the information that we scarcely need. Deny it or not, it’s a huge part of everyday life. I mean, I definitely crave to see the 100th picture of an aesthetic Italian home. I just love Italy.
I have to admit, I fall asleep next to my phone and wake up with it. As harsh as it sounds, social media controls me often. Which is extremely unhealthy. Your mind immediately picks up everything it gets access to, afterwards it increases your stress- and anxiety level. Imagine this scene: lying in bed before your first coffee in the morning, scrolling through the pages and suddenly you get bored. Then you refresh the platforms. It never stops and it seems like it’s never enough. A real treadwheel. Eventually, it will make you feel overwhelmed.
Why is that? We live in a society where we want to meet the expectations. I remember I once deleted a picture of myself on Instagram because a piece of my skirt was a bit creasy. I zoomed the picture (oh yes, I’ve been there). I was afraid that someone wouldn’t like it because of that “mistake”. Then I thought: ”It has received a lot of likes, so why should I worry about it?”.
Let me point one thing out: social media is not always real. I can convince you with a gorgeous smile that I live the happiest days of my youth. How do you know that I didn’t have any sad moment before that “perfect” photo? Because no one shows the ugly side, we want to remind the world that we are achievers coming straight from a fairytale. It’s nice to believe that it exists, but it only feeds my ego, your ego, everyone’s ego. I’m not saying that you have to stop using these platforms, I won’t do that either, but finding the balance between real life and social media life is essential.
I heard about ‘Social Media Detox’ months ago. I didn’t understand it in the first round. But it’s actually helpful. Some detoxes are 30 days, 1 week or 1 day, it depends on you. It means you temporarily delete the social media apps from your phone, thus they won’t distract you.
There are a few key steps. First of all, tell your surroundings about it, so they will know that you are fine. Then, create a fun plan what you will do in your free time. Here I think of meditation, going on a hike, taking up a new hobby like language learning… whatever your interest may be, go for it! Do it in baby steps though. Stay patient to yourself because there may be a weak recognition inside that you want to scroll-scroll-scroll. It’s alright to fall back, it happened to me as well. You can get back anytime.
What is the outcome?
– Your mind will become clear. The swirly thoughts will reduce, your brain will work more efficiently.
– You are able to stay more in present. Isn’t it nice to have a nice walk with a friend without posting photos of every single flower?
– You won’t get anxiety about things that just don’t matter. As a person who had several panic attacks I know that social media boosts your competition level and lowers your confidence at the same time. It’s not worth to have all those headaches.
– Most importantly, you reconnect with the real world. You start to become yourself again.
Social media has of course positive side as well. It connects you with your loved ones, it brings you amazing opportunities, you can be as creative and playful as you’re aiming to be. If you use it in a healthy way and you don’t let it bring you down, it’s all good.
Stay safe, stay clear minded.