5 Crucial Mental & Physical Benefits Of Doing A Social Media Detox [Why You Should Go On A Social Media Detox]
The fine line between our social lives and physical lives is quickly fading as we see more and more technological advancements happening.
Every day, new solutions and applications are being created, leading to more and more time being spent online, rather than out in the real world.
The irony behind this truth is that these solutions are built to bring an unsocial world together, but instead, its pushing humans further and further apart, leaving us trapped behind the masks of our digital lives.
These applications have helped people escape the lives they're living in the real world, and enter a world of perfection and entertainment.
Without realising, we're doing much more harm than good by being indulged in our digital devices every day.
Not only is that harm affecting us mentally, but it's also affecting us physically too.
Understandably, it is difficult to avoid our devices, they've almost become the lifeline of humanity.
No matter who you are, or what you do, your digital devices are deeply ingrained within your day-to-day lives.
Whether it's for the purpose of:
- Or traveling
Everyone uses their devices, especially mobile devices, on a daily basis.
As entrepreneurs, it's important to protect ourselves from the negative effects of the digital world - that's where the idea of a 'social media detox' comes in.
So what is a social media detox?
Social media detox refers to a period of time when a person decides to refrain from using any digital devices such as smartphones, computers, and social media platforms.
As individuals have increased their time spent on digital devices, this form of detoxification has gained popularity and is becoming more and more adopted around the world.
While most social media detoxes last 30 days, different people choose shorter or longer periods of time, depending on their unique situations.
While some people might be too busy to take off 30 days, others can even decide to take a few months, or even a year off.
Benefits of a social media detox:
Now that we understand what a social media detox is, let's discuss the mental and physical benefits of doing a social media detox, and why you should try it.
One of the biggest problems with social media is the negative effect on our mood, especially our happiness.
A lot of the time, people try and escape their lives by scrolling endlessly through social media.
The issue is that social media is built on false realities - everyone goes online for the same reasons, to become someone they're not in real life.
When we play games, we're becoming characters with magical abilities, or god-like strength.
When we go on Twitter, we find ourselves involved in the daily squabble of some of the biggest celebrities of our time.
This, although it doesn't sound bad initially, can have a detrimental impact on our health and happiness.
Given the ability to become anyone you want online, a lot of people use social media to put on a mask of 'perfection' where they flaunt the mirage of a perfect life to others.
Seeing things like this can leave us thinking, "why is my life not as perfect as this person's?"
Comparing ourselves to other people is the fastest way to feel anxious or depressed - and it can happen to all of us, alike.
Women can see models who look perfect on the outside and feel as though they're not enough.
Men are able to find other men who seem to have it all - the looks, the money, the women, and whatever else a man might want.
Entrepreneurs might stumble across other extremely successful entrepreneurs who seem to do everything right and end up feeling as though they're not cut out to be as great.
No matter how hard one might try to escape this, the reality is that it's unavoidable.
That's why a social media detox is so important.
I used to spend 4+ hours per day on social media, until I realised the impact it was having on me.
More recently, I've mentioned how my social media usage has dropped down to 10 minutes per day or less, and conversely, I've felt my mood and happiness increase, significantly.
Fight off FOMO
Entrepreneurs are always thinking about the next, big thing that they can take on to achieve their goals and dreams.
Going online, on the internet, and on social media, you're likely able to find dozens of different ways people make money.
Whether that's through:
Although this entrepreneurial spirit is commendable, it's very counterintuitive and likely the reason for a lot of people's failures.
The reason people fail is not that they don't know how to succeed, the information is there - success is not a secret, it's simply about execution.
The real reason behind failure is that people don't stick to problems long enough to succeed.
Like we've established, you're able to become anyone you want on social media; if you want, you can be an eCommerce millionaire who went from 0 to $10 million in 12 months.
Whenever entrepreneurs see these numbers online, they immediately start to think, "what if I started an eCommerce business?"
That's where the problem begins - whenever we're not seeing the levels of success we want to see, we immediately start to look for external solutions, we start to blame the business model for being the 'wrong one.'
Seeing others making millions from eCommerce might spark a fire beneath us that takes us down the eCommerce rabbit hole.
Once we realise eCommerce didn't bring us $10 million in sales within 12 months, we move onto the next thing we find online.
It's a continuous cycle called shiny object syndrome.
Entrepreneurs are often caught inside it when they're looking for new opportunities before they miss the boat.
This fear of missing out (FOMO) must be stopped in order to succeed, or else you'll end up fighting a losing battle your entire life.
A social media detox pulls you away from the sense of FOMO, you become disconnected from the noise of the outside world (the internet) and gives you more time to focus on what it is you really need to do.
Reconnect with people
Social media's invention was supposedly a solution to a real-world problem we all faced - being disconnected in the real world.
Initially, social media was built to help individuals connect with those that they know or love without the need to physically be together.
This, in theory, was supposed to bring people closer than ever before.
Fast forward a few decades later, humanity is more disconnected than ever before.
When you take a social media detox, you start to remember what is truly important to you.
You're no longer so focused on what's going on in your digital life, rather you're more focused on the present and what's going on in your real life.
You become more aware of those around you, your family, friends, colleagues.
Being a gen-z individual, I've been able to see, first-hand, the effects of social media on my life and the lives of those around me.
Whenever it's time to have dinner, lunch, or even breakfast, everyone turns on their own devices, puts on their own shows, videos, or movies, and silently eats alone.
Outside of eating, my younger sister spends all day locked in a room like princess Rapunzel, while others are going on with their lives separately.
I'm making this public because I know that there are millions of others around the world who can relate to this issue.
Taking a social media detox puts you back in your own shoes, and allows you to spend time with those that you love.
You're able to spend time going outside together, taking walks together, going out to eat, together.
Although it might feel as though our lives are integrated with our digital lives, a social media detox allows you to see just how much there is out there, without the need for social media.
You'll have much more free time
Let me tell you about some stats that might blow your mind.
On average, professionals spend 3.1 hours on their email inbox every day - that's almost half of an entire day's work wasted on emails alone.
Gen-Z reported that they spend approximately 4.5 hours per day on social media, while millennials spend around 3.8 hours per day.
For the rest of the world, this figure is around 2 hours and a half.
The penetration of social media now covers almost 60%... worldwide.
That means that, on average, 60% of the world's population spend a few hours a day - at least - on social media, and online throughout the internet.
How often do you tell yourself, "I wish I had more time?"
Better yet, how many times do you say, "I don't have any time?"
The truth is, we all have the same 24 hours a day - Elon Musk has the exact same 24 hours per day as you and I.
Social media is the biggest time waster known to man.
While someone like Elon Musk might never look at his mobile phone (and has others to manage it for him) you and I are losing precious minutes, every day, to social media.
A seemingly harmless action of going onto Instagram and browsing for '5 minutes' can turn into a mental battle where you want to get off, but you're too fixated or engaged with what you're seeing.
During breaks or downtimes, going on social media might be the biggest mistake you make.
A small 15-minute break, eventually turns into 30 minutes, then an hour, until you realise how much time you just wasted.
There is so much we can do with 24 hours in our day, however, a lot of us decide to waste that time on social media.
Instead, we can decide to read a book we've wanted to read for a while.
We can take a course to enrich our knowledge on a topic we've wanted to learn about.
Better yet, we can start that business we've been thinking of starting for weeks.
Sleep better, feel better
A massive indicator of how we might perform throughout the day is our sleep.
In general, you'll want to get at least 6 hours of sleep - if you're anything like me, 8-10 hours might be optimal, yet 10 might be a stretch.
The length of our sleep isn't all that matters; the time we sleep also matters a lot.
If you're sleeping very late, say at 4 am in the morning, getting 8 hours of sleep means you're waking up at 12pm.
You've wasted 4 hours (a sixth of your day) already because you decided to sleep in.
When I wake up late, I usually end up sacrificing the first 30 minutes of reading, which is crucial for my performance throughout the day.
A lot of people decide to wake up early and exercise instead, however, bad sleep will impact your performance, no matter what it is you do.
When I wake up late, I realise that my mood is always low, I still feel tired, and my body is just overly slow.
My articles never come out to a high enough standard, and it then takes extra hours to correct some of the mistakes in order to feel somewhat satisfied with my output.
All of this stems from one thing - sleep.
See, spending some time on social media or on YouTube before bed might seem harmless, however, it deeply effects your deep sleep (pun intended).
Deep sleep is really important because it's the "stage of sleep that helps the brain rest and recover from a day of thinking, allowing it to replenish energy in the form of glucose for the next day."
The blue light from our digital devices can impact the quality of sleep we get, making us feel tired, even after a supposed 8 hours of sleep.
I challenge you to take at least 7 days to try out a social media detox.
Not only will you feel happier, you'll feel much more energised when you wake up, and you'll be able to get a lot more done, faster, throughout the day.
Those were the 5 crucial mental and physical benefits of doing a social media detox.
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