How to detox from social media and feel amazing.
When I started writing this, I thought I was just going to write about a social media detox and not actually do one. But then I started the research and couldn’t help but come to the realization that perhaps it was something I needed too.
The pull to social media is incredibly strong and I’ve got to admit it’s becoming an addiction. It’s something I do automatically without thinking. Being a tired and strung-out working mum means that when I get five minutes to myself, I immediately start scrolling. It's just easy.
And why? There’s nothing on there that inspires or drives me. I don’t feel ready to take on the world after scrolling through feeds of nothingness. Even with the abundant quotes and inspirational people I follow, it’s not actually helping me achieve my goals. The business groups I’m in seem to be a great forum for networking, but could I be achieving the same level of growth by networking in the real world?
For me, the negative effect of social media is not that I compare myself to others, its more the opportunity cost of it. How much time I spend scrolling that instead could be spent with my kids, on my business, on my personal goals or with my husband. I’ve spent so much time researching how to have a strong, lifelong marriage; putting my phone down of a night and actually just relating to my husband seems a very simple first step.
But that negative self-talk is a big deal to a lot of people. Quite frankly I’m sick of gorgeous women I know feeling they need to have a nip here and a jab there to be beautiful. Macquarie University site The Lighthouse recently reported in its podcast “A new study on the impact of social media on mental health says just 10 minutes on Facebook looking at thin, glamourous people can trigger negative feelings.”
The Daily Telegraph quoted a blog post by Facebook research scientists David Ginsberg & Moira Burke that social media increases depression in teenagers, while the more we scroll through other people’s social media feeds — and peruse their perfectly curated lives filled with purple sunsets, impossibly toned derrières, glamorous bathroom selfies and an abundance of people who feel “blessed” — the worse we feel about ourselves.
In the same The Daily Telegraph article as mentioned before; former Google design ethicist, Tristan Harris was quoted giving ways to kick the social media habit. His advice is to “take control of your time! Get rid of the enticing colours on your phone for black and white! Mute all notifications! Keep the gadget out of the bedroom!”
Taking time off social media is made more difficult by the fact that I’m running a business that relies on social media. It’s got me wondering how I can do both. But I can. Thanks to planning apps, a little organization and establishing some boundaries, I know now that I can find the happy medium of phone use and phone distance.
Facebuddha and another Psychology Today blog post (“Is Facebook Destroying Society and Your Mental Health?”, January 29, 2018) reported that “Deactivating Facebook for one week led to increased happiness.” But I’ve started simply turning my phone off for an hour here and there throughout my day and the sense of release is immediate.
Beyond Blue has also offered advice into the benefits of a digital detox and they’re hard to argue with. They said you’ll see “A more content and calmer you,” and “you’ll be more productive.”
If you’re not sure how to do a social media detox and to break the cycle, health and nutrition expert Jessica Sepel suggests“schedule it in - On a Saturday or Sunday for example. Diarize your switch off from technology and treat it as a mini holiday to yourself. When you are tempted to be on social media – take a big breath in and while you breathe out say, “I let go” and tell yourself that having a break will be healing for your body.”
I would love to know how you go having a social media detox. If you learn anything on the journey please let the Carte Home community know.