A social media detox might be for you if you are showing one or all of the below.
Social media is one of the greatest (and worst) inventions of the tech age. Don’t take it from me, take it from the creators of social media themselves. But the purpose of this article is not to debate that.
No, the purpose of this article is to highlight some of the issues as they relate to you specifically and how you’re feeling with your social media intake. While it’s great to keep in touch or reconnect with someone you care about. Getting hung up on how many likes and comments you got is not. Here are some of the negative emotions you may be experiencing and why you may need a social media detox.
Social media can wreak havoc on someone with low to medium self-esteem. Insecurities about your age, weight, haircut, outfits, and so on can be exploited on social media. Why? Because it highlights the ‘have’s’ and the ‘have-not’s’ and if you are insecure about something you are sure to fall victim to the comparison trap.
The comparison trap is where you start looking at the ‘have’s’ with envy and it begins to create a negative mental state. Maybe you wish you were thinner and your feed is filled with skinny people with the life you want. Then you think that if only you were thin then you could live like them.
It is not true! Not that you can’t have the life that you want but you do not need to change who you are to get the life you want. Everyone can use some ‘polishing’ sometimes. However, you are allowed to live the life you want, how you want to, you don’t have to change. But do not think there is anything wrong with you if you don’t yet, we are all on our own journeys! Don’t compare your day 1 to someone’s day 100, they are doing something different from you. But you can have that life too! A social media detox might be necessary for you to stop comparing and start living!
This falls under the idea of insecurities but it takes it a step further. Maybe you see everyone that ‘has everything’ on social media and you couldn’t possibly think you should be allowed in their presence. Or perhaps you’re the one behind the happy posts but in reality your life is a lot messier than you portray.
Let me tell you, people love authenticity! It’s the pretending that I’ve found people do not like. Why? Because people can always sniff it out, if not at first, eventually. And nobody likes to be lied to or tricked, which is what ‘faking it’ can often feel like.
If you’re a ‘faker’ it’s okay! That’s part of who you are and there’s nothing wrong with that! But try to keep a healthy dose of reality and authenticity with what you do. Just remember, everyone is fighting a battle you know nothing about, so be gentle with yourself as you are with others. I suffer from terrible social anxiety and I try to stay away from situations that will cause me to be uncomfortable. Be honest with people that maybe don’t understand. And be sure to take a social media detox if every time you’re on there you start to hyperventilate!
Cyber Bullying makes a social media detox mandatory!
It is never okay! Cyberbullying is the lowest form of being mean or rude because you hide behind a device to do it. Do not engage, do not take it to heart, don’t even give it a second thought. And don’t be the bully!!!
And always remember that the person doing the bullying is usually suffering from something in their own lives and projecting that pain onto you. Don’t take their pain from them. That is their burden to carry and if the way they choose to handle it is to put other people down then they need a social media detox too.
If you are being bullied just block them. You can delete your account if it’s too much. Change your number. Remember, it’s a lot more about them than it is about you. And try to treat others the way that you would like to be treated.
Again, don’t take it from me! Take it from the social media creators themselves. If you haven’t seen The Social Dilemma or anything like it, there’s some scary stuff in there. In a nutshell it’s like Las Vegas in your phone.
It’s proven that the slot machines and gambling are addicting. They directly stimulate the pleasure centers of your brain making you want more, more, more. Social media is designed in a similar fashion.
By using the algorithm and different learning artificial intelligence, social media knows more about you than you know about you. It sounds like an exaggeration, and it is, but it isn’t. It’s designed to learn your patterns, behaviors, and more so that it can pull you in to spend more time on it. If you are feeling addicted to social media you definitely need a social media detox!
All of the above is a heady mix headed straight for depression. As someone that does and has suffered from depression, I can tell you because I know. There are times that I go on social media and my heart sinks because some post that I thought was going to get a ton of engagement didn’t. But being an online business owner I can tell you that the reason may be more complicated than just ‘no one liked it’.
Being an online business owner I can tell you that there are peak times to post on different platforms. That you should be doing certain things to work with the algorithm to get it in your favor. Even what hashtags, where to put the hashtags, and how to create a compelling headline to increase the engagement on a post. And hey, maybe no one did like it. But it’s still okay!
What is not okay is to constantly be on social media and be depression and anxious and think more time on it is going to fix it. You absolutely need a social media detox if it is affecting your quality of life!
Do you need a social media detox?
After reading some of the above I hoped they helped you decide if you need a social media detox or not. But what can you do if you’re not on social media all the time?
Personally I like exercising, getting outside, reading a book, playing with my kids, maybe visiting with family. Those are all great alternatives that I prefer to scrolling social media all the time.
Want to still do a social media detox without losing your engagement? Check out my Money-Making Mom Toolkit for how I can still post on social media without ever opening the app!