How to tell if you need a social media cleanse

It’s a digital high. We live in an extremely hyper-connected world and it is doing serious damage to people’s mental health. A lot of people don’t even realise how much they rely on the positive praise, the ‘likes’, the constant desire for new followers and insta fame is ruining people.

This blog is a bit ironic for me considering I can relate to SO much of the below but social media is my job (no, I am not an influencer – I manage Social Media for a large government organization) so I do think I am online a little more than usual. In my defence, it’s not all personal and I’ve made huge changes in the way I use my own social media.

If you can relate to any of the below then maybe, it’s time for a social media detox.

  1. You think in Facebook posts – I am 100% guilty of this. I do it all the time for work and I am generally pretty good at guessing what the theme of the commentary is going to be like. Something happens, you manage to capture it and you already know it’s going to be a banger on social. I mean hey, we’ve all been there – that’s exactly why I am writing this.
  2. You don’t have out with your friends offline – Sadly, guilty of this also. Because many of us over-share, we already know what our friends have been up too. While it is pretty damn cool, it can also be super damaging to real-life relationships. You know what I am talking about, that person your friends on Facebook with but didn’t actually say hi to in real life? Yeah, that.
  3. You’re stressed out – I mean c’mon, who isn’t? Social media ISN’T helping. Create positive habits to stop you from reaching for your device.
  4. You complain you don’t have time to do things – if you put down the phone down a bit more you’d be amazed at this newfound gap in your schedule. Do something useful with your time like smashing some fitness goals, meet up with your friends or actually be present in the moment with your family.
  5. You think you need social media to be happy – you were happy before social media existed, so you’d be fine without it.
  6. You think too much about what others think – I know that some of this is actually my anxiety, but it certainly isn’t helped by social media. We are quick to crowdsource ideas before thinking for ourselves. Social media can be instantly gratifying. Post that selfie and watch the likes roll in. Do you actually feel better though? Is it even real?

I was like tick, tick, tick to all of the above. Sad right? It is currently the way the world is.

Don’t get me wrong, social media isn’t all negative. It’s been my career for over 10 years so I do believe I am in a good position to comment on the negative effects. I have been there. I have been so consumed by likes that I failed to see what was going on around me. I needed the validation from people – it made me feel good. But only for a moment. I blog, I over-share but over the past 12 months, I have really limited the time I spend because I need to, for my mental health.

There is plenty of research out there that can associate social media with things like anxiety and depression, obviously, the results are only a correlation – meaning relationships exist between usage and health issues, but that doesn’t necessarily mean the social media and technology cause it.

I have deactivated my pages so many times over the last few years, something I have vowed not to do in 2020.  If I can’t just not open an app then I have an actual problem. It is an addition. The key here is limiting your usage.

In a world where we are doing it for the gram, food porn is an actual thing and adding dog ears to your selfie is totally normal now we need to make some healthy boundaries before it completely takes over our lives.

There are many good health benefits to picking up the phone less like:

  • Better sleep – I am SO bad for this. Mindlessly scrolling a newsfeed instead of trying to sleep. I have suffered from insomnia a large portion of my life and my phone is definitely not helping.
  • Healthier relationships – You will actually interact with people in person and have genuine feel-good moments. Do you lay next to your partner in bed or sit on the couch both on your phones? Yeah, there is something wrong with the fact we can’t just enjoy people’s company anymore.
  • You can’t have FOMO for something you have never seen.

Keep in mind, all of this stuff is just potential benefits. I am not saying social media is so bad for you and that you need to stop immediately – it pays my bills and I have no intentions to sacrifice my social profiles.

If you’re happy with your level of usage, then you do you boo. If you don’t then you may want to think about making some changes.

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