Social Media Detox

Do you need a break from social media?

Take a moment to ask yourself: How many social media apps are on your phone? What was the reason you last went on social media? When was the last time you went a whole day without checking social media? Are you addicted to social media?

Over 40 million of us in the UK are active on social media. Studies show that we check our phones anything up to 150 times a day.

I’m not anti-social media by the way. But unless we are using social media with intentional purpose, it can all to easily lead to serious problems.

There’s plenty of recent research that shows a correlation between social media use and poor mental health. Spending too much time on social media is directly associated with feelings of inadequacy, anxiety and depression. Digital health is something we need to be aware of and keeping on top of.

Health issues aside, it’s also no secret that social media distracts us from the important stuff we should be doing. We check our timelines during work, while walking down the road and even while talking to one another.

Instagram, Twitter and Strava are my main social media vices. (I recently deactivated Facebook.) Having access to these apps 24/7 on my phone can consume a lot of my day. Posting content, checking what other people are up to, admiring the likes I got for that last upload, engaging in conversation, aimlessly checking stories of people I’ve never even met. You know the drill.

Checking in on social media dozens of times a day is a habit I would like to break out of. So I decided to take a week off.

A ‘social media detox’ if you like.

For 7 days I remained logged out of all my social media accounts after deleting the apps from my phone. Immediately I started to appreciate my everyday activities more. While cycling to work I could fully appreciate the journey, rather than thinking about the pictures I would share on Instagram. Even mundane tasks like queuing up at the supermarket became more mindful. The temptation to reach for my phone was gone. I found a greater presence in everything I did.

It felt refreshing to disconnect from the needy world of social media.

I am currently back ‘online’ but am only logging into my accounts when I have something to share. I do not intend to remove myself completely from social media but this is the first step towards finding a better balance.