Social Media Detox

Social media is a part of our daily routine. We spend hours looking at our phones, chatting and exploring things. We scroll endlessly until we go off to sleep at night. Our lives have somewhat started revolving around Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and Snapchat. We are curious to know what is happening around the world, the latest trends and keep yourself updated about the latest memes. On average a person spends 1 hour 40 minutes per day browsing through social media. 

Although the world has come closer because of social media it has also increased restlessness in human beings. We start feeling anxious if we don’t check our social media handles every half hour at most. 

Talking about the content of social media. There is a variety of content available to people. From funny to informative, social media has everything. But the lifestyle portrayed on social media can make people feel insecure about themselves. And this results in anxiety and depression. Because we desire to achieve that lifestyle instantly. We beat ourselves up and feel hopeless if we are not able to do that.

Therefore, it is very important to take a break from social media once in a while. It is very essential to break the online walls we have created for ourselves and connect with reality.

How to do a proper Social Media Detox?

  1. Deactivate your Instagram, Facebook and Twitter accounts. It will help you from not checking your social media accounts again and again. 
  2. Uninstall your social media apps. If the apps are not on your phone you will not feel the urge to use them.
  3. Replace social media with some other activity. The time you spend on social media, use it to do something else. Like rediscovering a long lost hobby or honing your skills. 
  4. Talk to your family and friends. The people you have been avoiding for a long time, it’s time to meet them and enjoy the moment like you did before social media took over you. 
  5. Practice meditation and mindfulness. Meditation gives you a moment to reflect on yourself and clears your mind up. Mindfulness will increase your attention span and you will not get distracted easily.

Benefits of social media detox:

There are many reasons how social media detox benefits our day to day life. Some of the benefits of social media detox are:

  • It breaks the comparison cycle. We usually compare ourselves to what we see online. A social media detox will help us break that comparison cycle and focus on ourselves completely.
  • It is not essential to post everything from your life on social media. It is because social media is a dangerous place and many cybercrimes happen through the stuff we post online. It is essential to maintain your privacy, and thus, you should refrain from posting for some time. 
  • We have become so anxious that we feel like we are running a race all the time. And this race is between who has a better life as portrayed on social media. This has made us very competitive. A social media detox will help overcome this feeling of continuous competitiveness. 
  • It will also improve our mood. We will have more time for ourselves and we can focus on other thighs that make us happy in real life. 

According to scientists, a social media detox should last up to 3 months at least. But the dopamine levels can take longer to return to the normal level if someone is excessively addicted to social media.

We have forgotten what it’s like to sit with our family and friends and live in the moment. We are so engrossed in our online lives that we forget how important human essence is. Maybe it’s time we switch off our phones and make real-life connections instead of online connections alone.

Does Tech complicate or simplify life?

Tech frenzy. Would be an apt way of putting the world we live in as of now. From toddlers to the elderly. 

The folks down at the Research and Development departments of most leading consumer gadgets are so good at their craft, that we’d have often fallen short to realise about the latest tech advancements this week.

In the act of them pursuing the craft of their desire, we have found ourselves addicted to one thing or the other. People infected with consumerism ever greater than before. Some buy to impress, some buy to get more efficient, to get more work done; but with the corporates taking the win in the end.

 A quote in a birthday card I got some time back, went like, “ Today is the oldest you’ve ever been, and the youngest you’ll ever be again.” A subtle way of saying you’ve grown older and perhaps closer to the grave. Softening the blow couldn’t get easier than this. 

As much as it is relevant to ageing, it’s relevant to the tech we consume too.

That made me wonder when was the last time I received a card for my birthday, not anytime recently, obviously.

With the outbreak of everything turning digital, I believe the jobs of cards were taken over by a simple text, via whatsapp. 

Which intrigued me of how seldom we text people these days, the days of texting close acquaintances has long passed, spending almost a rupee for a text made us value texts more. It meant something. The rules of the nature are indeed best relevant to tech now, “survival of the fittest.”

With everything turning cheaper, smaller, quicker; we’ve seem to have lost the joy of the little things. Making every single thing less significant but yet complex.

Time does really fly, we went from a time where logging onto the internet was an escape from reality, but now the tables have turned. Being able to shut out everything and taking our eyes off them, screens has become an escape from our realities. As much as I would love to not sound Cliche, the truth cannot be set aside.

Social media platforms went from simple socialising mediums to tools for marketing and making political stands. With people getting unbelievable power to express and do things like never before. Which yet again drags us back to the question, ‘has it made our lives complicated than easier?

James Franco, the brilliant Hollywood actor once joked , “My wife asked me why I spoke ever so softly in the house. I said I was afraid Mark Zuckerberg was listening! She laughed. I laughed. Alexa laughed. Siri laughed.”

If this doesn’t make you break a sweat, I don’t know what will. Our quest to socialise has cost us our privacy. A grave price to pay

There was a time, when we could’ve bored ourselves to death while being confined to our homes this long due to the pandemic . But times have changed, we no longer have the liberty or need to get bored. Unless we get bored of not getting bored that often.

The movies from the past, portraying the future have undeniably done a great job in predicting the backdrops magnificently. Setting aside a few cliche depictions like ‘flying cars’, ‘teleporting’, which are not here yet, but does seem just around the corner. 

Our cars can now self-drive, earphones are wireless, we make calls from our watches, everyone’s a photographer these days, and we can get answers for everything just with a few clicks now, these are all just from the top of my head.

Lives have been made simpler, but the question that springs to my head is whether, ‘we’ll all forget how to live, in our pursuit to live better?’.

The Digital Cocaine

Cocaine is a stimulant that affects the central nervous system, it powerfully affects the body and the mind. Using cocaine can damage brain cells, even after a few times of heavy use. Like other stimulants, cocaine gives you a rush of energy, which boosts your alertness, leaving you feeling a “high” from the drug.

While Cocaine can be in the form of powder or crack, a very prevalent sort of cocaine is the digital form which we commonly know as SOCIAL MEDIA. Just like cocaine, the use of social media realizes dopamine which travels through the brain and causes moments of happiness and satisfaction, these tiny moments of satisfaction leads to excessive use and thus leading to addiction.

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Not only teens but grown-ups too use social media as a virtual scrapbook to document every detail of their life as they are living it. From multiple points of view, internet-based life has improved our lives by interacting and motivating individuals. Be that as it may, there is a clouded side also. Besides all the contrary posts via Social media, the cyberbullying, and the FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out) that exists, ongoing studies show that over the top online networking utilize prompts helpless dynamic, yet individuals who utilize web-based life perpetually frequently have mentalities, behaviors, and practices that impersonate those of an addiction fanatic.

Researchers at Michigan State University conducted a study where the participants completed a common psychological task known as the Iowa Gambling Task, which helps gauge value-based decision-making skills. During the task, the goal is for the participants to collect as much money as possible. The researchers found that those participants who spent more time on social media were likely to have less money at the end of the task. Meanwhile, those who spent less time on social media finished the task with more money. Because this type of deficit in decision-making skills often goes hand-in-hand with drug addiction as well as gambling addiction, the researchers likened the results of excessive social media use to aspects of addiction.

When some people are unable to check their social media accounts, it causes them to break out in cold sweat, they get anxious and nervous. Such situations are often referred to as social media anxiety disorder, by therapists, which is similar to social anxiety disorder.

It is important to see the initial signs of social addiction, just like any other addiction, this could also be kept under control. Just like any other addiction, this digital addiction could be lethal to human mind if not curbed on time.