Has social media ever made you feel like you were missing out on life? That everyone else has their life together? Not only does social media encourage you to compare yourself to others but it creates doubts about your own life. When you start to feel that way, maybe it is time to take a social media detox. Taking a break will allow you to reconnect with your inner self.
If you were anything like me, social media dictates your life. Sadly, but truly, it became the first task I did in the morning and the last task at night. The habit turned into a ritual; I started doing it religiously to the point I didn’t like who I was becoming, especially considering how I felt after using it. According to self-help books and videos, making your bed first thing in the morning is a great start. I, on the other hand, wasn’t doing that because I spent my mornings on the phone. I would then get out of bed to do some self-care things and start on my to-do list. However, as soon as I started to work on my tasks, I felt the craving to go on my social accounts.
I didn’t like the habit because it was taking over how I spent time with my loved ones and my work. I then decided to do a social media detox. I dedicated one month to the goal and told myself that it’s something I must do to better myself. In my case, Instagram was a problem so I logged out and told my friends and family that I wasn’t using it for a while. During the time, I went through so much that I never went through when I was on the ‘gram. I felt lonely, depressed — like I was missing out. There is a name for it — FOMO, or the feeling “that others are having more fun, living better lives, or experiencing better things than you are.” It is often characterized by a “deep sense of envy” that “affects self-esteem” and “is often exacerbated by social media sites like Instagram and Facebook.”
While watching people’s highlights, we tell ourselves that they are happy and doing well. In most cases, however, no one is 100% happy when they post their photos or stories. According to Verywell Mind, “Your sense of ‘normal’ becomes skewed and you seem to be doing worse than your peers. You might see detailed photos of your friends enjoying fun times without you, which is something that people may not have been so readily aware of in past generations.” Most of what social media users do is brag — we all do it, because what else are you going to do on a platform that normalizes that behavior? Everyone is posting everything that is going on in their life because many believe, “If you don’t post, did it actually happen?” This is a sad way to live, because nobody should have to prove to their friends or followers that they are living life. Life is about being present and enjoying little moments for ourselves. However, because of social media, our generation has lost touch with life.
Meanwhile, during the initial stages of my social media detox-induced FOMO, I felt consistently stressed out and the one thing I wanted to do was go on Instagram. Social media was my escape from reality. I longed to feel like I was a part of a community, even if only through social media. Imagine my world without Instagram. During this time, I wrote in my journal and tried to become aware of my thoughts and feelings. I learned how to allow myself to feel things instead of avoiding them and reached out to friends when I needed company. Having a social media detox changes a person’s perspective on the world and its people. A person’s focus changes and they view the world and everything in it as precious. I enjoyed looking at the trees and going into nature, reaching out to friends to hear how they were doing, and spending time with myself. When I wasn’t on Instagram I found myself reaching out to friends; after all, I missed them and sometimes felt lonely. However, I was able to successfully detox from social media and it changed my perspective. It allowed me to have a healthier relationship with my social accounts and my phone.
How Do We Start a Social Media Detox?
Social media platforms like Instagram, Facebook and Twitter have created new ways to connect — and not only connect, but stay up to date with events and the lives of others. Now, because of how much time we all spend on our socials, we build a relationship with a digital platform that holds us back from doing important things, like working on a project or exercising. All that can change if we allow ourselves to let go of the things that hold us back, which, in this case, is social media.
Any person that wants to change their relationship with their social media account should log out for a day. Try it out and see how it feels; if you like it, then set a new goal. Life without posting on social media is amazing. Yes, you’re going to experience FOMO and feel stressed out because you’re not following a routine or a habit. However, it’s something we all must try to practice because life is precious and so is time.