Social Media Detox(ing): How It Changed My View on Life
The world of social media is a crazy place. We've all been there (well, most of us) and I don't blame you. It can be a fulfilling feeling when you post something and people like or comment on it, you feel loved, wanted, and appreciated for who you are. But how much of what we see or hear on social media is beneficial, healthy or needed? At one point, I think I followed around 800 accounts on Instagram, the majority of these being accounts of what we now call 'Instagram Influencers'. I would wake up, go onto my phone, scroll through my feed, double-tapping on every post that I saw like a maniac, because this is the routine my mind and body had been accustomed to due to my own bad habits. Now, if you are the type of person who enjoys this, that is absolutely fine too, but a lot of people, including me, have negative emotions in connection with social media.
Instagram in particular, is one social media platform which I've been using for around four years and I can honestly say, I find it draining! It is extremely easy to get caught up in the latest trends, so much so that individuals lose their sanity and revolve their whole lives around what's happening online rather than offline. A picture of a celebrity, or anybody for that matter, wearing an expensive outfit, with perfectly styled hair, clear skin, great make-up and an 'ideal' figure, should not, in any way, intimidate you or make you feel low. An important thing to remember is that not everything on social media is real as most people simply show the best parts of their lives. Photographs can be taken from various angles to make people look a certain way and there are hundreds of photo editing apps out there that are commonly used. This is why I began having a social media detox at least once every two months and honestly, it changed my life.
It was around March 2019 that I had really gotten to a really low point with Instagram, so what did I do about it? I deleted the Instagram app from my phone for a week. I would usually scroll through Instagram whilst cooking breakfast and whilst eating it, but instead, I enjoyed my own company, ate my breakfast in peace whilst looking out at the world around me. Instead of taking numerous breaks whilst working just to look at people's recent posts, I spent the time being more productive with my work, and eventually more tasks were completed than normal. I even had less migraines due to a majority of my time being spent away from my phone because Instagram was the major reason why I used my phone in the first place, so taking the detox, not only helped me mentally but also physically.
This social media detox changed my view on life because it made me question what I was spending my valuable time on. Was I really gaining anything positive by following these influencers? No. What I was getting from seeing these 'perfect' posts was anxiety, feelings of unworthiness, comparison on so many levels, and emptiness. I knew this wasn't healthy for me at all, so the first thing I did when I downloaded Instagram again after the detox, was unfollow all influencers and celebrities that did not make me feel positive about myself. It was a fresh start and seeing a brand new feed, filled with those who actually motivated me and taught me about self-care made me so happy, and truly helped better me.
So, I guess the purpose of this post was not to force you, in any way shape or form, to also have a social media detox but rather to question who you follow, why you follow them and what you gain from seeing their posts. I think it's so important to not waste time on things that do not truly matter or positively help our lives because life is too short to be feeling such negative emotions when you have the power to just click that 'Unfollow' button and start afresh, just like I did. I hope this helps some of you who have also felt like this in the past.
Stay safe and love yourself.