I got asked about what my opinion on taking a break from social media (or doing a social media detox)? And whether i would/will take a break from social media.
My opinion on a social media detox is that it is great for those who need it. It is easy to get consumed by social media… even those who don’t have social media as their “Job” can be consumed and obsessed by social media. Infact, i have noticed that it is sometimes those who don’t have social media as a “job” that get the most negatively effected by social media and by comparisons etc
I think it is just healthy to take a step back from social media and focus on actually being present in life and living life. I mean, how many times have you done stuff with friends or family or done stuff such as concerts, parties etc and you just spend your time taking lots of photos and videos that you never really experienced what was happening? Or you spent so much time using your phone and updating social media that you forgot to actually speak to your friends/family/partner? If you aren’t addicted to social media then you might not relate to those scenarios. I can say.. i have been there. Where i have spent more time on my phone than being in the present. Spent more time speaking to people online than i did with my own family, or friends. And it was not healthy.
The more time you spend on social media the easier it is to compare your life with others. Also it is easier to get caught up in likes and numbers if you are far too consumed by social media and if you put your worth and validation in whether others “Like” you or not.
One thing i have noticed when watching others use social media, especially instagram and facebook, is that many don’t actually like photos or posts. They look at the picture/video/text and then scroll by… sort of ghost followers. Likes really don’t mean much either and comparing likes, followers etc will just lead to negative feelings and mindset. You’re worth is NOT in numbers or whether others choose to like your picture/text/video or not.
In the past i also felt more pressure to post often. Several posts a day on instagram and my blog… but now i just post when i have time and feel like it. If i don’t have any motivation to write posts or no inspiration, well then my blog won’t be updated and i refuse to feel guilty over that. And with instagram, well if i feel like taking photos of my food or posting in my stories then i will but i don’t pressure myself to post. Though considering that i eat several meals everyday it is not so hard to share atleast one picture a day or have “Back up pictures” (Meaning, that i take a picture of both my lunch and dinner one day and then just post them on two separate days. So to those wondering, no i don’t take pictures of my food everyday.) I enjoy posting to instagram and scrolling through IG, it is not something i pressure myself to post on and it is not something that gives me a negative feeling.
Also i spend alot less time on social media now a days than before… of course, somedays i can spend alot of time online, so it varies alot. But whenever i am with friends or family i try to just put my phone aside and be present. I don’t need to document everything. Just like when i workout or do other stuff in life, i no longer (i.e for c.a 2 years now) feel the need to share it online… i can do stuff and can workout without having to tell everyone online ahahha. So i only choose to share small parts of my life, just so that i can be more present in life and living. Just like many days i go for walks and just leave my phone at home, or atleast keep it in my pocket for the whole time and don’t check it.
Also one of the things i have started doing recently is to NOT check my phone/social media the first thing i do when i wake up. For years, it has always been the first thing i do and can lie in bed for 10-20 minutes after i wake up just scrolling through social media. But now i wake up, turn off my alarm, maybe put on a podcast (not sure if that counts as social media?), drink some water, make coffee, eat breakfast if hungry and just take 10-20 minutes before checking my social media. And also not replying to any messages until 2-3 hours into my day has started. And this makes ALOT of difference for me, and helps to take a step back from social media.
I know that alot of social media is “fake” or atleast an altered view of reality. I have stopped comparing my life, my body or my goals with others. Everyone is different and i know that most people have bad days, body photos just show the good sides and angles and that behind goals achieved is alot of hard work. And the best is just to focus on myself. But most importantly, to focus on my own life and living life.
I enjoy social media, but i know that it isn’t real life and that the important thing is to focus on life and living.
So will i take a break from social media? If i feel negatively affected by social media or i don’t have time for it or it begins to stress me out then yes, i will. But for now i don’t see any need to take a break just for the sake of it.
I do recommend that everyone does a little self reflection over their own use of social media. Ask yourself, who do i follow on social media? Do they inspire and motivate me? Do i follow any accounts that trigger me or give me negative feelings? Why do i follow the people i do?
You can’t change what others choose to post, but you can choose to unfollow or block people if they trigger you or give you negative feelings. I personally have certain accounts which i don’t agree with what they post or the message they send out, and certain accounts that just give me a negative feeling afterwards and i don’t follow them, or i just block them if their pictures are always in my recommended page.
And no, don’t ever feel offended if someone unfollows you or blocks you. I have had people block me in the past and that is ok… if they find that my content triggers them or makes them feel bad about themselves, then blocking me is what is best for their health and i don’t take it personally. It is worse when people who don’t like what i post or what i do choose to send me hate messages. It is better to just block and move on.
I do see social media as part of my hobby/job and something i want to grown and expand. So posting is not only for enjoyment, but also because it is something that helps my brand grow and can give me more opportunities in the future.
The fact is that now a days you sort of need social media, or you are seen as “Outside” if you don’t have it. Which is kind of sad as kids and children are using social media at such a young age… i mean there are kids who are instagram stars and youtube stars and aren’t even 10 years old. It is kind of sad, but i think the important thing is to self reflect over your own social media usage and be honest to yourself about why you use it and how much you use it and whether you need to take a break from it.
Anyway, i hope this answered your question and to anyone else wondering.