Social media was made with the intent to create and share content or simply to connect socially with others. However, we all know how addicting social media can become. I remember back when I was first introduced to social media via Myspace. It was uncharted territory for myself. I was in high school at the time and Myspace was a big deal. It made staying in touch with friends so much easier. Even though we were probably texting our friends while we were on Myspace, we’re all guilty of it.
However, there were downsides to social media. Even back then when MySpace was the biggest social media platform. The major downside for me was the notorious Top 8. Not only did it hurt my self esteem to see my friends move me lower and lower on their top friends. But it also caused a lot of tension and unhealthy competition between friends. We all know how rough high school can be. But social media only added extreme pressure within your friend group: the people you were supposed to be completely comfortable with.
Although we would like to believe we would know when social media is having a negative impact on our lives, most times that is not the case. We are oblivious to the repercussions that are being caused by sharing our life every minute of the day. Or scrolling incessantly through someone else’s profile, comparing your life to theirs. It’s unrealistic and unfair to yourself. You should be able to admire other’s lives without putting yourself down for not accomplishing what they have. Our journey’s are different for a reason.
The following are a couple signs that you may need a social detox:
You’ve become obsessed with your size or weight
I won’t lie. I follow a lot of “fitness” Instagram accounts. As someone who has dealt with an eating disorder, I know how dangerous this can be. It was a huge issue for me. I was constantly comparing the size of my thighs to a woman who worked out for a living. Yet, I still wondered why I didn’t look like her! If you find yourself comparing yourself with negative comments, unfollow these accounts.
Or find some that are of women who do not work out for living. Follow more women who live normal lives and workout because they enjoy it. It will be so much easier for you to relate to someone living a similar lifestyle to you and it will be much easier on your mental health.
You’ve lost touch with what YOU like
Do you ever find yourself interested in something because someone you may or may not know is interested in it? Especially because they posted such an eye-catching photo on social media that you just had to get your hands on it? But when you have finally gotten it you begin to question why you bought it? I know I’m guilty.
Social media can influence you in many ways. Your interests is a big one. Sure, we are subjected to advertisements; it is part of the platform. But what you need to remember is to stick to who you are. Don’t find yourself running from social media post to post trying to get the newest, coolest trend because so and so told you it was amazing. It’s exhausting and you lose who you are.
You’re fixating on the “grass is greener on the other side” mentality
Though the lives of others may seem like they are living an amazing life, you’re not seeing the bad sides. Why? Because rarely do we share the hard times of our personal life. It’s so much easier to show the highlight reel than the real. Remember that when you catch yourself knocking yourself down.
You’re adding unnecessary drama to your life
Social media is an excellent curtain to hide behind for those who love to cause problems over the internet that they wouldn’t dream of causing in real life. From subliminal tweets to taking a group picture to post on Instagram and tagging everyone in it, subliminally letting another girl know you all hung out without her and had a great time. Though this drama was started online, that is not where it will stay. It will mesh into your real life and become a real issue you will have to address in the future.
It’s ruining your sleep schedule
Most times I end up in bed before nine on a weeknight. However, that does not mean I fall asleep at nine. I am usually wide awake on my cellphone on Twitter, Snapchat, Facebook or Instagram. And if I’m not finding anything interesting on those, I’m checking my emails. Most times I end up falling asleep three hours later or I am startled awake because I dropped my cellphone on my face. What is more fun than that? Waking up extremely exhausted the following morning.
It’s damaging your relationship
From personal experience, I have found that social media can be completely damaging to your romantic relationship. It doesn’t matter how long you two have been dating. Social media can play an issue in your problems. Whether it is because one of you is still following your ex on Instagram or your boyfriend is constantly liking other girls pictures. It can cause unnecessary friction between you two.
You’re ignoring your friends and family
If you can’t recall the last time you have seen your friends or family, you may need to put down the phone entirely. Literally. Put down the phone. Actually reach out to someone and make plans, and THEN PUT DOWN THE PHONE.
Now that I’ve given you a brief list of signs you may need a social media detox, here are a few quick solutions. Take a step back and set some boundaries. Whether it be only checking social media once in the morning and once in the afternoon/evening. Or even making your bed a “phone free zone.” Personally I’m not sure if I could do that one! Baby steps, ladies!
And last but not least, don’t do it for the gram. Do it because you like it!