Picture from Reddit
In the image above, a Twitter user pretends to be sad about social media overtaking our lives. But in the comments, someone quickly points out that if he really had a problem with social media, he wouldn't have the time to Tweet 28 000 times!
This quick online interaction points to the very real prevalent takeover of social media apps in our daily lives, leading to many deleting their online presence altogether.
If you are reading this article on your phone then you're probably scrolling between Facebook and Instagram as well - checking your likes, responding to comments and checking out your friends' stories.
Kate Rosenblatt is a mental health therapist and senior clinical manager Talkspace who told Huffpost that many of her clients had taken 'digital detoxes' - deleting their social media or taking extended breaks from the online world. Rosenblatt calls this digital minimalism, which she says can do wonders for your mental health.
Minimizing your time on digital devices and applications becomes necessary these days. Researchers have found that the attention, likes and comments creates a dopamine reaction in the brain's reward system. Our brains then develop a constant craving for that quick dopamine hit, resulting in spending hours on social media, scrolling and posting.
The detriment to our mental health is that we stop making connections with people in real life.
"The vaccine is here," Rosenblatt says "And the world is slowly opening up again, so [people] can begin connecting safely in real life.”
Some of the reasons given by other therapists to quit social media permanently are: less anxiety, better sleep, a lighter mind and much less negative interaction. Having engaged in toxic exchanges online, I can agree with the researchers that it's an overall beneficial choice.
And you don't even have to worry about losing all your pictures by permanently deleting your social media profiles - download them and back them up before you wipe your online identity. Most social media sites will give you the option to temporarily deactivate your accounts, or they give you 14 days to retrieve a permanently deleted profile. So you don't need to panic if you change your mind.
Remember that your online identity should be a tool that represents you, so whenever you feel like you are behaving differently online than you are in real life in negative ways, I recommend you take the opportunity to press the reset button and go MIA.
You'll see that it's very easy to live without social media, and if you find it difficult speak to a therapist to find out the reasons for your addiction to it. There is no pressure to go back quickly because the great thing about social media is that we are in control over what we want to share.
Just remember there is no reason to delete your accounts if you feel that you are handling social media in a healthy way.
Anyone and everyone can absolutely benefit from taking a social media break, even if you are an online entrepreneur. It all comes down to whether your time on social media is adding positives to your life, or if it's slowly creating a monster.
As Self.com says, "you don't have to drop everything. You could take a break from social media once a week, or delete some apps from your phone, or simply put your phone into airplane mode for an hour or so each week. You have plenty of options".
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