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There’s no doubt that technological advancements, especially the internet, has made the world a better place. Social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter have made the world a global village where online social interactions occur. We can now have friends in nations we’ve never been to and may never visit. It also provides endless opportunities for trading and business expansion. Therefore, social media is indeed a blessing for interpersonal and professional relationships.
Nonetheless, this blessing is a curse for many people. Social media isn’t evil; however, its abuse, just like medications, can be disastrous. Many people are battling social media addiction today, such that they are anxious when they don’t have access to their phones. Some people cannot imagine not using their phones for a day.
Meanwhile, social media platforms are full of disturbing content that affects people’s mental health. So, it’s vital that you’ve control over your social media use. What you need is a social media detox.
Unfortunately, many people that would’ve loved to regulate their social media use don’t know how to execute this plan. If you’re one such person, you’re reading the right material. This book is a complete guide that explains social media addiction, its ills, and how to control it. Therefore, you need to pay attention to every page while reading because this book has the potential to be life-changing. You’ll find quality information that’ll enable you to disconnect to reconnect. Are you ready to get your life on track? Here you go!
Chapter 1 - What is Digital Detox?
Activities such as yoga and meditation are gaining more prominence because they help people to attain inner tranquility. More people need them because it’s becoming more challenging to focus in the modern world, thanks to the myriad of devices and fancy toys we possess. It’s difficult to find a teenager in the 21st century without a mobile phone. Access to the internet is increasingly easier and cheaper. Indeed, it has many advantages. Nonetheless, its negative impacts are also numerous.
One of the ills of social media addiction is a lack of focus. Meanwhile, you cannot have maximum performance when you’ve issues with attention. So, it’s critical that you’ve control over your use of social media, and that’s why you need a digital detox. This chapter will explore how social media use can go wrong and how you can reconnect to your true self again.
Stats on Social Media Addiction
Indeed, social media platforms are parts and parcel of the modern world. We all want to be connected to people in other parts of the world through these mediums. However, when you don’t control the time you spend on these platforms, it will affect your productivity.
Social media addiction is a severe issue that’s ruining many people’s potential. Many people are immersed in the digital world such that they struggle to get to grips with the real world. Some people have friends on these platforms but struggle to commit to or maintain quality interpersonal and social interactions.
The stats regarding social media use and abuse are startling, if not terrifying. For example, the Nielsen Company reported that the average US adult spends around eleven hours interacting with media daily! This duration includes reading, listening, and watching videos.
This analysis shows that an average US adult spends almost half a day in the digital world! Meanwhile, many people spend around fourteen to sixteen hours interacting with digital devices, especially during holidays. Instead of using leisure periods for building a robust bond with loved ones, many people spend them in the digital world.
Moreover, this statistic is mindboggling because it reveals that many people only have around twelve hours left to sleep, eat, work, and interact with loved ones. Many people claim that they don’t have time for social activities, hobbies, and regular exercise. Besides, some people also struggle to have sufficient sleep because of their social media activities.
Meanwhile, the Sleep Foundation recommends that you should sleep between seven to nine hours a day. So, such people will not be able to have enough rest for optimum performance in their daily tasks. There’re many reasons you need to consider giving up your phone and devices for a while. For example, you may want to enjoy more personal time without interference.
You may also feel that your device use is becoming excessive and increasing your stress and anxiety level. According to a poll conducted by Common Sense Media, 50% of teenagers admitted that they were addicted to their mobile devices. This report also revealed that 78% of the respondents check their digital devices every hour.
The Dark Side of Social Media
Despite its multiple benefits, there’s a dark side to social media use. Indeed, these platforms aren’t evil, but people can misuse them to hurt others and also hurt themselves. The unpleasant results of social media abuse are as follows:
Insensitive Comments due to Anonymity
Social media platforms allow people to register without using their real names. This anonymity empowers people to say insensitive things that can make others depressed. Many people don’t realize that Twitter followers or Facebook friends have many reasons for associating with them. Some of these people you meet online don’t care about you or how you feel. Many people say things online that they will never dare to say to you in physical interaction.
If you’re not careful, the media can make you feel horrible about your body shape, especially if you’re fat. It’s becoming increasingly embarrassing to call people “fat” because of the barrage of media abuse associated with the word.
Moreover, plus size people are often the butt of many jokes in movies and social media. So, you may feel bad about yourself and feel rejected. It’s okay to lose weight to look fitter and avoid obesity. However, it’s an issue when you’re losing weight to be accepted by your loved ones. Friends who make you feel worthless because of your physique aren’t worth your time.
If you’ve been a victim of cyberbullying, you’ll never be a party to it. It can be devastating to be the target of numerous verbal attacks from different people around the world. It can ruin the individual’s self-esteem and lead to suicidal ideation.
Unfortunately, many people face several backlashes online every day because of one reason or the other. The margin for error is slimmer in the modern world thanks to many destructive critics out there. They prefer to humiliate you rather than help you grow.
Social comparison is inevitable when you’re exposed to many extravagant people who like to display their wealth on social media. Unfortunately, many celebrities are fond of this ludicrous behavior. They forget that many people aren’t enjoying the same privileged positions. Some of them do it in the guise of motivating others not to give up on their dreams. Nevertheless, these images paint a picture of life being devoid of happiness without luxurious lifestyles to many people. Meanwhile, this perception is a vague assessment of the meaning of life.
Digital Detox to the Rescue
Based on the DSM – 5, mental health experts don’t regard tech and device overuse as a mental disorder. Nonetheless, it’s evident that it’s a behavioral addiction that can pose psychological, social, and physical health problems. So, you need to regulate the rate of your interaction with the digital world. You need a brief period when you refrain from using tech devices such as tablets, computers, television, video games, and social media. This process is called digital detoxification.