Everyone knows that it’s good to unplug every once in a while. But does taking a break from social media positively impact your overall mental health? Explore the benefits of a social media detox.
The ‘Like’ Lure
In this day and age, an individual’s desire to be liked has broadened into their need to be ‘liked’. Believe it or not, young people between the ages of 18-24 check their phones around sixty times per day, talk about being connected! With everyone's eyes constantly glued to their screens, it’s easy to get carried away on popular apps like Instagram, where the goal of each post is to get the most likes and comments.
At first glance, you might dismiss the prospect of attaining likes as trivial, but there is a method behind the madness. A recent study, Social Media ‘Likes’ Impact Teens’ Brains and Behavior, found that the reward circuiting area of teen’s brains become activated upon seeing an increased number of likes on their own photos.
An increase in ‘likes’ can feel like an increase in the ‘cool factor’. For this same reason, teens in the study were more inclined to ‘like’ photos that already had more ‘likes’ on them. This begs the question, is double-tapping truly leading to disaster?
Virtual Reality Check
The need to be ‘liked’ is symptomatic of an even bigger issue, social media addiction. Lifewire explains that a Social Networking Addiction is the incessant urge to use social media on a constant basis.
Whether it’s excessively looking at Instagram to see what your favorite celebrity is doing on their superyacht in Cabo, or checking your Snapchat to see if a romantic prospect has replied to you yet, everyone needs to put their phones down and have a virtual reality check.
Kick Back, Relax, and Unplug
The prospect of physically separating yourself from your phone might stir some initial anxiety. But fear not! There are many aspects of your life that you can actually improve by taking a step back from your social media.
What does it mean to be present in the 21st Century? How about going for a walk without scrolling through Instagram or Twitter. Disconnecting from your phone for a few hours will give you the freedom to simply live life as it is at that very moment. Sounds nice, doesn’t it?
Allotting a little bit of time every day to live in the present will not only boost your mood, but can reduce anxiety as well. A recent study by ResearchGate confirmed that there is a direct correlation between engaging in mindful activities that you can do at home (like yoga and meditation) and anxiety reduction. So next time you want to reach for your phone, why not try a quick 5 minute meditation?
At-home solutions like the MYX Fitness system features yoga and mediation sessions that take as little as 5 minutes to complete. These as well as other programs such as Indoor Cycling, HIIT, Toning, Dance Cardio, and more, make it the perfect way to get your zen and your workout on without leaving the comfort of your own home!
Like many people, it’s easy to lose yourself in your virtual feed. In doing so, it’s tough not to compare yourself to that person, influencer, or Instagram model, especially when they posted about how much fun they had on their “work trip” to Barcelona.
As we all know, social media can take a toll on our self esteem. Taking a break from social media platforms will allow you the time you deserve to celebrate you!
The time you spend online can instead be redirected into self-care practices, trying a new workout, hanging out with loved ones, writing a letter to an old friend, taking your dog for a walk...really, anything! So what are you waiting for? Close the app and open yourself up to a social media cleanse!
Not convinced? Check out what Jason Zook of wandering aimfully had to say about his 30-Day Social Media Detox.