The Lessons That Can Be Gained From A Social Media Detox

We see you every day.

We see you with your smartphone clutched in your hand, gazing down as you walk down the street. It's a wonder you haven't bumped your head on a lamppost by now!

We see you at home when you're preparing dinner, taking pictures of the delicacies on your plate, and sharing them with all and sundry.

We see the things you do. We hear the things you say. We get to know you in all facets of your life.

We see everything. And while we are generally speaking, of course, we might actually be onto something if you are the person who is always glued to their phone or tablet, and we genuinely might know everything about you if you are forever posting your life on Facebook, Instagram, and all of those other social media channels you have an account with.

Now, don't get us wrong. There is nothing wrong with using social media, per se! It's good to stay in touch with people. It can help you to run a business. You might even gain some helpful tidbits of advice along the way. But it's not the be all and end all of your life. By putting down your phone for a few days, and by restricting any other method of accessing your social media accounts, there are a few lessons you will invariably learn.

You will learn that you don't have to compare yourself to others. You don't have to weigh up the pros and cons of your life when compared to the lives other people are living. You don't have to look at your body and contemplate a breast surgeon because you are obsessing over pictures on Instagram. You don't have to fall prey to jealousy because yet another friend has just posted pictures of their latest boyfriend/baby/pet poodle on their Facebook wall. You don't have to be like any of your friends, because you will ultimately learn that it's okay to be you; that your life is one worth living, without any needless comparisons.

You will learn that it is possible to get a good night's sleep. Want to know why you have been struggling to sleep? It's probably because of your social media addiction. Not only does staring a screen before you go to bed play havoc with your sleep inhibitors, but the things you read can also pray on your mind, especially if you are doing what we have already said, and worry over your life for not being as fun and glamorous as everybody else's. By detoxing from social media, you will be able to switch off, both literally, as you will get to sleep quicker, and metaphorically, as your mind won't be attuned to the posts you have read online.

On Phone
You will learn that there is beauty in the world. Yes, you may argue that you know the world is beautiful. You have the Instagram pics from your best mate to prove it! But when did you last take time to look up from your screen and actually stay present within the world. By lifting your nose up from your screen when you're on a walk or on the bus, you will finally get to see more of the world around you again. And rather than spotting beauty and sharing it with your friends with a Facebook snap, actually connect with what you see, such as literally stopping to smell the roses.

You will learn to stop living in the past. If you spend a lot of your time looking back at old Facebook posts and photos, possibly from times when you were happier in your life, you are never going to move on. If you spend a lot of time stalking ex-boyfriends in the hope that they will be as miserable as you are/were after a breakup, you are never going to have the time or the impetus to meet somebody else. The past is the past, and while it's okay to reflect on happy times, you shouldn't forget about the present and your future. By detoxing from social media, you are less likely to dwell on past events, and hopefully, you will be more inclined to start thinking about where your life is now, and the positive things that are currently happening.

You will learn there is more to life than Facebook. How much time do you spend on Facebook each day, or on any other form of social media? How much time to do you spend constructing your latest posts, taking selfies of yourself, liking this and liking that, and reading the latest words of wisdom from others? Chances are, you are wasting more time than you would like to think. With a social media detox, you will learn there is more to life than the events on social media. You will gain free time to do other things you enjoy in life, such as going for a run, spending time with your family,
playing games, and reading a book. Without your phone in your hand, you won't be distracted away from any of these things. You will 'do something,' rather than stare at something. You will have real conversations, rather than talk in text speak on your phone. You will feel engaged and connected to the world, rather than remaining rooted to what is happening in the lives of others. You will live life, rather than Tweet about it!

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Image via Max Pixel
So, why not give it a go. Set yourself a target, such as having no social media for a week, as you may well see the benefits. Sure, it will be hard at first, especially if you have become a bit of a social media addict, but it's not impossible. And then by seeing the advantages that come without the aid of a computer/tablet/phone screen, you may well decide that hey, life does go on without Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. It is possible to eat a meal without having to take a photo of it first. And there is a life beyond the realms of a social media account, where you can feel more confident, have more time to experience life, and do things without the validation of others.

Something to think about anyway, no matter how beholden to social media you are!

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