Social media has become a colossal part of the user’s every day life and we, as a society, have replaced traditional communication methods with our reliance on social networking online. Many users have become addicted to acting out their online personas on a global platform and no longer seek or enjoy real human interaction; a phenomenon known as social media addiction.
An estimated 3.1 billion people now use some form of social media, which has grown by a staggering 362 million in one single year, and 94% of users access the platforms via their mobile due to users being part of the omni-channel consumer generation.
With full access to all social media platforms 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 210 million people have now fallen into the category that is labelled ‘social media addiction’ and feel as though living vicariously through their online identity is their main priority.
Users will access their profiles whenever and wherever they want, whether it is at work, school or at an important meeting. A whopping 50%, of the 90% who admitted to using their phone whilst driving, stated that they have checked their social media whilst behind the wheel of a car.
Many social media addicts use their platforms for some form of instant gratification, whether it being through likes and comments on their photos or the shares accumulated on their status’. Users are addicted to the documentation of their persona’s every day life, from what they eat and wear to where they are travelling to.
What is Detoxification?
Social media detoxification is a form of voluntary mental detox that requires the individual to spend time away from the world of social networking and enjoy the freedom of reality.
A detox refers to the fact that there are negative effects or symptoms that are obtained through the constant and continuous use of social media networking and up-keeping of online personas.
Negativity and symptoms of ill-feelings are often due to the depressive nature of one’s reliance on technology, being succumb to offensive or disturbing content and the witnessing or spreading of online hate and cyber bullying.
- Improved mood
- Re-connection with reality
- Less risk of privacy invasion
- Less comparative material
- Lessen feelings of depression
- More free time
- Better sleeping pattern
Guide to Detoxification
1. De-activate Accounts
Users should de-activiate their accounts. Temporarily disabling profiles is a better option for those who have willpower and are only doing a shorter detox. Permanent de-activation will stop them from accessing their accounts and therefore diminishing temptation.
2. Remove Temptation
Users should un-install all social media apps on each of their gadgets to get rid of visual reminders. Users can also block site access through their home routers. For those who cannot trust themselves with the previous suggestions could ask a friend or relative to change their password and keep it secret until the end of the detox to ensure that no access is gained.
Replace the use of social media with other activities and hobbies that would be beneficial to one’s mind and well-being. For example, users could use their time to attend that gym session they have been putting off for months or go for real human interaction over a coffee with a friend they have not seen in a while. They could also experience eating food in fancy restaurants or travelling the globe without the need of documentation to heighten their persona’s popularity.
There is no specific rule of timing on a social media detox, it is completely up to the individual on how much time they feel is necessary to overcome their addiction, whether it being 1 week or one year.
Once the detoxification stage has passed it is essential that the individual introduces themselves back into the world of social media in moderation but do not repeat old habits, instead they should find a balance.
Balance is key to a happy mind and a happy life.