In the year 2016, if a person doesn’t exist on Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter, do they even exist at all?
As millennials, social media has been so ingrained in our upbringing that it takes a lot of sincere effort to go a day, let alone a significant span of time, without logging onto something. Everything is documented. Whether it’s a funny text thread, cute things our pets do, an #OOTD, our parents being parents… the list goes on and on. And while there is something magical in the ability to connect with loved ones, co-workers and complete strangers with nothing more than a tap on a smartphone, there comes a time when we need to reconnect with the “real” world. It’s so easy to lose touch of the beauty of what’s right in front of you, as well as your ability to connect with yourself. There are a lot of really valid reasons to do a social media detox.
Kendall Jenner said it best when discussing her own experience with disconnecting from social media.
“Like, am I not interesting enough for you to talk to me?”
It can be easy to be sucked into staring at the phone rather than actively engaging with the person, place, or thing in front of you. I’ve been guilty of this way too many times to count and I’m sorry. Force of habit. It may not be your intention, but it can be offensive to use your phone in the presence of someone else. Fully enjoy the other person’s presence. Your phone will be there at all times. Your loved ones and relationships won’t.
Another benefit also has to do with a very important relationship… the one you have with yourself.
A social media detox allows your self-esteem to be refocused. It may be hard to remember, but once upon a time we actually relied on the mirror and random compliments to build up what we thought of ourselves, relying on our own validation for increased self-worth. Social media quickly equated that how many ‘likes’ we could get. It’s so easy to get caught up in comparing the number of followers you have, the number of likes of your selfies, the comments or lack thereof to people who you generally wouldn’t care about on a day-to-day basis. A post begins to hold more weight than a pixelated screen ever should.
You regain touch with reality. Internet stalking? We’re all guilty. But it can become an obsession before you know it. Logging off for a few days will you allow you to breathe without knowing whether or not your ex is following someone new.
But there are some healthy upsides to being heavily active…
Social media gives each of us the power that in years past was only in the hand of professional managers…shaping your brand. You control what, when, and how others think of you based solely on your carefully crafted posts. Have you seen Selena Gomez’s Instagram account?
What’s your mom’s hairdresser’s daughter’s babysitter been up to lately? Social media gives all of us the chance to reach out to people who we otherwise would no way of contacting. Just be careful of double tapping when you’re 52 weeks deep…
While obsessing over who looks at your posts can definitely be detrimental your to mental health, it is a bit of an ego boost when you post a selfie and get lots and lots positive comments. The key is to not take anything to heart.
It’s just the internet.