November 10, 2016
According to several reports, a staggering number of Americans would be willing to give up things like coffee, alcohol, family time, pets, and physical intimacy in order to stay connected to the internet. Although these findings might not come as a surprise to those of us who realize how obsessed our society has become with our mobile devices, it’s still a bit worrisome when we consider the potential impact this preference for technology over human interaction could have on the value we place on our real-life relationships with others.
If you’re like most of us, you’re probably guilty of favoring your Facebook feed over a conversation with friends and family in a social setting. It is completely normal to become distracted by what’s going on in the social media world, but constantly checking your phone could be negatively affecting your moods, productivity, and stress levels more than you know.
Here are four ways a social media detox could change your life for the better:
Most of us enjoy a moment of incredible bliss when we’ve recently organized our desks or cleaned our rooms. This is because of the scientifically proven concept that decluttering your life relieves stress. Social media is just one of the many ways we fill our lives with additional clutter.
Similar to a messy desk or disheveled room, keeping social media in a tab in your browser throughout the work day offers an opportunity for you to become overwhelmed and disorganized. As you move through your tabs to find what was said in an email, you might notice that having multiple tabs open and working in several of them is a bit overwhelming, especially on days when you’re struggling to stay motivated.
Taking away your open Facebook and Twitter tabs is a solid first step in decluttering your workflow by eliminating the number of tabs you keep open and only leaving those open that you need to complete the project at hand.
Social media serves as yet another distraction in a digital world full of things that often lead us off track. According to Time, 20 percent of mobile users check their phones at least every 10 minutes (and those are just the ones who admitted to it.)
As you eliminate the time you spend scrolling through your Instagram feed or watching cat videos on YouTube, you’ll free up hours in your day that could be used for things like taking on a home improvement project or working on a term paper.
No matter where your political loyalty lies, you’ve probably become annoyed at least once upon opening your Facebook to find a lengthy rant against your candidate of choice. Or perhaps when you’ve checked out your news feed first thing in the morning just to find a depressing story a friend shared. Wouldn’t it be nice to remove annoyances like this from your life for a while?
When you take a social media detox, you won’t be guaranteed completely steady moods, but you’ll certainly reduce your chances of running across something that strikes a nerve with you by eliminating hundreds of posts you would have seen from others on social media.
More Face-to-Face Interaction
Studies show that increased face-to-face interaction leads to better moods and less stress. You probably don’t notice it, but social media is making you squander most of your opportunities to interact with your family and friends while you’re around them. By temporarily deleting the Instagram and Snapchat apps you love so dearly, you’ll notice that your ability to carry conversations with others improves.
Rather than staring at your smartphone over dinner like you always do, you’ll actually be required to speak to the person on the other side of the table. As scary as this might sound, the benefits of your digital sacrifice will be well worth it when your ability to interact with and listen to others improves.
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