“The more social media we have, the more we think we’re connecting, yet we are really disconnecting from each other.” JR
Watch this video about five ways in which social media can be harmful to you.
Over the last ten years, social media sites have exploded and made the world a really small place. Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram have changed the way we interact with each other. It’s something I have noticed in myself and other people, and it brings up the possible need for digital detox.
Facebook, as the biggest social networking website, today has more than one billion active users. With people sharing messages, images, and likes with each other, I am amazed at how fast that number of active users is growing.
Research has shown that we could be putting our mental health at risk by overloading on social media. I think that depression and low self-esteem could be the biggest risks of social media. It’s becoming clearer that social media is putting our minds at risk and I hope that more research can be done in the future and how we can turn more towards digital detox.
What Happens In ONE Second On The Internet
The world’s population is 8 billion people. The image below shows what goes on in just one second of social media. Over a quarter are on Facebook right now (including me). Four billion people have viewed YouTube videos, and 3 million people are writing blog posts just like this.
Am I Addicted?
Is it possible that you’re addicted to social media? Ask yourself the following questions and determine what your answers indicate. If those answers are centered around social media activity, you may need to participate in some form of digital detox to maintain mental health.
Question 1. What is the first thing you do when you wake up?
Question 2. What is the last thing you do at night?
Question 3. At the dinner table or in social settings, are you present?
Question 4. How many times do you look at your phone or social media daily?
Case study evidence suggests that ‘addiction’ to social networks on the Internet may be a potential mental health problem for some people. This evidence covers several areas:
(1) outlining social media usage
(2) examining motivations for social media use
(3) examining personalities of social media users
(4) examining negative consequences of social media usage
(5) exploring potential social media addiction
The research shows that most people use social media to strengthen their “offline” relationships. Extraverts appear to use social networking sites for social enhancement, whereas introverts use it to make up for a lack of socializing. Depression has been linked to using social media too much.
The Illusion Of “Connection”
In 1998, Kraut et al. published one of the first studies of the internet. In this research, they found that increased time spent online meant people talk to their family less. The research says that someone who overuses social media can see their social circle start to shrink. People can feel depressed as a result of this dilemma.
Because of technology, a child in Africa with an iPhone today has access to the same level of education and information that the president of the united states had in 1992. That is the main benefit of technology, and it amazes me that this is possible.
At the same time, it is quite easy to see technology and culture not as a gift but as a curse. The damage we do to the environment and the distance we put between ourselves because of technology is something I am becoming more concerned about.
Disconnect To Reconnect
What do you value? Do you value Facebook likes and Instagram photos over spending time with your friends and family? If that’s the case, you may need to think about stepping away from the computer and having a digital detox for a while.
What can you do to start detoxing from social media for a while?
- Create “time-outs” from your devices, so you’re not tempted to check in on your favorite platform.
- Put your phone in another room or in your car while you’re working or spending time with loved ones.
- Limit the amount of time you’re on social media – set a timer if you need to!
- Book a holiday with someone you truly value (and make a commitment to turn off your phone while you’re away!)
- Designate a segment of time every day to turn off your phone, computer, and email notifications.
- Discover ways to connect with nature, connect back with your true self, and connect with the people you care about most.
If you have any strategies to help people disconnect so they can reconnect, please share them with us on our Facebook page.