If there’s one thing we’ve realized after all this time spent cooped up at home and working from the couch, it’s that we check our phones far too often and that there’s never a single moment where it isn’t by our side. We’re constantly waiting for that next notification or simply just scrolling through our news feed and refreshing when it gets stale. Clearly, it’s gotten to the point of addiction, where we make up excuses just to use our smartphones when we don’t really need to.
As a result, more and more people are opening up to the idea of a “social media detox” where you spend at least 30 days disconnected from your socials and hit the reset button for both your body and mind. However, are these so-called “detoxes” really that effective or just a fad that everyone’s trying to market? And, if it does work, when do you recognize this solution as a must-have?
Everyone Could Use A Bit Of “Off-Time”
Whether we like it or not, there’s no denying that spending too much time on our smartphones and surfing through our socials has led to some not-so-good consequences. Sure, there’s still some good in there, like staying updated with your friends and reconnecting with people you haven’t talked to in a long time, but are these your true reasons for using your phone?
- We’re Far Too Obsessed With Our Phones: Much like how we tell people that we can easily stop drinking and be sober if we wanted to (but it’s all just talk), we also tell our friends and family that we could easily get off of Instagram or Twitter and not be affected. However, these are nothing but hollow promises and made-up excuses to justify our obsession with our smartphones.
- We’ve Hardwired Our Brains To The Dopamine Hit: After long-term and extensive use of our phones, we’ve managed to hardwire our brains to crave that dopamine hit from the notif ring. Heck, you’ve probably experienced going through a new workout plan but finding yourself mid-way scrolling through your phone and hogging the squat rack!
When Does It Become A Must?
Of course, with all those reasons laid out to understand, it’s not that bad when you consider the technological context of the modern-day. Smartphones have just become an extension of our working body, and they let us stay connected with the ever-changing globalized world. However, there are signs you need to watch out for that will indicate when it’s gotten from acceptable to worse.
#1 FOMO Is Ruining Your Life
As people, we can’t help but crave something new and do something exciting; it’s only natural that you want some stimulation in your life because the same old thing every single day gets exhausting to experience. Plus, considering that we’re socially distancing for our safety, our limited movement is not helping either. However, scrolling through your socials lets you see what everyone else is doing, and if you end up suffering from a bad case of FOMO, then it’s time for your phone to go.
#2 It’s Worsening Your Mood
Other than the fear of missing out, we also end up comparing how well we’re doing and where we are at in our life with what we see on social media. Sure, a lot of us probably know that these are just the glamorized pictures and highlights, but they still do affect us one way or another. It ends up worsening your mood and affecting other aspects of your life like dating a romantic interest or messing with your hobbies.
#3 Eats Up All Your Time
Last but not least, a big red flag to engage in a social media detox is when your smartphone use and addiction begin to eat up all your time and leech into other important aspects of your life like family and career. The last thing you want to happen is being crammed with deadlines because you couldn’t put your phone down. Plus, it’s bad for your mental health because it pushes you to cognitive overload and an unnecessary amount of stress.
But, It’s Not For Everybody
However, just because it sounds good doesn’t mean a social media detox will work for everybody. Some people depend on their phones and socials because that’s their livelihood and career, which means this so-called “detoxing” would end up cutting off their means to live well.
- Staying Updated Is Important: Let’s say you’re busy making a bacon pasta salad, and then you suddenly hear your phone ring. You pick it up, and a co-worker needs a certain file ASAP, so it’s a good thing that your phone was there to keep you updated. Events like these happen on a daily basis, especially for career-oriented women. So, keeping away from your phone is an absolute no.
- Regulation And Control Are Key: Some people are capable of showing restraint and responsible use of their smartphones and socials. As a result, they don’t experience any of the adverse effects, and their phone just makes their lives better and more fun. So, regulation and control are key to making things work. You don’t necessarily need to do a social media detox.
Nevertheless, Take A Step Back And Analyze
Then again, everyone’s different, so we recommend taking a step back and analyzing your situation from an impartial and objective point of view. Do a rain check on yourself and see whether the red flags mentioned above apply to you or if you’re not typically addicted to your phone. Also, feel free to share this with your friends who are having a hard time staying focused and keeping productive!