It might come as a surprise, but a social media cleanse might be even more beneficial for you than a body cleanse this summer. While everyone is busy posting images of Instagram-able plates of food with sunset backdrops, we may benefit more from looking away than clicking like.
From meeting real people to improving our mental health, taking a break from social media in the summer is paramount to our sanity.
Let’s be honest. Scrolling down Instagram can be more daunting right now than at other times of the year. For starters, not all of us will go on holidays someplace exotic–or even take a summer vacation. Not everyone looks “beach ready” in a bikini or has spent the winter sweating it out at the gym to reap the digital benefits with likes and follows.
But the most compelling reason why a social media detox is now required more than ever, is that the summer is the time of the year to have some real fun and live in the moment.
Watching other people’s fun-filled summer barbeques and theatrical jump-for-joys brings on the FOMO blues. "Fear Of Missing Out" is the feeling that real action is elsewhere, even if you’re vacationing on paradise island. FOMO is proof that you can’t relax and enjoy yourself because your comparing your holidays to other people’s, or worse, worrying if your life is Instagramable enough. That’s how FOMO works, it's a bottomless pit. In fact, Andrew Lepp, Ph.D. has shared that a lot of the anxiety that comes with using technology actually originates with this "need" to check up on social media, fearing that something huge has been missed.
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Removing our favorite social media apps from our phones is a way to kickstart a social media detox. People are more social in the summer, so this is a great moment to ignore your smartphone and reconnect with your surroundings. That being said, experts have discussed the "fine line" that exists within social media use. While it can be used regularly to stay in contact with those who we may not see very often, if it is used too much, it can actually damage our precious relationships and our overall state of well-being. When we engage with real people and live in the here and the now a truth dawns on us: The polished social media universe isn’t real – cue the shudder.
Moreover, staying away from social media is a great way to gain free time you never knew you had. When was the last time you read a book or had the time to write a proper catch-up e-mail to a friend you haven’t seen in ages?
We could use a summer mini-break from the social media universe. Would you dare to venture one too?
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