If asked to picture the person we want to be in ten years, we often picture someone cool, confident, successful, and happy. It may be unsettling to realize that what so many people spend their days doing — scrolling down an endless line of social media content — is probably leading them away from becoming that person rather than towards.
The truth is, in order to become that cool and confident somebody, we need to stop spending all of our days envying the lives of others and instead set our sights on working towards the lives we want to live. The first step to doing that is to focus on you, and a great way to do that is to spend some time off social media, the number one center for “Look what I have and you don’t." Even doing it for just one day could make a huge difference.
In today’s digital world, that may sound like a daunting and futile task, but keep reading and let me tell you why and how you should do so!
1. Social media negatively impacts your happiness
On social media, nearly everything you see will be exaggerated, inaccurate, staged, or edited. All you’ll see are the good parts of something, and when this happens, your perspective is subconsciously redirected from what you have in life to what you don’t. Putting yourself up against unrealistic and untrue standards could lead to anxiety, depression, various eating disorders, and more.
2. Social media is bad for you physically
Besides the physical side effects of any mental health issues that may have been spurred, excessive social media use could also negatively impact you physically. It’s well-known that stress and too much time spent on your gadgets can cause headaches, body pains, and permanently damaged eyesight. Research studies have also indicated that it could cause brain atrophy.
3. Social media is a lonely place to be
While it may seem like social media is the bond that holds the modern world together, it may actually be the opposite. More often than not, social media deprives us of the actual human contact we all need and may lead to us isolating ourselves and ignoring what’s right in front of us in favor of content that may make us feel worthless or insufficient.
4. Social media exposes you to danger
This is pretty self-explanatory: the online world constantly exposes you to scammers, hackers, and predators from all over the planet with whom you never would’ve come into contact in the real world.
5. Social media eats up your productivity
Social media is an addiction. Scrolling mindlessly for what may feel like minutes would end up having been hours. The brevity of the content you see online puts up the illusion that “one more” wouldn’t hurt, thus using up time you could’ve spent pursuing a passion or studying for your next exam.
1. Delete, Delete, Delete!
For those who believe that they’re sure to struggle with resisting the temptation of opening up a social media app sometime throughout the day, quitting cold turkey may be the solution. Try to delete all social media apps from your phone, but make sure to remember their passwords!
It would be much easier to fulfill your goal if you eliminated the force of habit — instead of leaving the apps accessible by nothing more than a single tap on the screen, make it so that opening an app would require conscious effort. Sometime between finding the app on the app store, reinstalling it, and logging back in, you’re sure to have regained your determination and turned back.
2. Switch off notifications
If deleting your social media apps isn’t a possibility and any ping from your phone is sure to tempt you to check on what’s going on, switching off your notifications is surely the next best thing — don’t just put them on silent! Notifications are constant yet unpredictable calls to visit social media apps, and doing away with them — even for just a day — is sure to distract you from your goals and make you feel as if you're missing out. Your mental health is what matters right now!
3. Plan out your day the night before
Distraction is probably going to be your best friend. Instead of lying about and thinking about what you could be missing, fill your day up with productive activities. Whether it be finishing the scarf you’ve been knitting, bringing out the guitar you always wished you learned how to play, studying for a biology final, walking your dog, or simply reading a book — anything that could get your mind off of social media will definitely make the day fly by.
The night before you plan to quit social media, create a list or a schedule of things you want to use to fill up the time. Doing so helps you ensure that you stay distracted all day!
4. Create and focus on your goals
Whenever it gets hard and you’re ready to give up and call it a day, remember your goals. Why did you do this in the first place? Why is it worth it to keep on going? When you wake up tomorrow, wouldn’t you want to smile and tell yourself that you did it?
Quitting social media cold-turkey is much harder than most of us realize, and that's okay! It may be difficult, but it will definitely be worth it. Just think of it as taking a step closer to a happier, more content you!