An hour without Internet connection or mobile phones in your hand seems like you’ve been cut off from the external world for eons. Our lives are intertwined with social media sites which act as our lifeline to contact our friends, stay in touch with near and dear ones and remain updated on the latest news and activities. On the exterior, we have a clear picture that social networking sites have improved our friendship, relationships and love towards people tremendously but when we start going through the layers within, there seems to exist a world surrounded by hate, lust, jealousy and greed. Every person on social media faces the wraths of mental and physical agony one time or the other. Maybe its time for a social media detox!
Social Media Detoxification
Detoxification is the removal of toxic substances from our body while social media detox, a type of digital detox, is the period during which individuals stay disconnected from social media sites as a process of removing/clearing away toxic substances from our mind.
As a heavy blow to our problems have emerged the use of multiple accounts which individuals use for different purposes. Most of us use social media platforms to connect with friends, stay updated about their whereabouts and be aware of the latest issues surrounding us. In this process, we become obsessed with other people’s life, start browsing on our friend’s friend and the chain continues likewise. Surfing their photos, activities and check ins makes us compare our lives to theirs, brood over our shortcomings and misfortunes and put us in a state of mind where none of us are really happy with what we have but keep searching for happiness and joy in what other people are up to!
“The grass on the other side is always greener” and social media has advocated this theory even more than before. It makes us feel as though other people are leading happier lives and our is less fun-filled and joyful compared to others. But thankfully, the craze for using these sites has started to decrease slowly as people are becoming more aware of the loss of precious time going through Instagram posts and twitter feeds. A lot many from the younger generation have been leaving social media websites slowly but steadily. Such people strongly advocate a social media detox as this therapy helped them improve productivity, focus more on the work at hand and stay relaxed. There are scientific evidences too backing the disadvantages of social media:
A Mental Health Spoiler
Studies show increased levels of depression, anxiety and isolation in people who use social media often. Researchers saw that those who checked into their media accounts more frequently were twice likelier to succumb from these mental health spoilers compared to their peers. Young or old everyone is addicted to the Internet and suffer from the pressure to look beautiful, stay blemishless and young forever. While established as sites to promote connectivity social media has promoted isolation and disconnection among members of the society, individuals remain far off from eye contact, physical touch and voice tone makeovers-elements that make a conversation livelier, richer and something to cherish forever.
There are a greater number of couples speaking over their phones rather than conversing with one another, more members in the family playing games over phone during weekends than spending quality time together exchanging their experiences or playing outdoor/indoor games together.
There are some things that are not in your control when it comes to social media. A friend who tags you in a meme or a boyfriend who posts a photo of both of you dancing at a club might be awkward for you and cause embarrassment. These can damage relationships too as studies have found that when people try to remove embarrassing content from online sites they suffer from a decline in the relationship with the offender. Our comments, shares and jokes that we post in our pages are shared again by hundreds of individuals. We don’t know how it will affect the other person ultimately.
Breaking Down Physical Health
Apart from ruining mental wellness and peace, social media use affects our physical health too, especially sleep routines. A study in 2014 showed that individuals aged between 19 and 32 spent over an hour daily checking their social media accounts and, on an average, some 30 times a week. Almost 57% of them complained of disturbed sleep routines. Researchers feel that the exposure to bright light before bedtime, the possibility of a mental, cognitive or psychological arousal and the intention to stay online all the time might be reasons for poor sleeping habits. Poor sleep quality can be detrimental to our health. Interested to sleep better? Its time to pay a visit to www.firsteatright.com for simple clues and practical ideas on improving sleep hours and quality over time.
Pushing Productivity into Darkness
In between work, lunch breaks or free time we tend to log into our social media accounts and check on the latest updates. This affects our creative thinking and hinders our professional lives greatly. A study shows that people spend more time on social media than they think they do. There was another study that showed that people spend more than 2 hours on social media at workplace. Maybe that’s the reason for our stretched working hours and incompetency to meet deadlines. Likes and comments hold a priority over commitments and deadlines at office! We think that multitasking is simple and switch between work window and the social media window but practically it does affect our quality of thought and productivity at the end of day.
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Dietitian & Nutritionist Dr. Nafeesa Imteyaz.