The word ‘detox’ is very much en vogue and widely bandied about these days. “Detoxifying” teas, juices and teas are in all the stores. The truth however is that we don’t really need them! Our liver sorts out our physical detoxification, what we really need is a mental clean up operation: a digital detox. The global population is preoccupied with social media. People are forgetting about the value of real–life interactions. According to American watchdog Common Sense Media, less than one out of three teenagers prefer face-to-face conversations over text messages. Why is this happening and is there a way to stop spending so much time in the confusing online world? Find out in Digital Detox: 3 Effective Ways to Clean Up Your Mind!
Spending time on social media can become addictive. Every time we get a like, comment, an extra follower, we feel needed and valued. The hormone dopamine is produced, which makes us feel happy. Dopamine is the same hormone released when drugs are taken! It keeps us coming back to social media when we seek validation and confirmation.
Social connections largely moved online this century. It’s easy to “talk” to someone just by a few clicks on your phone. However, is that really communication?
While social media can be a great tool to keep in touch with people thousands of miles away (and we should be grateful for this), this ease of ‘communication’ has in fact made our society the loneliest it has ever been. It doesn’t take a genius to work out that there’s been a corresponding rise of stress, anxiety disorders, ADHD and psychological issues with the proliferation of social media and smartphone instant messaging apps.
People have forgotten how to speak in person, make good eye contact, and express emotions. We now use emojis to express our feelings, instead of showing them on our faces.
The attachment or dependence (as with addiction to any drug) to and on social media strongly impacts our mental health. We may not realise it, but we often subconsciously compare ourselves to everyone we see on social media – it’s an insidious form of mental conditioning because it’s so subtle. We need to be aware of that before we can clean it.
What we forget is that content is edited to show only the best moments of someone’s “perfect” life, and actually they are just normal people, with bad days and teary moments too. Learning to detach ourselves from comparison and focus on our own lives, is part of the technology detox. The mental detox clean up means embracing and loving your own life just as it is. Everyone is precious and valuable.
What Can I Do?
We all have the power in our hands to make certain constructive changes. Here are the 3 things you can try.
1. Dedicate Days to be Completely Off Your Phone
Having a mental break with no disturbance from messages and no scrolling, will help bring yourself back to the present moment and see things which you would not otherwise notice or recognise. It helps you calm your mind and slow down. Enjoy life’s peaceful moments. Absorb the fact you’re alive and grateful for it.
Interview with Simon Sinek on the Dangers of Social Media Addiction
2. Delete Social Media Apps from Your Smartphone & Use them only on Your Desktop/Laptop
Without easily available access to social media apps, you will not be as tempted to use them, as it will require effort to get your laptop out to do so. This strategy can help you to significantly cut the amount of time spent and wasted online.
3. Move Your Phone out of Your Bedroom
Buy yourself an alarm clock, instead of using your phone as one. Stop checking your phone an hour before bedtime and in the first 1-2 hours of the day so you can reduce blue light exposure, thus stress, and remain far more in control of your mind. You will be able to get a better night’s sleep and have a calm morning.