Social media, can’t live with it, can’t live without it. Last week I woke up, reached out for my phone with half-closed eyes to check for new messages from my WhatsApp. To my astonishment, I had a message stating I was “temporarily banned from using WhatsApp.” There was an email address where I could contact the support team to assist and they replied informing me that I’d be back online after 72 hours! What in the world was I going to do with myself without one of my favourite social media platforms for that long? Maybe just maybe I was a little bit addicted to the sound of pop up notifications letting me know what was happening in and around the world. Was I going to lose my mind?
Did you know that social media is one of the next greatest addiction? It falls somewhere amongst; love (I only just found out too), alcohol, fast food, and exercise addiction just to mention a few. With this sort of information at hand, it might be in your best interest to learn what some of the perks of taking a social media detox are.
1. Time Is Money, Use It Wisely
When you decide to take a break from some or all of your social media platforms the first thing that you’ll have in abundance is time. Use it to read. There’s a variety of books you can read on self-improvement or any topic of your choice that you can find online, book stores or better yet, second-hand book stores.
In addition to reading, you’ll also have time to speak to people. The last time you had a conversation with someone did you look them in the eyes and gave them your undivided attention? A lot of people half-listen while looking down on their phones. If you practice intentionally spending time with others you’ll soon be considered a great listener. Now that’s a positive quality to possess.
2. Keep Your Life Under Wraps
If you’re an active user of Instagram or Twitter you’re familiar with the online behaviour for most users. Almost everyone wants their followers to know how perfect their life is. You scroll through pictures of exotic holidays, job promotions, photographs of couples loved up, brand new cars tied with big red bows; the list is endless. However, through the excitement most people forget they leave their life vulnerable to lurkers.
There was an incident of a couple who had their car stolen from their house a few days after their purchase. They had shared a photograph with the car, vehicle registration number in full view, house number showing in the background and their location showed on their Tweet. In the heat of the moment, they wanted the world to know of their latest accomplishment but it worked against them in the end. Staying off social media means no one gets to know about what’s happening in your life; good or bad.
3. You’ll Never Get Today Back
When you travel how often do you get low storage space alerts on your phone because you’ve taken a thousand photographs in just a few days? Here’s something you should try next time you travel. Leave your phone behind and go out and explore. Take in your surroundings, the beautiful scenarios, the refreshing breeze, the flavoursome food, and the beautiful weather. Instead of rushing to take pictures; enjoy the travel experience while it lasts. Social media will still be there when my trip is over.
After less than 72 hours my WhatsApp was restored and no; I didn’t lose my marbles. One lesson I learned from my absence from the platform was that life still goes on. I was admittedly a little happier because I saved on airtime, I didn’t know what my contacts were up to and my phone battery lasted the whole day.
You might not be able to leave social media completely and that’s okay. Find what you can gradually wean yourself off and you will unquestionably come out of your social media detox feeling happier, achieved a lot of your goals and found a place of balance.
“Less scrolling, more living”