I’ve placed myself on a self-imposed social media detox. Well, that’s not entirely true; I do manage several social media accounts for various clients, so I do continue to log in and post, comment, and manage their platforms. But personally? I’m on a bit of a sabbatical. And frankly, I don’t miss it.
Prior to The Great Purge of 2018, I would estimate that I easily spent an hour a day on various social mediums. I would check in, see what’s new with folks, post, and enjoy the comments/discussion/feedback. But frankly, I found that it was getting a bit toxic. I was becoming wrapped up in the number of “likes,” the comments people were leaving, and it honestly felt like everyone was living a shinier version of life. Because I’m a “marketing nerd” I thankfully had the wherewithal to quickly recognize this as one of the primary trappings of social media, and so I stopped. Cold turkey.
In fact, most of the research points to the following ways that social media is impacting our health:
1. It’s addictive
2. It triggers more sadness and less well-being
3. We begin to compare our lives to the lives of others, and that’s not healthy
4. It can create jealousy
5. We fall into the trap of thinking it will help
6. We assume that more followers means greater social status
I found myself guilty on all counts. And, I didn’t like it. As a marketing person, one sound strategy that can bring success is social media messaging. It works, it’s affordable, and it’s measurable. I like all of those things, and for these reasons it’s become common practice. But personally, I didn’t like who I was becoming when I was on it.
So I stopped.
At first, I literally had to keep my phone in the other room. I sat on my hands. I kept myself busy. I made more phone calls to friends I missed. I found myself becoming a more engaged wife and mother. I somehow felt lighter.
My only regret to date is that I’ve missed all those fantastic graduation photos. I have several friends with kids who graduated, and I do miss seeing the photos from those milestones because it allows me to somehow feel part of it.
But other than that, I’m kind of “meh.” Will I go back? Probably. Will I dip my toe in the waters of social media with more discretion and awareness? Maybe. Do I enjoy spending those extra 60 minutes I’ve now found in each day in meaningful and productive ways? Absolutely.
I realize this may seem to be an odd perspective coming from someone in my line of work. But I guess at the end of the day, I’m just a human being. With an extra hour in each day.