Following on from last month’s blog – “The Art of Happiness” (available here; https://thedmcclinic.ie/blog-the-art-of-happiness/), I began to reflect on ways to increase or add to my own personal happiness. (To disconnect to reconnect) I found myself focusing on all the negativity in the world right now, as we navigate living our lives through extraordinarily difficult times, that this global pandemic and COVID-19 has so kindly provided us with. Low and behold, I arrived at this question; “What is the value or purpose of social media in my life right now?”.
I soon realised that in fact it doesn’t really add anything, in actual fact it can sometimes take away from my happiness. Therefore, I began to look at; a) how much time I was spending on social media and b) what could I be doing with that time instead. So, here I am in the midst of my SOCIAL MEDIA DETOX, bringing to you my current experience and thoughts.
Firstly, let me start by saying, this is by no means me preaching to you that this is something you have to do! Rather, me bringing to you my own personal experience. Every single person in this world is a unique individual and therefore experiences things in their own unique way, so what I experienced, may or may not be the same for someone else. But, I would encourage anyone to not be afraid to experience things for yourself, before you believe what you read, hear or see, especially on social media!
We have all become social media addicts. I will be the first to hold my hands up! Whether it is on a train, at the beach, on a tropical island, hiking the highest mountain in Ireland, sitting in a restaurant, watching TV, at a sold-out concert, on your own or with a group of friends, we always have our phone within our reach. Social media has become an undeniable part of modern life, positively and negatively.
For instance, during this global pandemic it has significantly helped us to stay connected with loved ones, catch up on news, give us hope that “better days are coming” and discover inspiring people. But, too often than not, it turns into endless hours spent scrolling through various feeds making yourself feel anxious, drained or even unhappy. We all care what people think of us. We all want to feel accepted. We all want to feel liked.
But social media is corrupting our minds and it multiplies those thoughts and feelings without us even realizing it. It’s not healthy to always be under the knife of criticism. In a digital world, we need a break from having our lives judged and commented on (often by complete strangers). We have to take back control.
According to Catherine Price, author of How to Break up With Your Phone and founder of Screen/Life Balance there is nothing wrong with spending time on social media but “the important thing is to use it with purpose and intention”.
Not being on social media has really opened my eyes to the feelings and motivations I have for using apps i.e. Facebook and Instagram. Already, in a short space of time, I feel an amazing sense of freedom. I have a new-found energy that wasn’t there before. I find that I am now just going to bed at night and going to sleep, as opposed to needlessly scrolling for hours, making sure I had caught up on all the latest gossip before going to sleep. As soon as my alarm goes off in the morning, I get up, rather than getting back into bed and scrolling again.
I found that I had more “free periods” in my day that just didn’t exist before, which meant I could be far more productive with my time and I really started to just get things done. I found that I started to care less about the crazy things I was so obsessed with doing before “for the Insta”. I felt like I truly embraced every precious moment of everyday, especially my conversations with people, all the more. I really felt like I could be truly present. I can assure you it has been a while since I’ve had so much clarity and focus in my thoughts.
My productivity, attention span and clarity of thought have all increased greatly while living without social media. I feel like I have broken bad habits i.e. refreshing feeds and checking notifications, in a very short period of time. I simply feel like a happier, more productive person without social media dictating my life.
This YouTube Video; “Can We Auto-Correct Humanity?” outlines the bottom line; we all have a choice and we cannot auto correct, we must do it ourselves, take control rather than let it control us. Conforming to what we believe society is based on what we see on social media, giving in to the pageantry of vanity and digital insanity. So, give yourself a chance to feel how it feels to just simply switch off and see the value of taking back control of time. Taking a break from social media frees up time and mental space you didn’t know you had lost. Doing a social media detox puts you back in control of how you use these platforms.
My questions to you are;
- What are your current social media habits?
- How does social media make you feel?
- How does social media impact your life?
- Is it negatively impacting your mental wellness?
- How about your productivity and creativity?
- Is it taking time away from the activities that make you happy?
And ask yourself; “Is it time to DISCONNECT TO RECONNECT?”
|If you are feeling down for long periods of time over the next few weeks or feel like you are stuck in a rut that you just cannot get out of, it is worth speaking to someone about how you are feeling. Reach out, do not suffer alone & remember…
“It’s Okay not to be Okay & It’s absolutely Okay to ask for help!”
The article is written by Leanne, Newly Qualified and Pre-Accredited Counsellor at The DMC Clinic. If you would like to discuss how any of the topics mentioned above are impacting your mental health, please contact The DMC Clinic to arrange an appointment.