If you stop using social media, break free of the social expectations and disconnect from it, you will see some significant improvements in your life.
The question of social media doing more harm than good has become a huge topic of debate in recent years. Despite its baseline purpose of connecting people and helping to build relationships, people now more than ever before suffer from increased social anxiety, stress and depression.
If you feel you fit into that category (and you have no problem admitting it), logically it makes sense to unplug and retreat from all the chaos. But that is much easier said than done. It has become a daily ritual, almost an addiction for us so much so that we do it instinctively now. Not to mention the fact that if you are not on Facebook, your friends tend to look at you like you are a three-headed alien.
However, if you stop using social media, break free of the social expectations and disconnect from it, you could find yourself reaping some of the rewards listed below.
1. You will be happier
This may sound exaggerated, but it is true and will definitely resonate with many folks. Nobody can control what appears on their feed and there will always be stories and updates that will make you feel uncomfortable, upset you or not agree with you. That’s life, but why put yourself in that situation? From unplugging, your mood will no longer be dictated by the whims of other people’s updates and stories. What you don’t know can’t hurt you, right?
2. You will live in the moment
How many people do you spot on the train or on the bus, with their faces buried in their devices? Sadly, it is usually too many to count. People are now more interested in their virtual life as opposed to their, well, ‘actual’ life. From disconnecting, you will actually look around and observe more in your daily surroundings. You won’t miss the views or any passing opportunities, and life can become so much more interesting and exciting from such a small but effective change.
3. You will have more time
Of course, when you spend less time and attention constantly checking updates and statuses, you suddenly have more time to actually do things – things that are more meaningful and contribute to your life experience. It could be spending time with loved ones, getting some work done or simply enjoying a favorite hobby or pastime. Either way, these are a better use of time than essentially doing ‘nothing’ online.
4. Your character will develop
Back when there was no such thing as the internet, how did people learn things and develop as a person? They travelled, read books or they spoke directly to people to name a few. These can all be incredibly enriching experiences. Let’s face it, most conversations (if they can be called that) that take place on social media are meaningless and dull. Not to mention short and repetitive. When you try to research or learn something new, you find yourself very easily distracted. By detaching from all this, your mind will be stimulated once again which will contribute to you better developing as a person.
5. What you see is what you get
Unfortunately, there is no better truth than that which you witness with your own eyes, or hear with your own ears. On social media, there is always an element of doubt if what you are reading is indeed the truth. There is always bias involved and even reading about the same event from different sources can blur the truth. If you stop using social media, your opinions will no longer be based on what others are saying and expressing but instead based on your own (as they once were).
6. You will appreciate the small things in life
It becomes a chronic habit to check your phone, no matter what you are doing. When you stop using social media, you will enjoy the small things and fully appreciate them like you once used to. Watch a movie, read a book or go and enjoy some sunshine with full appreciation and joy.
7. You will no longer search for others’ approval
A major downside to social media is that you find yourself always looking for attention and validation from others. You want people to like your status, your photo, your opinions and comments. Eventually, you find yourself posting things based on gaining others’ attention more than doing justice to your own thoughts and feelings. Unplugging can reconnect you with your individuality regardless of what anyone else’s opinion is.
8. You will regain your confidence
On social media, we often face negative words and reactions from others, and even possible cyber bullying. It’s impossible to please everyone, and nobody will ever fully agree with you. These harsh words and experiences can dent our self-confidence. When you stop using social media, you eventually regain your confidence and stop worrying or fearing what others will think about you. Regaining this realisation will be a liberating experience.
Image credit: Jean Jullien
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