My Experience with Social Media Detox: Ankush Bharti

My experience with Social Media Detox started last summer when I was feeling a bit uneasy and I was feeling that guilt to continuously check the notifications on Instagram. There was even one time when I realised that I was continuously going through the reels. Was it my conscious decision no it wasn't I thought about what could be the possible solution. I remember that many years back I had shut down completely from social media and that was a conscious decision that I had made because I believe that it was high time that I wanted to quit social media. After joining it again after so many years there was a sense of happiness there. I was initially enjoying it. At one point in time, I felt that I was feeling pain in my eyes. I was feeling quite drained because of the amount of energy that I was putting into social media maybe. The information that I was gaining from it was good but this information was very quick and my brain needed some rest and I wanted some time to rejuvenate.

That day I thought about a possible solution to get rid of it. I spoke to some of my friends and I realised that it was not something that only I was going through, it was common. Next came the biggest step, should I leave social media again and then and then I realised it won't be a very good decision since many people from the Holistic Pine team are situated in different countries so social media serves as the best way to connect through them, some through Facebook. I decided not to quit it completely but take a particular check on how much social media I was using. Time had been consuming even in the morning when I had almost stopped exercising and devoting my time to myself and doing those things that I used to enjoy doing initially. I did visit an eye specialist and I was advised to reduce my screen time. The thing is that we people tend to give excuses as to why we are so much on social media or why we are not able to maintain that particular discipline with it. On researching more about it I came across the terms called social media Detox. I choose not to go completely for it and not to abstain completely from social media but I decided to take baby steps. I even decided to take to primitive means like using pen and paper towards writing where it could be done I star I started going for longer walks early in the morning along with some basic breathing exercises. I would wash my eyes with ice water and just try to relax. It was initially very difficult. I could feel the constant urge to check my phone. Some social media handles were of limited importance so I deleted them. Coming from the profession of writing cum journalism it becomes very difficult to completely cut off from social media but I researched about it all over the internet. And here is the information that I am going to share with all of you on how you can also practice for your mental and physical well-being. The effect was very positive. I felt rejuvenated and I started reading a novel and devoted time to other activities. That involuntary urge to watch social media or use Instagram is reduced. I cannot say that I went through complete social media data like most people say but yes this amount of it worked for me and it might work for some people because I was not too much addicted to social media. So yes social media detox, the duration of it, how to go about it steps to follow before from person to person.

Actors like Tom Holland announced that they were taking a break from Instagram and Twitter because they found them overstimulating and overwhelming. He confessed that it was acting detrimental to his mental health. Many celebrities like Selena Gomez have done that previously.

It's a common practice that we wake up in the morning to check our phone and social media notifications. You are on a family vacation and concerned with capturing the best selfie. Social media detox could give you some time to ponder over what you are losing by over-usage or addiction to social media.

In the digital age, social media has become an integral part of our lives. It allows us to connect with friends and family, stay informed about current events, and share our thoughts and experiences with the world. However, the constant stream of information and the pressure to present a curated, polished version of ourselves can take a toll on our mental and emotional well-being.

The concept of a social media detox has gained a lot of attention in recent years as a way to counteract the negative effects of excessive social media use. It involves taking a break from social media, whether it be for a few days, a week, or even longer. During this time, a person can disconnect from the constant noise of social media, focus on activities that promote mental and emotional well-being, and gain perspective on their relationship with social media. People usually take this detox for a week to a month or even more.

A social media detox is not only a way to improve our mental and emotional health but also to take back control of our lives. By setting boundaries around our social media use and being intentional about the content we consume, we can cultivate healthier habits around social media and live more fulfilling lives. As technology continues to play an increasingly important role in our lives, the need for a social media detox has never been greater.

What is detox?

The term "detox"

Toxic or hazardous substances are removed from a person's body through the detoxification process, often known as detox. The purpose of detoxification is to get rid of harmful compounds in the body. Typically, this is done by fasting, eating certain meals or supplements, exercising, or doing other things that make you sweat and get rid of toxins through your skin.

Programs for detoxification are frequently promoted as a way to enhance general health and well-being, increase energy levels, and aid in weight loss. Though medical professionals frequently disagree on whether these programs are effective in accomplishing these objectives, it is important to weigh any potential hazards with certain detoxification techniques before starting any form of detox program.

It is important to note that the body has its natural detoxification systems, primarily through the liver and kidneys, and a healthy lifestyle including regular exercise, a balanced diet, and adequate hydration can support these processes.

What is social media detox?

Social media detox refers to the practice of taking a break from social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and others. It involves consciously disconnecting from social media for a while, whether it be a few days, a week, or even longer.

The goal of a social media detox is to reduce the negative effects of excessive social media use on mental and emotional health. These negative effects can include increased stress and anxiety, decreased productivity, and a distorted sense of reality due to the constant comparison to others that social media can foster.

During a social media detox, a person may choose to temporarily disable or delete their social media accounts, or simply refrain from logging in or checking their feeds. The time that is freed up from social media use can be used for other activities that promote mental and emotional well-being, such as spending time with loved ones, engaging in physical activity, reading, or practising mindfulness.

A social media detox can help individuals gain perspective and reevaluate their relationship with social media. It can also allow for a greater appreciation of the present moment and foster a deeper connection with the people and experiences in one's life.

Social media detox helps in decluttering the mind. A social media detox gives a person a chance to clear one's mind. The flashy life of influencers, the curated life of a friend sharing happy photos, or maybe inappropriate content can affect a person.

Unmasking the Dark Side of Social Media

A toll on mental health

The incessant use of social media platforms can lead to a range of mental health issues. The constant comparison, curated lives, and unrealistic standards can fuel feelings of inadequacy, anxiety, and depression. The pressure to garner likes and validation can take a toll on self-esteem, leaving individuals trapped in a cycle of seeking external approval.

Addiction and Isolation:

The addictive nature of social media platforms can lead to compulsive usage, making users increasingly dependent on the virtual world. As individuals immerse themselves in their screens, real-life interactions suffer, leading to feelings of loneliness and social isolation. This digital disconnect can disrupt genuine human connections and breed a sense of detachment from reality.

Cyberbullying and Harassment:

The anonymity provided by social media emboldens bullies and trolls, leading to cyberbullying and online harassment. Victims endure emotional trauma, and the toxicity of such experiences can have severe consequences, including self-harm and suicidal ideation. The lack of strict regulations further exacerbates the issue.

Spread of Misinformation:

Social media has become a breeding ground for the rapid spread of misinformation and fake news. False narratives can manipulate public opinion, sow discord, and even impact crucial events like elections or public health crises. The unchecked circulation of fake information poses a threat to a well-informed society.

Privacy Invasion:

Users often underestimate the extent to which their data is collected, analyzed, and exploited by social media platforms and third-party entities. The erosion of privacy raises concerns about surveillance, targeted advertising, and potential misuse of sensitive information. Users need to be vigilant about their privacy settings and understand the implications of sharing personal data.

Negative Effects on Youth:

Social media has a profound impact on the developing minds of young users. It can lead to reduced attention spans, diminished academic performance, and heightened vulnerability to cyberbullying. Excessive exposure to unrealistic body images can also contribute to body dissatisfaction and eating disorders among adolescents.

How can a person do social media detox?

The negative effects of excessive digital usage and consumption might lead to going for a detox. Before going for it think if you need it. Some people can manage things well. In case you feel your productivity or mental health is suffering because of app usage, it could be the right time for a social media detox.

Set a goal: Determine the specific goals you want to achieve during your social media detox. This could include improving your mental health, increasing productivity, or simply taking a break from the constant noise of social media.

Identify triggers: Identify the specific triggers that cause you to spend more time on social media than you intend. This could be boredom, stress, or a need for validation.

Limit your use: Set limits on your social media use, such as only checking your accounts once a day or only using social media during specific times of the day.

Take a break: Take a break from social media altogether for a designated time, such as a week or a month. You can also try a "digital detox" where you disconnect from all technology for some time.

Replace social media with other activities: Replace the time you would normally spend on social media with other activities that promote mental and emotional well-being, such as spending time outdoors, reading, or pursuing a hobby.

Find a new hobby-Find a hobby that gives you happiness. These activities positively affect our mental health by increasing creativity and raising endorphins.

Turn off notifications-There could be notifications that trigger your brain to check social media, turn them off.

Use social media mindfully: After your detox, use social media mindfully by setting boundaries, such as not using social media during meal times or before bed, and being intentional about the content you consume.

Examples of social media detox activities include:

Spending time in nature, such as going for a hike or visiting a park, and engaging in physical activity, such as yoga or running.Reading a book or writing in a journal.Spending quality time with loved ones, such as having a game night or going out for dinner. Practising mindfulness or meditation

Pursuing a creative hobby, such as painting or playing an instrument.

A social media detox can have several benefits for a person, including:

Improved mental and emotional well-being: Excessive social media use can lead to increased stress, anxiety, and depression. Taking a break from social media can give a person time to disconnect from the constant noise of social media and focus on activities that promote mental and emotional well-being. Social media can be a major distraction that can negatively impact a person's productivity. Taking a break from social media can allow a person to focus more on important tasks and accomplish more throughout the day.

It can help in improving sleep quality: The blue light emitted by electronic devices such as smartphones and tablets can interfere with the body's natural sleep-wake cycle. Taking a break from social media can reduce exposure to this blue light, leading to improved sleep quality and better overall health.

Increased self-awareness: A social media detox can allow a person to become more aware of their habits and behaviours around social media. This increased self-awareness can help them make more intentional decisions about their social media use in the future.

Increased connection with others: Social media can sometimes create a false sense of connection with others, leading to feelings of isolation and loneliness. Taking a break from social media can encourage a person to connect with others in more meaningful ways, such as spending time with loved ones or engaging in face-to-face conversations.

Overall, a social media detox can have many positive effects on a person's physical, mental, and emotional well-being, and can help them build healthier habits around social media use.

We need to remember that social media is not real. Eliminating social media usage for a set period can do wonders. If you feel that social media has overpowered your life if it occupies your mind, or if you feel that pressure to check social media posts, it's high time you go for social media detox. Detoxification is important for the healthy functioning of one’s mind and body. When we are determined towards achieving bigger goals in life it is important to begin with baby steps. My decision of detaching myself from social media partially helped me see results within a few days. I could feel a spark of energy and took charge of valuable time. Self-analysis and acceptance of where one is lagging in making a change can help. My realisation that social media detox could help me gave me a whole new perspective on life. I have become closer to the real things that matter to me the most. I am spending more time with nature and it's gifted.