I love and enjoy and indulge in social media as much as the next person. It can be beneficial in various ways, such as comfort, entertainment, connecting with people and getting lost in a world far from your own. However, in all its glorified consumption, sometimes a break or pause is needed for a while. Sometimes social media can do a lot more damage than good to our hearts and minds, and when you look deeply, even our spirit. I’m not shunning the good that social media can do or has done for many people. This is not one of those types of blogs, and it is not an ode to glorify living social media free. Many people have found financial freedom through social media by being able to market themselves. Some have also found personal fulfilment from showcasing their interests and passions as well as gifts and talents. But in all that, sometimes it does not hurt to take a break and get offline. From personal experience, I will outline the benefits of social media breaks;
You Have More Time For Yourself & More Important Things
Consumption of anything always takes time, and I have realised that we all make trade-offs in many forms in life. For example, choosing to binge-watch a series every night for a week straight instead of reading throughout the weekday to fuel your mind and perhaps Netflixing on the weekends instead. This is the same thing with social media. At the start of the year, I took a month of social media mainly because I found myself getting lost in its consumption. From liking one picture to another leads to hours of just constant flicking and endless scrolling for absolutely no reason. When I think of it, it almost scares me. And due to that feeling like I had no time to do things that were “important” and “necessary” to me. I quote those two words because clearly, the other things were not a priority or necessity to my development. Instagram and the likes of Snapchat were more important subconsciously. When I got off social media from mid-January (deleting the apps), I suddenly had more time to work on my goals and the little things. Surprising, although not so surprising to myself, I managed to achieve all the goals I set out in January because of it, something I had never done before in my year-long practice of setting monthly goals or “must do’s”.
You have no choice but to focus
Having more time and space away from social media almost leaves you no choice but to focus on reality, real people and real issues within our lives or selves and embrace and celebrate real successes and wins. Social media often swipes our focus and forces us to almost neglect reality and get lost in the online world, so much so that we neglect ourselves, which can often have adverse side effects such as a lack of discipline or decreased motivation. Taking a break from social media allows you to focus on reality in all its glory or misery. But the good thing about that is it strengthens you and makes you better, and it impacts your well-being positively. I achieved all my goals in January because of having free time and depriving myself of the comfort of social media that there was no option but to stay off my phone and do what I needed to do in my life.
You Get To Take Back Control
Many of us are addicted to social media and are addicted to our phones because of that. It’s almost like a drug. Blunt as it may seem, look around you? And then look within yourself. How much time do you spend on your phone endlessly on social media to the point that you can’t put it down? My guess is way over 8-10hours a day; it’s cool you can be honest cos I’m also just as guilty. I’m sure it gets so bad to the point that some of us don’t even know how to be present with our friends and loved ones without being on our phones and those social media apps. Again, something I’ve also done and have slowly stopped doing. When did we lose control? When did our phones or the likes of Instagram, WhatsApp, Tik Tok and Twitter become our dictators? Like it or love it, that seems to be most of us. We have essentially lost control within our lives and selves to the point that we can’t function. We cannot feel comfortable without our phones in our hands or access to those apps every few minutes. Sometimes this happens even when other things or people require our attention. Taking a break from these platforms allows you to control your life because now bleeps and pings don’t grab your mind; people do. Your priorities, goals, dreams, heart and body, spirit, and essential people in your life capture your mind, and you control how you manage all that accordingly by prioritising and time management according to your scale and mental/emotional/physical energy.
It Allows You To Embrace A Better, Realistic and Positive Perspective
Even though social media can be good and positive, it can damage our minds and perspective. Social media feeds are not always filled with truths and facts about life but rather ideas and stories, the majority of which can be and are fabricated to grab your attention. Some of what is on social media are also unrealistic and often negative with celebrity gossip, bad things, and negative messages that people want to share. We somehow love and gravitate more towards fake things and negativity than truths and positivity. Much social media is also filled with people who look like they have more or somewhat lived the life we dream. If you’re constantly watching, then look at your reality; you tend to think that whoever’s life you’re watching is better than yours. Though it may appear that way, it could be further from the truth. And to quote from one of my favourite songs, I honestly believe; “there’s no such thing as a life that is better than yours”. Being offline allows you to embrace yourself first and foremost and who you are and embrace a better realistic and optimistic perspective from your being and existence.
I heavily encourage social media breaks if you find yourself lost in some of those things I’ve outlined. It may just be what you need to ease off some tension in your mind or make life just a bit better.
Have you ever taken a break from social media? How long was it for? What inspired it? Did you have any benefits or perhaps the opposite? I’d love to learn from your experience and have the opportunity of connecting with you in the comments.
Thanks For Reading,