When someone asks you, "Do you think you can stay off of Facebook for a week?", your automatic response might be something along the lines of "Of course I can. It's just Facebook."
Would you believe that this is the exact same response you would get from an alcohol or smoking addict? Yes, that's right. You could be a Social Media Addict.
At the rate that people are scrolling through social media mindlessly, it is on it's way to becoming as toxic of an addiction as smoking, alcohol, and gambling are.
The instant gratification you get from scrolling through posts or receiving notifications or "likes" triggers the same dopamine responses in your brain that you would get from smoking, consuming sugar, or drinking alcohol.
On that note, think back to the last time you picked up your phone to scroll through social media.
Did you just scroll through Instagram, Facebook or Twitter?
Recent studies and research suggest that people check their social media anywhere from 80 to 300 times a day.
While we can't compare it to the lasting damage that drugs, alcohol and gambling have on people's lives, there is no question that social media is damaging in its own way, and most of us know this to be true.
I distinctly remember my freshman year of college; when I signed up for Facebook. I remember seeing that shiny red notification at the top corner of the screen. It didn't fully sink in right away.
But the more I used it, the more I realized I had become dependent on that tiny red dot in the corner of the screen.
If I opened up Facebook and there was no notification, I would feverishly refresh, refresh, and refresh until someone graced my notifications page with a "like".
And I instantly felt a rush, a dopamine hit. And I enjoyed it.
Most of us probably are in similar situations, especially if you check your phone multiple times a day.
If you're not sure if you could be addicted to social media, check out the 7 signs that you could be below, and consider starting a Gratitude journal to help.
Get rid of social media addiction by starting a Gratitude Journal.
7 Signs That You Are A Social Media Addict:
- You are constantly checking notifications and newsfeeds on your phone every morning and before bed. It has become a part of your daily routine.
- Your self-esteem is affected by how many likes you receive. You get your social validation from social media.
- Mindless scrolling. Just scrolling endlessly with no particular reason.
- You are carefully thinking about what to post during the course of your day.
- You feel lonely when you're not on social media, especially when you are alone.
- You get bored easily or lack of interest with your day-to-day routine if you put down your smartphone.
If you are considering cutting down on your social media use, join me in the next 30 days to curb your use and possibly quit social media with me.
"But what if I run my business on social media?"
What if my partner gets upset that I don't like their comments or posts?
You might find that you could be asking yourself questions like the above to justify your social media use. Our brains are very clever at manipulating ourselves into thinking that we need these things.
Because the truth is without it, we are going to get very uncomfortable.
But let's look at some of the benefits you might experience by going on a 30-day Social Media Detox.
- You'll compare yourself to others less often. Comparison takes its toll on our well-being more than anything else. You're going online on Instagram and seeing the best version of everybody else and comparing yourself to them.
- You'll get more time to invest in yourself. More time to invest in hobbies. More time to read a book. I feel like an old timer, back in my day we used to read books without social media. You'll have more time to bring in positive experiences to your life rather than draining your battery and draining your brain.
- You'll be more focus without the 300 interruptions throughout the day.
- You'll be able to gain greater clarity and create a vision for your life.
Now if you are still with me, if you are here for the next 30 days to commit to this Social Media Detox, the next steps are incredibly simple.
- Delete all social media apps from your phone don't just hide them away in a corner. It's not that effective because naturally we will instinctually know... like our hand knows where the app is without even thinking. It's an involuntary movement. You can download these apps again after 30 days and all your information is still going to be intact. The world will not stop turning because you didn't check your phone.
- Log out of all social media accounts on your computer. Make sure that those passwords aren't quickly saved so you can log in instantly. You can use a Chrome extension like Stay Focused to keep you blocked out of these websites completely. The idea is that you want to add as much friction as possible.
- If your business is dependent on social media, then you can use third party apps. It allows me to schedule it allows me to post things and push them to Twitter or Instagram without having to worry about going to these apps separately or having to think of fresh new content every day.
- Figure out what you're going to do with your day. You have to figure out how to keep yourself preoccupied with something more productive other than social media.
Why not start a journal in your free time?
If you're having some doubts or if you feel like you're on the fence, try to picture yourself in the future after 30 days.
- How much more productive do you think you could be over the next 30 days if you didn't have the distraction of social media or these apps on your phone?
- What can you accomplish without the distraction of social media?
- How much more clarity and focus will you have in your life after you stop this addiction?
From my own personal journey, I am satisfied with how I have managed my use of social media and can confidently say that I do not scroll through these platforms mindlessly anymore.
I have managed to not let the newsfeeds distract me. While I have missed out on some posts from people I follow and have not been sharing as much, everybody's still here and nothing really changed.
The idea here is that after this 30 day Social Media Detox, you are going be able to go back and think about how you want to bring these apps into your life, in a more intentional and meaningful way.
You may choose to check it once or twice a day and share milestones and achievements, and that's a whole lot better than just mindlessly scrolling.
Good luck and I'll see you on the other side!
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