If there’s one thing that serves as a vice for most of the U.S. population, it’s too much time spent on social media. The average American spends a whopping 4.7 hours on their mobile device each day, and it’s probably fair to assume that much of that time is spent perusing social media apps. Although obsessively checking in on what’s happening in the digital world seems like a harmless habit, it could actually be hindering your personal and professional lives more than you think.
Productivity, stress levels, and relationships can all be damaged by excessive social media use. Whether you’ve noticed issues or not, it’s likely there’s been a time or two that refraining from pulling out your phone could have benefited you at the office or even while out with your friends.
Fortunately, the first step in resetting your social media habits to build a healthier relationship between you and your mobile device is as easy as committing to a social media detox. Here are four reasons you should seriously consider a social media detox.
1. Fewer negative stressors
In the wake of a brutal election, most of us are all too familiar with the effect social media can have on our moods after we’ve read a rant posted by someone with a completely different viewpoint than our own. Facebook has 1.79 billion users and counting, and logging on to this social media platform alone on a daily basis subjects you to the opinions and attitudes of 1.79 billion others that could steer your mood in the wrong direction for the rest of the day.
Taking a break from social media helps you clear some of the noise in your life and focus on what’s most important to you in the present moment rather than what’s currently bothering others.
2. Increased productivity
One in five Americans in the workforce spend at least an hour on social media on a given work day, and college students spend an average of eight to ten hours on their mobile devices daily. This means most of us are wasting quite a bit of time scanning our social media feeds rather than completing important tasks at the office or in our studies.
Sure, social media is helpful when you need a mental break from what you’re working on, but it looks like most of us are sacrificing productivity in the name of social media breaks. This is where a detox can help.
By eliminating social media from your daily activities, you’ll notice you have more time to complete your projects at work, clean up around the house, and focus on your homework and in-class lectures.
3. Stronger relationships
One third of American Internet users say they would give up physical intimacy for six months in exchange for internet access. The same study showed that 26 percent of millennials would give up seeing their families for six months to stay connected. Clearly, society has been letting interpersonal relationships take a backseat to online activity.
As the holidays draw near and you spend more time with our loved ones, taking a social media detox could be an excellent way to ensure the time you spend with them is spent to its fullest. Rather than staring down at your phone to see what others are up to at their holiday parties or obsessing over your editing app to create the perfect Insta photo to wish your followers a happy holiday, you could be enjoying the company of others who are actually in the same room as you.
4. Increased confidence
Studies show that increased social media use can lead to a decrease in overall well-being and confidence. This is likely caused by factors like increased advertising exposure on social media outlets, access to “highlight reels” of the lives of others, and the constant need for recognition in the form of likes and comments on the content you post. That’s why one solid reason for taking a social media detox is that it will likely give you a bit of a confidence boost throughout the duration of your break.
Following your break from social media, you’ll also be more aware of the time you spend on your favorite platforms which could lead to less time spent on social media in the long run as well.
So there you have it, four solid reasons you should take a break from social media to reset your habits. If you’re convinced that a social media detox could be your ticket to increased productivity, healthier relationships, more self-confidence, and less negative stress, there’s no better time to get started on your plan for a detox than now!