Benefits of a social media detox

Feeling overwhelmed? Getting caught in a daily doom scroll? 
Losing hours of precious time to that addictive little device in your pocket? 

If your screen time is reaching an all-time high, it might be time for a social media detox. Here’s why your brain, body and soul will thank you.

You’ll sleep better 

Apart from the intense stimulation your brain gets from flicking through hundreds of images and messages every minute, the blue light from your screen can trick your brain into thinking it’s still daytime. This suppresses melatonin production – the natural sleep hormone that triggers sleepiness. 

So, what can you do about it? Keep your phone in another room overnight (and invest in an alarm clock for your bedside table). If you must have your phone near you at night, keep it on the other side of the room.

You’ll sharpen your awareness

It’s astounding how much we miss when our faces are buried in our phones. During life’s ‘in-between moments’ – waiting for your coffee, the elevator, the train – we often reach for our phone to prevent that feeling of boredom from creeping in. We can’t stand it, so we look for a brief dopamine hit while we wait. The problem is that we miss so many opportunities to connect and appreciate what’s around us. 

Next time you find yourself in one of those ‘in-between moments’ and go to pick up your phone, resist the urge and just stand there. Look around. Smile at a stranger. Better yet, say hello to one. It’ll feel weird at first, but you’ll become far more aware and appreciative of your surroundings.

You’ll stress less

From work to family to daily life admin – there’s a lot to stay on top of. Adding social media into the mix can ramp up those feelings of overwhelm. Recent Google Ads data show that we receive up to 10,000 marketing messages every single day. That’s a lot for our brains to process. If we’re already stressed and anxious, constantly being on social media can tip us over the edge. 

To combat the overwhelm, allocate some time each day (or every few days) to checking your socials. Try to make it the same time each day and avoid checking it first thing in the morning or last thing at night. Take a look at any direct messages first, then move on to the newsfeeds if you want. Once your allocated time is up, step away from the phone.

You’ll create better connections

Social media – and technology, in general – has allowed us to connect with people all over the world. But those connections are – like your office WiFi on a busy day – unstable and often unfulfilling. Worse still, those fleeting digital connections prevent you from creating richer ones with the people right in front of you.

Resist picking up your phone when there’s a lull in conversation, and instead, lean in and try to connect. You’ll figure out what works for you, but a few places to start might be:

  • no phones at the dinner table
  • no checking social media during family outings
  • each lunch with a colleague (without your phone)
  • when you’re out with friends, the first person to check their phone has to pay the bill

You’ll become more productive

When we complete a task, it’s always nice to give ourselves a pat on the back before we move on to the next. These days, the most common reward is a quickly scroll on social media for that dopamine hit. But even a quick scroll can interrupt out flow and disrupt our focus, making it harder to get back to work after we’ve cleared out notifications. 

When you’re working (especially at home), try to keep your phone out of sight. In a desk drawer or even hidden behind your laptop screen. And when you need a little break between tasks, go outside, do a lap of the office or make yourself a cup of tea. You’ll feel more energised and engaged when you return to your desk. 

When you resist the urge to reach for your phone and simply observe what’s around you, you’ll become so much more aware and connected with your surroundings. You’ll sleep better, feel less stressed and be more open to deeper, richer connections. Sounds like a win-win, right?


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