I’ve been receiving a lot of emails these days with comments and some good questions from people who follow my blog. There was a common pattern that I observed. Apparently, EVERYONE IS SICK OF SOCIAL MEDIA!
That is true! And my initial reaction to this was, “Don’t blame it on the social media tools.” People are unable to control their own negative emotions and blaming it on social media. I also questioned myself, “how can people get sick of social media? It is not social media’s fault?” However, I cringed at the thought of this, shook my head and consciously changed my thoughts. I pulled myself back from my “tough” ENTJ personality to really understand the underlying feelings. I immediately reflected upon this, through an empathetic lens, “why would so many people feel irritated with someone else’s posts, pictures, and more?” The most common emotions that emerged from the “social-media-led comparison syndrome” were jealousy, the feeling of not being “good enough,” low self-confidence, less self-worth and in some cases clinical depression (above linked HBR study, states a few more).
I felt like I had to take sides in this argument, whether social media was good for us or not. I kept telling myself that “excess of anything is bad,” I personally believe in that. And consequently, I believe that “anything in moderation is OK.” I realized that to strengthen our socially inclined emotions, we need to take a few steps. Through strategic literature and personal research, I gathered that we need to go on a social media detox in our own ways. Whether it is through limiting our use of it, daily, or deactivating it for a short while, or completely deleting our accounts. Whatever floats our boat.
Now, you may ask what will the detox do to you, here are some points for your consideration:
- Fuels your creativity: Yes, I said it and I said it right. Gone are the days where the other way around [use of social media] would’ve been more beneficial. When we detach ourselves from the buzz of ‘what’s happening in other people’s lives’ we can actually get more ideas that are great for our work and life. I don’t completely unhook from social media but I dedicate time and days when I completely drown myself in my creative haven.
- Aligns you with your own self: We are living in times where we need to detach ourselves from any kind of negative comparison (even if it’s remote). Whenever there is a “gap” in our time, a moment we can spare, we fill it up with social media. We feel uncomfortable if we’re not fidgeting with our phones. A little detox can not only cleanse our mind but also help us become more centered with our goals and ambitions, at work and in life.
- Helps focus on actually making life great rather than faking it: I couldn’t believe myself when I heard that people literally go crazy trying to make themselves look so hunky dory on social media. It is now a researched fact that people seek validation from others on social media a lot often (I had been a victim of this too). As though being true and centered in our own version of great life wasn’t enough, we need others to validate it. Imagine if the same amount of effort would’ve been put into personal development or other ventures, wouldn’t situations be better?
- Helps get rid of the comparison syndrome: The less we overtly observe that “people are having more fun” or being “more successful” or “becoming hotter ” or “younger” or more “photogenic,” the happier we will be about ourselves. Consequently, we will get rid of the disastrous comparison syndrome and feel less shitty about ourselves.