Lifestyle

Why You Need a Social Media Detox Right Now

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Woman hand holding Apple iPhone with Instagram application on the screen. Instagram is a photo-sharing app for smartphones.

Image: happydancing/Shutterstock

When I wake up, the first thing I grab is my phone. I’ll spend 20 minutes scrolling through Instagram to catch up on what I missed, log out…and then sign back in five minutes later. Even though the lives of my friends couldn’t have possibly changed that much in those last few minutes, I always experience serious FOMO.

That’s when I realized that it was time to break up with Instagram for a bit. Most of us spend a lot of time looking down and attached to our phones. Millennials get a lot of heat because they were practically raised on technology and social media, but the older crowd isn’t far behind. In fact, according to this Nielson report, Generation X spends roughly 7 hours a week online, while millennials browse social media for 6 hours and 19 minutes. These numbers are proof alone that we’re in desperate need of a social media detox.

If you still need convincing, here are five more reasons that will make you put down your phone.

1. It has a negative impact on your body image, self-esteem.

People share a lot of ideas about what you should look like, the size you should be and the clothes you need to own. It’s no surprise that this has a direct impact on how you view yourself. According to The University of Gothenburg, people who spend more time on Facebook have lower self-esteem, and are not as happy. This makes sense since you are constantly comparing yourself to your friends and even strangers. It’s also possible that the comments that your friends write on your pictures can make you feel even more pressure to be perfect.

2. It gives you an unrealistic expectation on life.

You spend a majority of your time scrolling through other people’s highlight reel. Even though you know that what you see online isn’t always the real deal, you can’t help getting caught up in other people’s social personas and comparing them to your own life. It almost causes you to become detached from reality, and model your life after something that isn’t actually achievable.

3. It can lead to depression.

The American Psychiatric Association found that having more than one account on different platforms increases your chance of becoming depressed. Multitasking can actually lower your brain activity and negatively impact your mood because you’re not focusing, are trying to keep up with social trends. Logging out for a few days can make a huge difference in your overall happiness.

4. It ruins your relationships.

It’s ironic that something that was made to bring people together can actually push them apart. I can count on both hands the amount of friends that I’ve either lost or gotten into arguments with over something that was said online.

5. It destroys your sense of privacy.

You’ve seen it before. You’re checking your newsfeed when one of your friends posts about his latest fight with his girlfriend. We share our lives strangers every day, which makes it harder to keep things to ourselves. Sometimes, the information we share ends up hurting us in the end.

Cassandra is a beauty and women's health writer. She spends most of her time treating herself to dinner and movie dates, pretending her life is a Marvel comic and figuring out how to keep her makeup on her face. Not necessarily in that order. She blogs about affordable outfits from her favorite movies and TV shows at Onscreencloset.com.