Are you always glued to your phone scrolling through social media? In today’s blog post, freelance writer Jai Marie discusses why unplugging from social media is good for your mental health and personal relationships. She shares a few tips on how you can take a break from social media to protect your peace and stay connected to life offline.
Most of us are glued to our phones day and night. We wake up and immediately check our notifications. Throughout our day, we unconsciously pick our phones up and mindlessly scroll through social media. Technology has made it so that everything we desire is readily available at our fingertips. Rarely do we take a moment to shut off our phones and enjoy the present.
March 5th is the National Day of Unplugging. This is a 24-hour period in which you unplug from all technology. This digital detox can be used to relax, engage in activities you enjoy, or connect with loved ones.
Studies show 3 in 4 Americans spend 3 or more hours daily looking at a screen. We’re constantly checking for updates and Snapchatting our every moment. Some of us also use our smartphones and computers for work. We feel the need to be on-call, frequently responding to emails, calls, and text messages. National Day of Unplugging gives us the opportunity to truly disconnect from cyberspace.
WHY UNPLUGGING FROM SOCIAL MEDIA IS GOOD FOR OUR MENTAL HEALTH & PERSONAL RELATIONSHIPS
The comparison game. When it comes to our mental health, constantly being on social media can cause feelings such as depression, loneliness, jealousy, anxiety, and overall dissatisfaction with life. When scrolling through our news feeds, we compare ourselves to others. We also create posts and obsess over how much engagement they receive.
Living in the present moment. Taking a social media break will allow you to live in the present moment and have meaningful interactions with others. Taking time away from technology gives you a chance to enjoy life.
Limits distractions. How much have you put off due to being glued to your screen? Unplugging from social media and technology provides you with the opportunity to do the things you’ve been neglecting.
Allows self-reflection. In order to feel more grounded and at peace, it’s important to check in with yourself regularly. Take some “me time” and reflect on where you are in life and how you’re feeling.
Improves sleep. A good night’s rest is crucial for both our mental and physical health. The blue light that emits from our devices can have a negative impact on our sleep because the light disrupts our melatonin levels.
Getting outdoors. Going outside and spending time in nature can be so good for our mental health. Whether it’s for 5 minutes or 30 minutes, use this time to connect with nature.
While we’re aware of the benefits of unplugging from social media, it may not always be plausible. It could be that we just don’t know how to disconnect from our devices.
FOUR TIPS TO UNPLUG AND TAKE A SOCIAL MEDIA BREAK
- Use do not disturb. If you’re going to take some time away from your electronics, the do not disturb feature will come in handy. This will keep you from hearing when you receive a new notification and help with feeling tempted to peek at your device.
- Make a schedule. Schedule what time of the day you’ll unplug. This could mean no social media after 9 PM or no TV during bedtime. Having a routine and sticking to it can make unplugging regularly a bit easier.
- Leave work at work. Many of us take our work home. Even after a long exhausting day, we’re still “on the clock”. When your workday is over, unplug from your job.
- Completely turn off notifications. Go to your social media apps and manually turn off your notifications.
National Day of Unplugging is a day to disconnect from technology and reconnect with yourself. Use this time to cater to your overall wellbeing as well as catch up with friends and family. Create time weekly where you take a social media break and unplug from your devices. Your mental health will thank you.
Jai Marie is a writer based out of Indiana. As a child, she’d lock herself in her room and spend hours writing in her notebook. She started out journaling, writing music and poetry.
While Jai continues to write in these areas, she also explores other niches such as short story creation and blogging. Jai runs a blog where she discusses mental health and provides inspiration to others. She also offers writing services under the name J.M. Writes.