An unintended social media detox

1st of July 2018. New chapter, fresh start, fresh hope for the future and when I left the past firmly behind.

Soon as the Glasgow chapter began I noticed one important development – I subconsciously went into an unplanned social media detox on my private accounts. Until Christmas Eve.

“So what?” You might ask (and rightly so), especially when there are more pressing things to be concerned about.

Social media detoxes have been important for me despite not reaching the “posting my breakfast, lunch and supper” level. I did it for a week in 2016, two weeks in early 2017 and one month in late 2017.

I found out that life was vastly better without it.I’m not alone with seeing the implications of regular use. Many studies conducted over the last few years point to mental health side effects. University of Melbourne for example found signs of depression, anxiety and sleeping problems with regular social media use. Similarly with the University of Missouri.

CDC in the US claims that it possibly contributed towards the 25% increase in suicides since 1999.

Despite the unusually small sample size, University of Copenhagen’s research found that Facebook envy can develop through regular use.

Even the UK’s Royal Society for Public Health and Young Health Movement determined that for 14-24 year olds, out of five social media platforms (YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, Snapchat and Instagram). Instagram was the most negative influence for mental wellbeing – and contributing towards bullying.In their defense Instagram, Facebook and YouTube have implemented mental wellbeing features into their mobile apps.

Don’t get me wrong, social media, despite the flack it gets, has been equally a force for good. It built businesses and industries, made people famous and overthrown corrupt regimes.

Most importantly, it’s allowed us to connect beyond borders in a way never done previously.

All I’m saying is that like alcohol or fast food – in moderation – social media is fine. It’s more important to live in the present time and environment, especially when we don’t know if today is our last.

Maybe I should fish out the Nokia 1100 – I feel another detox coming on.

Feliz Año Nuevo, Frohes Neues Jahr, С новым годом, Happy New Year. I hope your 2019 will be loving, prosperous and memorable. More content will be coming to Hansen’s Corner during 2019. Like us on Facebook and follow us on Instagram and Twitter to get the latest updates.

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