Addiction to social media is like an addiction to smoking.
Science has proven that almost immediately after quitting smoking, your body undergoes numerous physical changes.
After just a couple days of not smoking, risk of heart attack and heart disease decrease, and your smell and taste improve.
Other risks continue to decrease over longer periods of time.
Quitting or taking a break from social media is not so different when it comes to the sudden improvements in one’s health.
Since the pandemic began, people have been engrossed in their phones much more than they are used to.
Most people have admitted to me that social media, while it helps keep them “connected” to a certain extent, does not in fact make their lives any better or more enjoyable.
Social media, in fact, has the exact opposite effect, causing envy, lust, pure jealousy and an unrealistic perception of the lives other people lead.
It’s quite easy to become jealous of other people’s vacations and “perfect” families when viewing a timeline or profile.
It’s important for all people to be reminded that all that glitters is not gold, and that what one sees on social media is nothing more than a highly personalized glimpse into a person’s life.
Yet our brains somehow convince us that the filtered social media life someone puts online is in fact their constant, everyday reality.
Sure, someone is always going to be out there living a better life than we are, and it takes a great deal of maturity and wisdom to count our blessings and be grateful for the many gifts we have in our own lives.
Social media is not built that way. Social media does not want us to be content with our lives.
Social media wants us to post and boast. Social media wants us to constantly compare ourselves with others and rate ourselves on a scale of no likes to a thousand.
We are all guilty of giving into this unhealthy lifestyle, but we seem no closer to giving it up.
What is it, then, that makes social media addictive? The answer is not as complicated as some make it seem: false happiness.
The formula behind the addiction is the simple fact that it takes from you the very thing it gives. Like alcohol, it is the cause and solution to most of life’s problems.
If you don’t feel good about yourself, get some likes online. The moment you compare those likes to other people’s likes, there goes your joy.
Additionally, social media is much more than just pictures and posts from your friends.
Take Facebook, for example. You see people’s posts in addition to a news feed that for the past 400 days has always
had a million miserable updates about COVID-19, the election, incessant protests and rioting and purely agonizing headlines like: “Prepare yourself for a permanent pandemic” and “Stop hoping life returns to normal anytime in the future.”
Americans are fed up with these fear- mongering titles, but the media doesn’t stop because they know it’s exactly what people are drawn to.
Then there’s the interminable drama of the current political climate. I can’t think of a time in the 21st century that’s been more politically divisive than now.
Don’t try to voice your thoughts on Facebook unless you’re prepared to be tarred and feathered for it. Facebook is the last place you should feel safe sharing an opinion.
While I firmly believe most people don’t bully or insult others in-person, it’s worth noting that the morals of being a good person don’t always extend into the cyber world of the media, and it’s anything but healthy for someone to immerse themselves in the vile nature of so many of its aspects.
The easier said than done solution to the addiction that is social media is to simply take a break from it or give it up entirely for a month or so.
Actually hold your finger down on each social media app and remove them from your phone.
Get rid of Facebook if you must. It’s not as essential as your heart or lungs.
You will survive without it, as awkward and empty as you may feel at first. Believe me when I say that’s going to be the best empty feeling you’ve had.
Get away from the constant political bickering and insults. Don’t block others, block yourself from feeling miserable online. Doing so is paying respects to your own mental health.
Like forgiveness, you don’t do it for others, you do it for yourself.
Get offline for a while. Take a break. Unplug.
In a most ironic way, you’ll find yourself more in touch with the world than ever before