Have you found yourself mindlessly scrolling on your phone with no idea how much time has passed? Do you compare your life to the lives of the people you follow or are friends with on social media? You’re not alone in this. We are currently living in a technology based world which has its benefits and detriments. We have the ability and power to find and consume information that we ever thought was possible. The down side to this is our over exposure to information that is becoming increasingly difficult to avoid. Social Media has had a profound impact on the ways in which we communicate with our peers, colleagues, and friends. It has allowed us to stay connected to people across the country and across the world. It has also had devastating effects on our mental and physical health. Rates of depression and anxiety are at an all time high.
If technology is so deeply embedded in our lives, what is the solution? The solution is to be honest with ourselves, about how much time we are spending in front of a screen. The solution is to create a healthier relationship with our devices by disconnecting from them more frequently and reconnecting with each other.
How to Disconnect
- Put an hour or two on your schedule for everyday that you will go technology free
- Create a weekend a month that you can step away and not post or check social media
- Make sure all meals are phone free time
- Track how many hours per day (your phone already does this) that you spend on your phone and try to decrease that time by 30min
- Get peer or family support and have them go technology free with you for short periods of time
There can be an overwhelming pressure to post the best aspects of your life which can ultimately lead to comparison. “These types of social media-based social comparisons, however, may lead to negative outcomes, particularly as individuals present their most “ideal” selves on social media” (Mehdizadeh, 2010). Due to the vast amount of sharing we do, the intimate parts of people’s lives are being viewed for entertainment. On an individual level we can see the negative effects social media use can have on the mental health of its users and the increasing numbers of people using it. On a community scale, the impacts have to do with our disconnect from the natural world, which also provide negative consequences.
So it’s time to take a breath and disconnect, even if it’s for an hour, a day, or a weekend.
If you or someone you know can relate to this please reach out. We can help you have a healthier relationship with your devices.