7 Signs that You Might Need a ‘Social Media Detox’

Detoxing is the process of abstaining from toxic and unhealthy substances in order to cleanse your body. People typically choose to detox when they feel that they have consumed too many bad things and need a fresh start.

‘Social Media detox’ has become a buzz term of late, with people quickly realising the effects that Social Media and the constant comparison culture are having on their mental wellbeing, not to mention the way they measure the success of their own lives. I myself have had my fair share of Social Media detoxes and have found that they leave you with some sense of empowerment, thinking, “wow, I didn’t even know it was that deep!”

Black Britishness is fast-becoming globally popular due to its uniqueness and the increasing success of our peeps across the globe (yay us!), so it is completely understandable that many of us may not want to miss out on the buzz during this period. However, it is also important that we don’t become consumed with what everyone else is doing, whilst also trying to become hyper-visible for no reason at all.

Following the latest conversations and hot topics on ‘Black Twitter’, or reading the latest goss on the UK’s version of The Shaderoom can provide multiple lols, update you with relevant breaking news, introduce you to new music; and provide a running commentary on our favourite TV shows (plus much more!). Whilst all of this can be harmless fun that unites us all, giving a sense of community, the excessive need to be constantly deeply entrenched in this online world is something that can’t go unaddressed.

If you’ve ever wondered whether or not you may be in need of and may benefit from a Social Media detox, I’ve compiled a list below of behaviours which indicate that it might be time to lay off the Social Media crack pipe for a week or two (or five) to realign yourself. I’ve been guilty of quite a few of these and I’m sure there are a couple you’ll relate to as well.

  1. It’s the first thing you check when you wake up.

For many of us, this is our reality. We wake up and before we’ve even wiped the crust from our eyes and the dried dribble from our mouths, we’re checking our socials to see what’s been going on whilst we were snoozing.

  1. You share every single mundane thing that happens in your day, every single day.

We know what you’ve eaten, where you’ve been, who you’re hanging out with and all the funny things you’ve seen in a day. Oversharing has become so normalised that when someone who regularly posts their lives online stops doing that for a day or two, we notice and get worried, assuming that something bad has happened. (I do, however, believe that for someone who is an over-sharer, this probably isn’t far from the truth)

  1. You spend a considerable amount of time aimlessly scrolling.

Throughout the day. All day. Everyday. You find yourself aimlessly scrolling. Not looking for anything. Not taking everything in (consciously anyway). When you have spare time. When you’re waiting. When you’re bored. When you’re in a meeting. You just scroll. Aimlessly.

  1. If you don’t document it, it didn’t happen (and it wasn’t fun).

You spend most of your time when you’re out, making sure you get the right picture/Boomerang or Snap instead of actually focusing on enjoying yourself. You consciously edit your life to make things seem more than what they are, even if what they actually are is perfectly fine.

  1. You compare yourself to others online, a lot.

You save pictures of people’s bodies as ‘fitspo’ (they don’t actually motivate you at all), you ‘pree’ (aka stalk) the same few people to see what they’ve been up to lately; and you scroll through @BellaNaijaWeddings to compare and contrast wedding outfits, venues and receptions, hoping your big day can measure up. Now don’t get me wrong, it’s all well and good being inspired and getting ideas, but when you start comparing yourself and pitting yourself against other people… Houston we have a problem!

  1. You’ve done a detox before but when you came back, you tried to fill in the gaps.

A true detox is one where, once you return, you realise that missing a few days in the Social world won’t kill you. It’s fine to be ‘out of the loop’. The pictures you didn’t see, the tweets you never read and the snaps you never watched won’t leave you with a big, fat knowledge gap. I promise you, you’ll be just fine.

  1. The thought of going on a detox makes you anxious.

This is probably the most telling sign of all. If you don’t think you’d be able to go a week plus without checking and staying up to date with your socials, it’s probably time to go on a wee break my friend!

Have you done a Social Media Detox before? How did it go? If not, why?