Modern technology and the rise of social media have changed our world forever, as well as how we all interact within that world. In so many ways, we have never been more connected. In many other ways, we have never been more disconnected. While there are undeniable benefits to using social media and incorporating certain platforms into our lives, we also have been made increasingly aware of the potential dangers of too much indulgence.
As with everything in life, balance is key for health and happiness, and this philosophy also rings true in regard to social media. Making the conscious choice to temporarily disconnect from these virtual platforms could be considered a form of healing and rest for a person who has developed an unhealthy attachment to social media. By disconnecting, for however short a time, from our virtual lives, we are forced to reconnect with ourselves and our flesh and blood lives in even more meaningful ways. We cannot afford to wait for media conglomerates to make positive changes to their platforms to improve our relationship with social media. It is up to us to decide when we need to disconnect in order to reconnect.
Why Do We Use Social Platforms?
The reasons to participate in social media are numerous. Businesses can find great success in marketing their services or products to a wider audience. We can stay in touch with people who we cannot see regularly due to long distances or even just busy schedules. People have also had success in finding various support groups through social media. We can stay up to date on news and entertainment, or maybe just unwind with fun games or quizzes. A good meme also makes us laugh out loud every now and then.
Before we make any moves to disconnect from social media, it’s important to understand why we choose to engage with social media at all. Furthermore, we have to question why we use the specific social media platforms that we use. If we don’t understand the why before we make the change, we may never realize when we need to disconnect at all.
How Do We Feel Using Social Platforms?
There have been multiple studies and findings about the negative effects of social media on mental health. This can occur due to increased opportunities for bullying, constant comparisons between our achievements and the milestones achieved by others, and warped perceptions of beauty, which can be altered with countless filters and photography tricks to give false impressions. Social media has also been proven to negatively affect our physical health, with instances of sleep deprivation skyrocketing and eye strain appearing in younger people than used to be typical.
Self-monitoring how we feel mentally and physically while engaging with social media is a crucial step in understanding what we could potentially gain by taking a break from the platforms. By choosing to disconnect, we allow ourselves the chance to refresh and recalibrate, getting back in touch with our own minds and bodies to discover what we need in order to feel healthy and balanced.
Who Are We Outside Social Platforms?
By disconnecting from social media platforms, our minds are free to focus on our true selves, rather than a curated and artificial world behind glowing screens. We can remember who we are in the real world. We can reconnect with our honest thoughts, instead of amplifying our echo chambers. We can rediscover our values outside of algorithms designed to target all aspects of our lives.
By temporarily disengaging from social media, we rid ourselves of the distractions that take up so much of our time and we turn off the potentially negative spaces that can affect us subconsciously throughout the day and night. Social media can be addicting, so taking regular breaks to reconnect with other aspects of our lives might just strike the ideal balance we all need.
As previously discussed in Chapter Eight: The Megaphone Metaphor, we all possess our own platforms, both online and off, to share whatever we believe to be important. By disconnecting from social media, we give ourselves the time and space to reevaluate how we are using our megaphones and our social media presence, as well as what kind of impact we are making in the world and within our own consciousness.
Just because an individual may be ready to disconnect from social media doesn’t mean a company can afford to vanish from their platforms. At Noteworthy Communications, we take the responsibility of putting together a personalized social media package for local companies specifically so their focus can go to other priorities. Planning ahead with Noteworthy Communications allows business teams to disconnect so they are free to reconnect with what makes their business thrive in the first place.