Don't get me wrong I love Instagram, especially as a business owner, I see its huge potential and power to connect with audiences around the world - but with much more focus on the influencer and life as it’s perceived to be, I think it's important to take a step back from time to time and certainly be aware of the potentially damaging effects social media can have on our well-being.
What is real?
It's hard not to get wrapped up in the social media bubble, staging photos "for the gram", comparing you profiles, number of followers, your images, lifestyle and your general being against others. If you don't get enough likes on your post, what do you do? Delete and repost later?! Which makes me question, are we really living in the moment?
It's also difficult not to feel slightly disillusioned when you see one of your favourite bloggers, posting about the washing detergent they cannot live without. Of course, we know it's an ad and it's their livelihood but is it really the washing detergent, they cannot live without! You can't help but feel a little fobbed off and that line between reality and advertising becomes very blurred.
Last year a UK survey carried out suggested Instagram is rated the worst social media platform when it comes to its impact on young people’s mental health. The survey looked at social media overall and it impacts on young people, YouTube was found most positive, providing a sense of community and self-identity. 91% of 16-24 years in the UK use the internet and social networking sites and rates of anxiety and depression in young people has increased by over 70% in the last 25 years.
Social media gives all of us a platform to use our voice which is a good thing and this shouldn't be underestimated as a powerful tool in today’s world. Initiatives such as #ThisGirlCan are fab examples of using social media to spread positive messages in regards to body image, self-love and empowering confidence amongst us, with that said it doesn’t hurt every now and again to take a little digital detox.
Digital Detox Top Tips
The thought of no phone, no social media scroll for days on end can be daunting, so start small you may find by just making simple, small changes, you’ll see a positive change.
- Set an Alarm on your phone to start winding down for bed and leave your phone alone at least an hour before you want to go to sleep.
- Don’t immerse yourself in emails or your social feed as soon as you wake up - take a shower, eat breakfast, workout - reach for your phone on your own terms.
- Set aside a certain time each day, that you go digital free - perhaps it’s your lunch break? Or your morning commute.
- Make your own rules - for example, meet a friend for coffee and both agree to keep your phone in your bag or pocket. Instead, choose face to face conversation, live in that moment and don’t end with a photo for Instagram, take away a memory!
So give it a go and let us know how you get on - of course not during your digital-free time!