The Galleon - Portsmouth's Student Newspaper


Food & Health

Taking a Break from Social Media

It's time to understand the importance of a social media detox

In 2018 it seems that we are always within a few centimetres from a device that is going to connect you to the rest of the planet. Social media has well and truly infiltrated every aspect of our lives, constantly supplying us with endless amounts of information, events and ways to waste our time.
It could be argued that social media is one of the best inventions of the modern age. More than just connecting us with our local friends, it has made it possible to connect with people across the globe, keep us up to date in real time with international news and it gives us the means to create a whole new online economy selling whatever we can think of. However, social media can also be toxic for our mental health if not used correctly.

Social media has become a breeding ground for comparison. It also can have a negative effect in the way it effects our downtime, taking away time better spent doing things that we enjoy but no longer feel we have the time for.
It is not uncommon for us to waste hours at a time mindlessly scrolling through Twitter or Instagram feeds, distracting us from important tasks we have to do whether that be housework or our deadlines.
How often do you say that there is a hobby that you feel you never have time for? Perhaps a book you started reading months ago but never picked up again? Or a creative project which has been gathering dust in the corner? Have you ever considering how often you have scrolled away mindless hours on your phone? Perhaps it is time you limit your screen time. Following these tips may be able to help with your social media addiction.

It takes a simple search on any app store to find apps that can help you curb your time on social media. For example using the app ‘Forest’, by setting the timer in this app you plant a seed to grow a tree, exiting off the app causing your tree to wither and die. By using these apps, you can set a certain amount of time when you can’t use social media. This is more often used for the times when you have to stop yourself looking at your phone during work hours, but it can also be used to your advantage during your downtime. By making it so that you can’t access your favourite time-wasting apps, forces you to turn your attention to activities that you have been neglecting. You may even find that once your time is up, you won’t even want to return to your phone that night.

One of the best ways to switch off from your phone is to switch off your internet all together. That may seem like a cardinal sin in today’s day and age but it could be the most helpful thing if you are wanting to limit your social media time. Turning the internet off also makes yourself take part in activities that rely on the internet, for example online gaming. We spend so much time surrounded by other people’s thoughts and opinions, that time spent with your own thoughts could be the best for you.

This may seem a little too organised to schedule your time off but it could be beneficial. Making a point to do one thing a day you feel like you have been missing could be the key to not wasting all of your time on social media. If you have scheduled time with friends to do a certain activity or put it on your to do list, you will have a sense of obligation to dedicate your time to the activity you have been neglecting.

One of the best ways to disconnect from the internet is to get outside and do some activities that don’t require your phone. Getting out and participating in sports, taking a book down to the seafront or going for a long walk to listen to that new album you’ve been neglecting is a great way to disconnect from social media. Also attending fun classes, like figure drawing or photography classes, could be a great way to take a break from the internet while also taking the time to develop a skill that you have been ignoring.

No matter how you do it, it’s important every once in a while to disconnect from social media and take some time out to be with our own thoughts, to rest and recuperate.

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