How Social Media Is Sucking Life out of You

As important as social media could be, have you ever paused to take stock of how it ruins your life either socially or psychologically?

How Social Media Is Sucking Life out of You

To most people, the introduction and growth of social media is the best thing that has happened in the world over the last century. In all honesty, no one should blame anybody for subscribing to this school of thought. Doesn’t Facebook help you keep in touch with family and friends, after all? As a matter of fact, were it not for Twitter, how else could you be sharing your opinions with the world? And without Instagram, how could you be showing off your cool acquisitions? Social media is indisputably important in today’s world.

But even as important as social media could be, have you ever paused to take stock of how it ruins your life either socially or psychologically—or both? Well, it does. I will tell you in this post how social media is sucking the life out of you and how you can shake off its negative effects from your life. Be my guest.

How is Social Media Ruining Your Social Life?

Is social media really “social?" Does it enhance your social life or does it quash it completely? The truth is that chatting with strangers online isn’t an indication of a thriving social life. If you doubt this fact, please read on to discover the four major ways in which Facebook, Instagram, and Reddit are destroying you socially.

1. The pleasures that made your world spin a few years back aren’t fun anymore. Are they?

Tell me this: Are you still excited by late night family chats around the fireplace? When was the last time your best friend ran up to your door, or even called you, to break some good news to you? When your cousin landed her dream job or when your college roommate was expecting a baby, did they call you first or did you learn about it through Instagram?

Chances are that you only interact with your “closest” folks on social media. Sadly, everything that defined love, family, and relationships in the pre-social media era has since shifted from real life to the internet. It’s not strange these days to learn of your sibling’s engagement through Facebook.

2. Social norms aren’t cool anymore, are they?

Social media has made social norms seem uncool and boring these days. Moral decay is now fashionable. Social users publish insensitive posts and comments all the time and, surprisingly, attract huge followership as a result. People joke about highly sensitive and emotive issues such as racism, religion, and terrorism, without caring one bit of how that could affect humanity in the long run. I’m not suggesting that you are one of them but, truth be told, these are the kind of people you call ‘friends” on social media. Their insensitive and morally decayed lifestyles will definitely have a significant negative impact on you.

3. Social media doesn’t open your mind.

Social platforms such as Facebook use sophisticated algorithms to collect and analyze your browsing data so that they can determine the most appropriate content for your news feed. Posts about the foods you like, the celebrities you envy, political debates you subscribe to, and the sports team you support will always appear at the top of your news feed. Have you ever noticed that the ads you see most have something to do with the things you love most? How, then, does the social platform open your mind if you only see and read the things you love?

4. Addiction.

Social media addiction is in itself a social problem. It makes you forget about people even when they are sitting right next to you. Have you not seen people “hanging out together” but instead of taking that time to enjoy each other’s company, they all constantly stare at their phones? This is not what hanging out is meant for.

How the Social Media Is Damaging You Psychologically

Besides ruining your social life, social media can get in your head and negatively change your perception of life and people. Here is how:

1. It plants a seed of dissatisfaction in your life.

How many times have you doubted your own existence, hated your own life even, after browsing through Facebook or Instagram? Instagram users, in particular, have the tendencies of posting pictures of their cool lifestyles—cool homes, oversea vacations, cute children, designer outfits and such—which can potentially make you feel like you are the most boring person alive. Maybe you haven’t reached this extent yet but you probably have been forced to inflate your budget just to accommodate a few ostentatious acquisitions that you saw on your friend’s timeline.

That’s not all. Did you know that social media can potentially make you hate your own body? It pressurizes you to lose weight, bleach your skin, whiten your teeth, change your accent, etc. so as to fit into the modern society. When you fail at those things, you get frustrated and even lose your self-confidence. As the doctors say, being dissatisfied with your own life can lead to serious psychiatric problems later in life.

2. It encourages stalking which then makes you restless.

If you are following your ex-partner on Facebook or Instagram, you probably have been tempted on several occasions to go through their profile just to see how miserable their life became after you parted ways. If you are married, you probably visit your partner’s page occasionally just to see who is hitting on them and who they are getting cozy with. That urge to stalk people makes you restless and distracts you from the things that really matter. For a healthy brain, sometimes it is best to let some things slide.

How to Initiate Tech Detox

I will not downplay the positive impact that technology has had on the modern world, but with the many negative effects that it has on our lives, it is imperative that we find ways of minimizing its use. That’s where tech detox comes in.

Tech detox involves a radical surgery to your browsing life, particularly touching on how you can take occasional breaks from social media. Here are seven basic steps that will help you detoxify:

  • Prepare a list of the hobbies that social media has made you neglect and then assign them time within your daily schedule. Instead of spending an hour chatting on WhatsApp in the evening, for example, use that time to work out or read.
  • Creating time for your hobbies will automatically reduce the time you were spending on social media. This isn’t the easiest thing to do, but you got to do what you got to do. One way of pulling this off is dedicating an hour per day to social media and technology. During this hour, you can browse through all the social sites that you want, but once it is over, logout and set your browsing device aside.
  • Start paying more attention to the people around you rather than your browsing device. Turn of your phone or put it on silent mode to avoid distractions. When going out with friends, leave the phone at home.
  • If need be, get another tech addict and embark on a detox journey together. Two are always better than one.
  • When using Facebook, for example, avoid sharing posts or commenting on other people’s stuff. That will mean fewer notifications.
  • Switch off all your browsing devices two hours before bed and don’t turn them on until after two hours of your waking up the following day. This will allow you time to sleep well and thus be 100 percent productive the following day.
  • Travel far and wide. This gets your mind off your tech devices and helps you appreciate life out of the social media; real life, so to speak.

Conclusion:

Although you may view Facebook, Twitter, Reddit, and Instagram as the to-go-to platforms whenever boredom kicks in, it’s to your own advantage that you be mindful of their negative effects at all times. If any of them is stealing your happiness or self-esteem, affecting your productivity at work, or hurting your relationship, it is time you considered detoxing. Take control of your browsing life before it sucks the life out of you.

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