Let’s face it, social media is exhausting. Somehow, our personal lives have morphed into individual PR campaigns with each of us posting highlights of our day and marketing our lives to look as amazing as possible. You may not consider yourself a marketer, but a lot of the time, that is exactly what you're doing with social media. But it doesn't end there. If you find yourself constantly checking to see the latest updates of your friends or who liked and commented on your post, then let's face it, you have an addiction.
Social media is one of those things that only takes a second to check on, yet we get dragged into the social ambience and find ourselves glued to the screen scrolling though feeds of hundreds of people, some we know closely, and others we’ve barely ever met. And we do it over and over again, many of us multiple times a day and sometimes multiple times an hour. But why?
You may have seen headlines like Promises’ “Social Media Affects the Brain Like a Drug” claiming that brain imaging studies show similarities between substance addiction and social media addiction. Obviously, not everyone experiences this addiction when it comes to social media, but for many people a digital detox is exactly what the doctor should be prescribing.
Many teens are keeping their phones by their beds. It’s the last thing they look at before going to sleep and it’s the first thing they look at when they wake up in the morning. They are glued to it as if it were an extension of their body. But what if we all took a break from technology, especially social media?
Establishing rules like no phones at dinner time, where everyone puts their phones to silent and leaves them in another room could be very beneficial. Just imagine actually having a dinner conversation once again with your teen or millennial instead of them interrupting conversations by jumping up to check their phone whenever they get a notification.
Another idea is having dedicated times when phones need to be put away at a specified location. For example, at bedtime, all the tablets and phones go in the office (basically anywhere but the bedrooms) where they’ll get charged overnight and won't get checked on until morning.
Keep in mind, if you establish rules like these, make sure that you and your spouse are following them as well. You NEED to be the role models, there is no exception.
Once you’ve mastered small breaks from social media, try out a longer break. Eventually, establish a rule for no social media apps on their phone. The funny thing about social media is the less time you spend on it, the more time you have to do something fun and meaningful.
It’s time to stop marketing your life, and start living it.