Nowadays more than three billion people that is actually 40% of our planets’ population, enjoy a range of different social networks. Day by day we post tweets in Twitter, shoot stories into the Instagram, watch videos on YouTube, reply to friends in messengers and almost cannot imagine our life without smartphone. In fact we all refresh web pages much more often when spend time talking with real people. Lets figure out why this happens and how not caught up in this endless stream of likings and reposts.
Well, may be for some of us it is hard to believe but networks is not a reality. Instagram, Facebook, Twitter or YouTube have become a “second passport” to us. HR and security services check our pages in networks when hire us, geotagging give out our current location, and finally our subscriptions complete the portrait referring to our interests, hobbies and social environment we are living in. Why do we let this happen? Our ego plays an important crucial role here.
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Have you ever heard that statistically people spend about 40% talking about themselves? But when we talk about online this figure increases to 80% easily. Offline conversations don’t give us an excuse for retyping, there are no time for thinking twice and first of all the sign language or body language, if you want, sometimes could say much more than hundreds of words. Meanwhile networks are literally unlimited space for finalizing, editing, modification or creation a fabricated reality, ideal picture of yourself, iconic self-presentation. What is interesting: according to psychologists, the emotions that we receive from viewing your own profile in Instagram or Facebook increase self-evaluation.
Calm Scroll Down
However, the British Royal Society of Health has called the Instagram the worst social network for the human psyche. The research they made showed an increased level of anxiety, feelings of social isolation and depression among respondents (young people between 14-24 y.o.), who actively use the app. As well respondents showed high leveled FoMo (fear of missing out) – the fear of missing something interesting and important, accompanying scrolling news feed. By the way, more than a half of UK citizen are afraid of staying without smartphone, meanwhile 67% of respondents monitor their devices even when there are no notifications.
A particular threat Instagram constitutes for people who have a tendency to compare themselves to others. Let’s be honest: there always will be someone who is smarter, richer, more handsome, who has more friends and more prestigious work. Ultimately, however, news feed of instagrams is a particular Vanity Fair, but not as elegant as in the novel by William Thackeray.
A friend to all is a friend to none
In terms of communication with friends who are far and far away from us social networks could be an immeasurable resource. We can be connected with our loved ones 24 hours per a day, 7 days per a week. But, the paradox which a new study has discovered is that the more time people use social media, the more likely they are to feel socially isolated. The team watched the respondents using Facebook, Twitter, Google+, YouTube, LinkedIn, Instagram, Pinterest, Tumblr, Vine, Snapchat and Reddit. Result of the report suggests that if you spend over two hours a day on social networks, your chances of feeling socially isolated are twice as high.
The roof is on fire
In a world where 10% of people find absolutely normal to respond the messages in SM during sex, it can be difficult to take care of the digital (read “mental”) health. Social networks are a good addition to our social life, unless, of course, they work to counterbalance it. Day by day we receive huge doses of information. As counted by Martin Gilbert and his team from the University of Southern California, every day our brain processes material that would fit in 174 prints. Digital Detox, the treatment programs aimed to stop the Internet addiction, in this case is not a farce, but a necessity. And by the way it is not necessary to spend $14,000, it is quite possible to do it in cheaper and simpler ways.
Nutritionists advise to arrange fasting days for our digestive system, with juice or kefir, once per a week as an example. Have got an analogy? Do you remember when the last you spent a 24 hours without devices? On weekdays this can be difficult, of course, but to choose one day off during the weekend is more than real.
Step by step
However, if you get stuck easily even with an expression “day off”, meanwhile your eyes show the “Blue Screen of Death”, start from small changes in daily routine, step by step, building your own private mini digital detox. Two hours after work, before to go to sleep, switch off all alerts on your smartphone, doing your own and go to bed. Complete your mini detox 2 hours after waking up.
Fight fire with the fire
Or… use the apps! It sounds crazy but nowadays Play Market and App Store offer a range of applications that block activity of smartphone for a certain time. Self-titled “Digital Detox” app is a good example. If we go further it is possible to find a service like “Headspace”, which helps the “patient” to socially rehabilitate, meditate and rest from the congestion of information. The big gun is “DeleteMe” application that will ensure you disappear from social networks and clean all information about you up, though not for free. The price for the “pleasure” is $ 129.
Finally, when it comes to solving the problem of reducing individuals’ use of social media there is no magic bullet. So If you’re still struggling, just take away a temptation. Put your cell phone down and go for a walk outside. But. Before don’t forget to share this article in your social media! #keepcalmandunplug