Being on social media has become a daily activity for pretty much everyone these days.
Whether it be checking Instagram for an update on how many likes our newest post has or hopping on snapchat for a checkup on everyone’s activities for the day. There are many great things about social media, but we cant ignore the harmful affects it’s had on todays youth either. All things considered if you use social media it’s important that you’re using it with knowledge and with a healthy mind.
Here is an excerpt I found on Newyorkbehavioralheal.com that goes over how social media affects social skills with extensive youth:
When we engage in face-to-face communication, social information is conveyed by vocal and visual cues in the context of the situation. Non-verbal communication is an important part of communicating and it includes facial expressions, eye contact, tone of voice as well as posture, space between individuals, etc. (Knapp & Hall, 2010). Understanding the non-verbal aspects of communication is crucial because social situations we need to modify our behavior in response to the reactions of others (Knapp & Hall, 2010). Our ability to process emotional cues is associated with personal, social and academic success (Knapp & Hall, 2010). Moreover, children who understand emotional cues in social settings can develop superior social skills and more positive peer relationships (Blakemore, 2003). These non-verbal, affective cues are much stronger when it comes to communicating in person vs. digitally (Sherman, Michikyan, & Greenfeld, 2013). So when children use digital communication extensively, it can curtail the face-to-face experiences necessary for them to develop and master important social skills (Giedd, 2012).
You can read this article here: http://newyorkbehavioralhealth.com/the-impact-of-social-media-use-on-social-skills
Non-verbal communication is an important part of communicating and it includes facial expressions, eye contact, tone of voice as well as posture, space between individuals, etc. (Knapp & Hall, 2010)
Now of course there is soooo much to say about how social media affects your social skills, however, I will move on to how it affects your self-image (or how it could potentially affect your self image)
Realistically, we all know how hard it is to shut off your phone and just dedicate an entire day to yourself (or family time). It’s an itch that most of us can’t help but scratch, and in that way we’re all ADDICTED. It comes with owning any type of device a phone, laptop, ipad you name it. Most of us don’t even know of our addiction to our phones and social media. But it’s time to shed some light!
Studies have proven that too much time scrolling on social media can lead to depression and anxiety. Our constant obsession with how many likes we have or who’s doing what and whatever time can get out of control. Nothing really seems sacred these days (lightly using this saying B-T-Dubs) everything is constantly being documented and judged by some random person. The key is to have a balance and develop a healthier relationship with our technology and social media.
In 2014 I had every app imaginable, kik, Instagram, vine, etc. Most of my interactions were through social media. I was always on my phone and never really thought much of it. I tried deleting my Instagram that year and for a while it seemed be be ‘all gravy’, but then I became active on snap chat. That’s when things really got bad. There was this article that came out recently speaking on how the snapchat filters alter how you look to the point where if someone else takes a photo of you then you wouldn’t even recognize yourself. I experienced this 100%. I was that girl who would post pointless snaps singing song lyrics flirtatiously looking into the camera, but one day I was looking at a photo my sister took of me and didn’t even recognize myself. It’s like I was looking at someone else. That’s when I found that article and it blew my mind. ‘that’s crazy’ I said to myself. Immediately after that I deleted my snapchat and never looked back. Of course for a purpose I use it, but I quit using it for recreation. I only would use my normal camera to take photos of myself and I finally recognized myself again!
The start of my detox
I started my social media detox in August of 2018. I deleted Instagram and never recreated my snap. I was completely off the radar. The reaction I got was mindblowing. My friends began blowing up my phone ‘are you okay?’ ‘did something happen’ ‘are you alive!?’. It’s crazy how we depend so much on social media we never just take the time to call someone and check up on them instead of relying on ‘lurking’ to make sure our friends are okay. Never the less, I remained diligent with my “social media fast” and then graduated to a complete phone detox. I would not use my phone unless someone called me or I had to call or text someone, THAT’S IT. Strangely it wasn’t that difficult. I noticed I became a more outgoing person when it came to my encounters with strangers, and I became more in tune with my family including the needs and wants of my fiancé. Now I can say that I have successfully kicked my addiction! My phone is for work purposes ONLY and social media is the same. I don’t use any of it for recreation and therefore I have a different relationship with it.
Your digital fast
Detoxing yourself from social media/your phone could be a great experiment to try one day. Limited recreational social media usage has been proven to help ease stress and anxiety. You don’t have to go ‘cold turkey’ with this thing, but it’s definitely something that you should challenge yourself with! Start with giving yourself a limit each day, only get on social media once a day. Then graduate to taking a break from social media. Then graduate to only using your phone when you absolutely NEED to. I challenge you to a 30 day social media/digital fast. Think you’re up for the challenge?
With love always -Diya