The Musings of an Elective Orphan

Sarah Brandis

Social Media Detox

38719380‘My name is Sarah and I am a Facebook addict’… is something I could have said last week.  With smartphones and 3G everywhere, social media is so readily accessible now.  Well, I got a bit addicted.  It is so handy for keeping up with friends, especially ones living abroad, and it saves on the phone bill too.  I have also used it quite a bit for marketing my book, so that placed even more importance on Facebook and Twitter for me.  I forced myself into a three-day detox to restore my perspective on things, and to take the importance away from stupid stuff, like who ‘liked’ that picture of a dog on a skateboard that I posted.

It is not a healthy place to spend too much time, because it is not reality.  Rather a very edited version of the lives of our friends.  I find that Facebook (more so than Twitter) can be a very lonely place indeed for a hot bed of social activity.  In reality, most people would go through a whole spectrum of moods throughout the day – perhaps you wake up happy because the sun is shining; perhaps your journey to work is stressful; and then a colleague makes you feel valued, but the boss stamps all over that within minutes.  And if you were face to face with that friend then you would know all of this stuff.  But if you only communicate on Facebook then all you might know of their day is their status “Woo-hoo!  I’m off on holiday next week!”, and so this is your edited view of their life.  It is very easy to get caught up in a sea of other people’s status’, and just forget that they are all real people with real problems just like yours.  I think this is why Facebook makes me feel lonely some times; if I let the not-so-common-sense part of my brain take the lead, I can feel as though everyone else’s lives are better than mine.  And this is stupid to say the least.

Make tea not war

Make tea not war

So I just wanted to remind everyone to take social media with a pinch of salt.  My three-day detox was a definite boost for my mental well-being.  I was able to step back and regain some perspective.  And it was really nice not to see people tearing into each other about political things that most of us really aren’t well-informed enough to construct an argument about anyway.  Being safely tucked away behind your laptop screen makes it too easy to go to war with people that you wouldn’t dream of fronting up to in the real world.  I recommend a detox for anyone with twitchy app-fingers like mine – you don’t need to know what everyone is posting about every minute of the day!  Just leave it alone, go for a walk or make another cup of tea.

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2 comments on “Social Media Detox

  1. CC Communications
    June 13, 2013

    I love that you did this challenge, Sarah! How do you think your social media usage will vary now that you did the detox?

  2. sarahbgoode
    June 13, 2013

    So far I have checked FB and Twitter a little less, e.g. not the minute I wake up in the morning anymore. I intend to do a little repeat detox every now and then, whenever I feel my grip on the situation loosening. It is just a bad habit really. Thanks for your question 🙂

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