22 Jan Working Around Social Media: Detox Your Phone
Guest blogger Artemiz Rezvanifar of ResetZone offers a series of helpful insights into maintaining a sane relationship with your smartphone.
We’ve all heard the recent buzz on how smartphones are bad for mental health. From the constant comparisons of ourselves to edited models on Instagram, trying to compete with strangers to be the next trending “meme”, or getting anxious when nobody texts you for an hour – we’ve been there one way or another – I myself am guilty of this! The first thing I do every morning is grab my phone and hope to see my lock screen flooded with notifications. Being in college, my so-called “down-time” is scrolling through my social media timelines and sharing photos.
This is just the way my generation [Generation z] was brought up. We are the first generation to grow up online; we grew up with every iteration of social media, “living out our lives in pixels” since the time we could walk. Because of this, anxiety and depression rates have skyrocketed. It’s come to the point where people are now speaking out, warning others about the risks of social media and smartphone addiction. A study commissioned by Digital Awareness UK reveals that 63% of English schoolchildren admit that they would not care if social media didn’t exist. 71% also revealed that they’d taken temporary digital detoxes to escape the negative effects of social media.
The bottom line is that social media can cause feelings of inferiority among today’s youth. You might compare it to those renowned stereotypical beauty magazines…only worse. Imagine yourself walking in Times Square in New York City, seeing beautiful models on a billboard showcasing the latest Victoria’s Secret bombshell perfume. You might feel a shred of inferiority, causing you to start questioning your own appearance. Today’s reality is that opening up your smartphone you find hundreds more of these “bombshell billboards” that make you feel this way on a daily basis, likely multiple times a day. How can you get around this? In real life perhaps you’d just elect to not look. The internet today has made it very difficult for us to just not look. So what are some workarounds?
Here are three effective ways that you can do your best to get around this while being mindful of your wellbeing on the daily. Getting into these habits will help you detoxify your smartphone for good!
1. Unfollow accounts that don’t bring you joy
Firstly, to bring a more positive atmosphere to your smartphone, we need to introduce a little bit of Marie Kondo’s mantra into this process! Go through all your social media pages and pick out the accounts that simply don’t bring you joy. These are the questions you should ask yourself: Does this account make me feel good when I see their posts? Do I feel safe following this account? Do I agree with the message that this account is spreading? If all your answers to these questions are “no” then go ahead and unfollow them!
Another factor to consider would be your level of engagement with these accounts. Do you truly enjoy their posts? Are they informative? Do they make you laugh or entertain you in some way? If so, continue following them because that means they bring you positivity in some way! Over time, you will see that by unfollowing certain accounts your social media will become a more positive environment to enjoy daily.
2. Ditch the nighttime SCROLL
One of my guilty pleasures is plugging in my phone right next to my bed and scrolling the internet 3 hours past my bedtime. Not only is this habit bad for your sleep schedule, but it’s horrible for your mental health! A better alternative is to leave your phone in a different room while you sleep so that you don’t end up checking work emails at 3:00am and triggering anxiety prior to sleeping. By doing this, you will notice a huge difference in your sleep schedule. This will ensure that your relationship with your smartphone stays healthy!
3. Download apps that promote emotional wellness!
My favourite app for emotional wellness is called Reset Zone! Reset Zone provides one-minute tips and tools from real practitioners to help you reset your emotions. My favorite part about the app is that you receive different videos depending on how intensely you are feeling that certain emotion! By downloading wellness apps, you are setting a positive tone for your daily smartphone experience, and it also serves as a great tool for calming down daily anxiety or stress triggers!
Back to the bottom line. Social media causes some of us to feel a sense of inferiority at times…but as we’ve seen, there are ways to avoid this feeling. One major contributor is your smartphone. It all depends on how you go about your smartphone usage along with the content you surround yourself with.
Reset Zone is more than just a mobile emotional wellness app – it’s a community of like-minded individuals and advocates who are dedicated to improving the lives of others as well as their own. By practicing mindfulness to reset negative or challenging emotions, Reset Zone community members can unlock peace of mind and live happier, healthier, and more productive lives.