Why do we Love Social Media so Much?
There are countless amount of reasons that these networks are so popular – they really do make us feel better about ourselves. Like some substance addictions, using these websites and apps releases dopamine in our brains – a chemical that inspires us to take action because of how we feel when we are rewarded for it.
It’s pretty easy to see how social media fits into the equation. We post tweets on Twitter, photos on Instagram, and statuses’ on Facebook, knowing that we will feel good about the ‘likes’ that start flooding in. Dopamine is released in our bodies due to reactions, which excites us more than the actual reactions.
Not to mention how we use these platforms to vent about everything from customer service to politics. The downside to this is that our feeds often resemble an endless stream of stress. The anticipation of how other people will react.
Facebook and Twitter are literally designed to ensure that users repeatedly check in. They’re engineered to ensure we spend as much time at our computers or on our phones as possible. This means that your social media addiction isn’t entirely your fault – but don’t panic. With a little help, you’ll be over it in no time!
Breaking the Addiction
When you think about it, social media is a harmless addiction – which makes it difficult for us to tell how much better off we’d be without it. Whether you just want to take a little bit of time out to get back on track or you’re looking to have a total digital detox, these tips and techniques are bound to help.
It’s so easy to justify a quick five minutes on a platform that it sometimes happens almost automatically. Taking a quick five-minute break? Suddenly Facebook is open. A bit of time to kill before you have to leave? You check Instagram.
Blocking apps is a good idea – if anything, you’ll quickly realize how often you use social media whilst on autopilot. Block Site for Chrome is a good option if you’re desperate to limit app usage, features like scheduled block times and syncing blocked sites across devices will help break your addiction!
Come Back to the Real World
It can seem like the digital world is all there is to life. Time to unplug! By making more of an effort to live in the moment you’ll rediscover how good life is offline.
So, if it’s someone’s birthday give them a call instead – or even better, try and meet up. Get the members of your group to chat together for lunch at the weekend. Go for coffee with a co-worker during your lunch break instead of sitting on your phone. You’ll quickly realize that it’s much more rewarding!
When we post a photo or a status update, we quickly lose focus on our experience and begin to think about how people will react to it instead. One of the best ways to become unplugged is to reflect on our experiences in different ways. Keep a scrapbook of your favorite photos or write a journal with your thoughts – this way you’ll treasure the moment instead of worrying about what other people think!