For anyone in their twenties, it’s almost comical to think back to what it was like growing up before social media existed. While the Internet was still on it’s way to taking over the world, our first virtual form of “instant” social communication was through AIM. As most of us have drank the koolaid and joined social media networks like Facebook, Twitter and Google+, we’ve grown accustom to instant gratification and knowing what’s happening with everyone and everywhere in the blink of an eye.
Don’t get me wrong, social media is without a doubt an incredible resource for us to learn about what’s happening in the world, but at the same time, it’s critical we take a break from it all every once in a while. Before you yell out a big “WHAAAAAT?!?”, just hear me out. I get it, social media never takes a vacation, so how can we and more importantly, why would we? Whether you use it every day or once a week, everyone, and I mean everyone needs a break from social media, and here’s why.
Let’s be honest with ourselves, social media can be stressful. Whether you are on it for fun or for work, everyone has that moment when they think to themselves “what would happen if I deleted my account?” It’s understandable that we want to know what’s happening all the time, but the truth is, we don’t need to know.
Picture yourself on a white sandy beach, looking out at crystal clear blue water in the warmth of the sun. Then imagine your friend just posted a picture on Facebook of her dog sitting on the couch with a bow in her hair and all of your friends are commenting about how cute the dog is. Are you really missing something if you’re not responding? The answer is always no, you’re not.
Off the grid
We go to the grocery store, we go out to eat, we go to a concert, and what do we do? Share this information on social media. We’re in a world where we think everyone needs to know what we’re doing at all times, which is why falling off the grid every once in a while is a good thing. Social media allows us to keep tabs on each other, but it’s important to have moments of our lives that are just for us to know about. Plus, does everyone really need to know that you’re eating a muffin that looks awesome in the Instagram lens you chose?
Can’t live without it environment
If you think you can’t live without your social media profiles and that life as we know it would come to an end if you were disconnected for a few days, just think back to 2003 before social media really existed. If for over 2000 years people could live without social media, I think you could do it for a day or two.
A lot of us use social media during the day at work, a lot of us use social media on our mobile devices at night. Whenever we choose to be on social media, it requires us to have our heads down and our eyes focused on some type of electronic device. After a while, this can cause strain on our eyes, promote laziness and actually cause you to be anti-social. A vacation from social media can force us to take our eyes off the screens we love to look at and give our bodies a rest from it all. Play a board game, go for a run, have conversations – in person.
Social media has the word “social” in it for a reason – you have the ability to connect with people that you wouldn’t necessarily be able to connect with through these networks as opposed to face to face. The problem with this is that we as a society are growing reliant on social media in order to talk to people and connect with them, instead of traditional socialization.
Taking a vacation from social media is a great way to push yourself to get out there and meet people in person, make connections by physically talking to others and actually exchanging physical business cards as opposed to emails or text messages. While social media has done wonders for connectivity, nothing compares to the relationships that can be built from real life socialization.
So now I’m going to challenge you all to take a deep breath, step away from the computer and give it a shot. By giving up social media for even just one day, it could do wonders to your mentality and overall state of well-being. Good luck!