How Quitting Social Media Can Help to Significantly Improve Your Life

A digital detox is a great way to focus on what really matters.

Matt Lillywhite
Oct 12 · 5 min read
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Photo by abillionveg on Unsplash

We spend way more time on our phones than necessary. The average person uses social media for approximately 144 minutes each day. To put that into context, that’s 4,320 minutes per month, and 51,840 minutes per year.

Think about it. When you’re lying on your death bed, are you really going to look back on your life and care about how many likes and followers you got on Instagram? Probably not.

There is an epidemic of social media addiction sweeping the country. The only problem? Very few people want to do anything about it. As a society, we’re more connected than ever. But for one reason or another, we’ve become disconnected from each other in the physical world.

For a while, I didn’t see a problem with spending a lot of time on my phone. But when I took a break from social media for thirty days, I quickly realized how much time I was wasting on things that don’t really matter.

Don’t get me wrong: I’m not saying that you need to delete your social media accounts permanently. However, it’s certainly a good idea to step back and evaluate how you spend your time.

Here are several ways that taking a social media detox can improve your life forever.

You’ll Conquer Your Fear Of Missing Out

We often spend several hours per day connected to social media. After all, we naturally crave human connection and want to know that others think about us. As John M. Grohol, Psy.D writes in PsychCentral:

“The fear of missing out (FOMO) — on something more fun, on a social date that might just happen on the spur of the moment — is so intense, even when we’ve decided to disconnect, we still connect just once more, just to make sure.”

I used to scroll through social media for several hours per day. I always compared my life to everyone else’s. I felt terrible about my circumstances whenever I saw someone living a much happier life than me.

Every single picture in my feed was of people smiling, having fun, and living their best lives. Meanwhile, I was sitting alone in my room feeling lonely. As you can imagine, it didn’t take long for my mental health to worsen.

It’s important to remember that life on the internet is often a false picture of reality. Everyone uploads their best thoughts and memories to social media, hoping that others will enjoy scrolling through them. Yet, when other people’s posts appear in our feed, we often can’t help but feel like we’re excluded.

If you want to eliminate your fear of missing out, stop scrolling through your social media feed. Don’t worry about what your friends are posting.

Prioritize yourself, instead of other people.

You Can Spend More Time With Loved Ones

I’m going to tell you something that might be a hard pill to swallow. You and everyone you love will eventually die. However, what you do in between now and then is up to you.

The past few years have been extremely difficult. My mom had cancer. Several of my close friends have been killed in freak accidents. One of my grandparents recently passed away.

What did I learn from all of that? Life is precious. And unfortunately, it will eventually come to an end. So instead of scrolling through social media, tell someone you love them. Have an interesting conversation. Embrace them with your heart & soul.

Treat each moment with loved ones as if it were your last. Because someday, it will be.

You Can Enjoy the Luxury of Mental Clarity

Spending excessive amounts of time on social media is extremely detrimental to your mood and mental health. But don’t just take my word for it. Studies have linked the use of social media to depression, poor sleep quality, and low self-esteem.

When I quit social media for thirty days, I quickly found myself sleeping better at night and feeling much happier than ever before. After all, I wasn’t constantly comparing myself to other people throughout the day.

Creating a better life doesn’t have to be difficult. Spend less time scrolling through your social media feed until the early hours of the morning. Stop doing things that make you miserable and worsen your mental health.

The effect it’ll have on your happiness is profound.

You Can Use Your Extra Time to Learn a New Skill

Remember what I said earlier about the average person spending 144 minutes on social media each day? Imagine what could happen if you used that time a lot more productively by learning a new skill.

You’re (probably) not going to achieve mastery in anything overnight. But if you can invest a little bit of time into something each day, the power of compound interest will create incredible results over time.

For example, you could use that extra time to work on your passion project (such as writing, painting, or anything else you enjoy). As a result of investing your time into a new skill, you could eventually create a full-time income doing something you genuinely love.

Alternatively, you might choose to learn a new language for a few hours each day. Within a couple of months, you could easily reach conversational fluency.

Learning a new skill is certainly a smarter investment of your time than scrolling through social media each day.

Final Thoughts

Darren Hardy once wrote, “You will never change your life until you change something you do daily. The secret of your success is found in your daily routine.”

He’s right. Taking a step back from social media is certainly a great way to begin the process of improving your life. After all, it’ll give you a lot more time to improve your relationships, mental health, and many other important aspects of life.

You don’t have to follow in my footsteps and quit social media for an entire month. I’m empathetic to the fact that it might be difficult for some people to do that. But even if you just step back for one day, you’ll certainly notice a variety of benefits.

Living a happy life isn’t complicated. You just need to spend more time doing things that genuinely matter to you.

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