Right here’s Why That Social Media Detox You Simply Took Most likely Didn’t Work
Section of a group of colleagues who use their smartphones synchronously
Have you ever noticed that short-term fixes never work?
It can help for a while to tape your license plate to the rear bumper of a car or to glue a piece of your shoe to hold it in place.
Ultimately, what you need is a long-term solution.
Social media can be the same.
Some experts have called for a “social media detox” to deal with obsessive use. This has some value in seeing how obsessed you are with Facebook or any other platform. The problem is, like any productivity hack, it doesn’t really address the root cause or provide a solution that works year round and into the next decade.
Usually it goes something like this.
The idea is to leave Facebook for a month or more. You can’t check your feeds, post new content, or even use the Messenger app. You stop … for a while.
It feels good at first. The brain science behind the compulsive use of social media is clear. We get a dopamine hit when we see a lot of likes on a post. Experts say we are addicted to this slot machine approach to social media because we all like positive feedback.
We like these detox periods because they show what we are missing (namely, reality). We can lead a normal healthy life again, minus the likes and comments. We learn to adapt quickly to the new normal. There is something wrong. We know we’re just taking a break.
Another problem is that the social media platforms themselves are not to blame. You might think it is because they encourage obsessive use. Facebook and Twitter know we love to see positive reinforcement, and they make money from using their apps all the time. However, they also create added value. I like to see trending topics on Twitter to help with research. I use Facebook to keep in touch with family members and like to see posts from friends.
A detox is a patch fix. The reason it works is because we secretly know we will return. Some people take a det and then never start using social media again, but I would say they’re missing out. Detox also teaches you not to be obsessed with social media, but it doesn’t really show why you click, like, and share so much in the first place.
What usually happens is people detox for a while, then instantly become obsessed again. What I recommend is something completely different. It has to do with just using social media for a short time to make it useful and useful, but then stopping and not scrolling, clicking, and sharing for hours on end.
This is better than a detox as it will help you see the compulsion to use social media and then take control.
A detox is a light switch that you turn off for a while, but when you turn it back on, you still scroll just as much. Controlled usage is different. It’s more like a dimmer that lets you cease and throttle your usage, which leads to healthier habits.
If you’re curious about how to control usage, email me ping and I can give you some additional tips on what to do to make sure you’re not just doing a short-term detox.