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Time for a Social Media Detox?

As we head towards the end of the first week of February, it is estimated that the average Australian has already lost 115 hours of the year to social media – ahhh say what? YES! You read the numbers correctly, that’s one hundred and fifteen hours each that we have spent scrolling through Facebook, flicking through Pinterest and double tapping our way through Instagram. I can’t speak for everyone, but I sure as hell could think of  better things to do with 115 hours than staring into a screen!

According to the latest research an average Australian spends 3.2hrs a day browsing social media sites. So with 36 days gone so far this year the equation looks something like this: 3.2hrs x 36 days = 115.2hrs!

Let’s face it, scrolling through your news feed can become addictive. What starts with some simple scrolling to see what your friends have been up to over the weekend turns into a miss-match of peoples highlight reels, mixed with rants and meaningless memes.

Like anything in life social media is great when it is used in moderation, it allows you to stay in contact with friends, view family photo’s and organise real life events. However, it can also lead to a multitude of problems, including; mental health disorders, diminished productivity, social isolation and even bizarre medical issues such as finger callouses (some people must swipe harder than others!)

How do you know if you have a problem?

If you are finding yourself 100 photo’s deep in your cousin’s, boyfriends, sister’s holiday album you may be wasting way too much time on social media. It’s not so much what you do on social media that is the problem, the problem is what you are not doing with your life whilst your head is buried in a device.  More than ever we are neglecting our real life connections, which can lead to social isolation and depression. Continuously comparing our lives to everyone else’s highlight reel becomes tiring and toxic and is ridiculously unhealthy!… Gone too are the days of stepping outside for a walk or heading to the park to get some air, even if we do get out we take our beloved smart phones with us, meaning we have no chance of stopping to smell the roses… (Lets face it we can’t see the roses when we are looking at a screen.)

It turns out social media is anything but social.

Aware of the effects social media was having on my mental and physical state I decided to embark on a social media detox back in 2014. It was one of the most intelligent things I have ever done. After three months off all social media I was sleeping better and I had A LOT more time to do the things I needed to do in my life. The time I was spending scrolling became the time I used to practice gratitude, allowing me to become more mindful. One of the most interesting side effects from my social media detox was the increased clarity I had with my life, my head was no longer full of useless information and the constant need for ‘another hit’ of information, at last I felt ‘free’. Disconnecting truly allowed me to re-connect with myself.

Now I have returned to the rat race of social media I use the platforms on ‘my terms’, aware of its power I ensure I am ruling my use of it, so as it does not rule me like it did in the past.

To help others in their quest of ‘disconnecting to re-connect’ I have recently released an e-book called The Social Media Detox. The book contains the benefits of reducing your use of social media use as well as two 28 day detox plans, and NO I don’t tell you you need to give social media up altogether, after all, like everything in life, social media is all about balance.

– Amber xx

P.S. Check out the E-book HERE!

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