Yesterday, the whole world witnessed that nothing and no one is invincible on the internet. Anything (or even worse everything) can go down at any time. Like WhatsApp, Facebook, and Instagram went for a short break, let’s see what would happen to our health if every social media platform went for vacation.
THE DOWNSIDE ⤵️
Let’s begin with the chaos that would start to unfold itself when there aren’t any social media.
1. Disconnected from Family and Friends
One of the greatest attributes of social media is how connected it makes us feel. “Social media is a great tool for staying connected with friends and family, learning and exploring new hobbies/interests, and finding a community of like-minded people,” Erika Martinez, a licensed psychologist in Miami, Florida, tells Parade. Immediately we are out of communication with loved ones, worry begins to creep in slowly. And worrying can affect our daily life so much that it may interfere with our appetite, lifestyle habits, relationships, sleep, and job performance.
2. Less Diverse Conversation
Also, when we narrow how we view things to just our immediate environment, we become blinded to what is possible when we have a broader perspective.
3. Increased Level of Distress and Loneliness
Based on statistics, in the world today, we have more introverts than extroverts. Now social media came as a chance for introverts to connect more freely. When this is taken away, we (the introverts) head right back into our shells of loneliness. And Research had linked social isolation and loneliness to higher risks of high blood pressure, heart disease, obesity, weakened immune system, depression, and even death.
THE UPSIDE ⤴️
There’s always a bright side to everything. When social media finally takes a break on us (especially those who haven’t taken a break on it), we would appreciate its benefits because it will have a positive impact on our health.
1. Reconnect with the Real World
Do you connect well with others online but find yourself never connecting in person? This can be ideal for introverts, but we all still need some in-person human contact.
Sadly, people who spend a lot of time on social media sites report feeling lonely and isolated in real life. They are also more likely to suffer from a weakened immune system.
The good news is that even if you’re an introvert and uncomfortable with a lot of in-person interaction, you can boost your mood by simply going out in public. Take yourself to your favorite park or restaurant if you prefer to be alone. You could even go to a movie or concert.
If you want to make new friends, consider using a service such as MeetUp to find like-minded individuals.
2. Get Quality Sleep
So many of us are not getting enough sleep. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that 35 percent don’t get the recommended seven hours of sleep a night. But when it comes time to go to sleep so many of us get in our comfortable pajamas and cuddle up cozily with a … cold chunk of glass, metal, and plastic that emits a hue of light and messages that inhibit our sleep.
Yes, the light from our devices, particularly the blue hue that is common, is disruptive to sleep in itself. And one study found that young adults who check social media more frequently and for more time, have greater sleep disturbances.
And given the impact sleep has on the rest of our health, when social media is out on vacation we may get to sleep better.
3. Begin Living in the Moment
Do you post everything you do to Facebook while each activity or life event is happening? There have even been instances of people updating their Facebook and Twitter accounts from the altar immediately after getting married.
This is a viable way to document your life, but it can also become a burden that takes you out of the moment. If you’re living everything through the lens of social media instead of directly interacting with it, your experiences will be of lower quality and become less memorable.
4. Stop Being so Competitive
Even if you aren’t aware of it, social media brings out your competitive side. This is because the main basis of social media networks such as Facebook is to attract attention to your posts. Each reaction and comment is a measure of how popular a particular post is, which can make you strive to outdo others and even yourself.
This type of competitiveness is not healthy, and it can cause anxiety and depression. Therefore, a total social media outage could end up being a mental health break.
For many of us, social media is already a big part of our lives. But despite the benefits we gain from it, there are also downsides to using it, especially if we spend too much time.
So if a day finally comes for everyone to unplug from social media, there would be a downside but the upside will certainly outweigh it. Let’s keep our fingers crossed as we hope for the best (health) and expect the worst (outage).
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