Benefits of Unplugging

Unplugging from social media can be hard. Social lives have become so dependent on it. It is how almost everyone keeps in touch with people to find out what they are up to. The fear of missing out is real and one of the biggest reasons why it is so hard for people to stay off social media sites. However, the benefits of unplugging outweigh the cons.

A lot of people may not realize this is a problem. Some may be aware it is a problem but have become so addicted to it that they do not know how to set boundaries or limit their time spent on social media. It can be hard to do this. However hard it may be, the benefits of unplugging are well worth it.

More Face-to-Face Interactions

This consequence from social media may not be noticeable to some, but people are having less face-to-face interaction because of it. Rather than talking to the people around them, people sit and scroll through their phones at parties, in classes, waiting in lines, or at home with their families.

One study done with a few college-aged students found that by unplugging from social media, they were able to have more face-to-face interactions with people than before. One student met a new friend at a party he went to when he normally would have been sitting on the couch scrolling through his phone.

Improved Mood

Social media is where people post the best parts of their lives. It is where they post pictures of their vacations, announce wedding engagements or a new baby. Social media feeds are full of these exciting moments, one after the next.

While it is fun and important for people to share their news with friends and family, it can take a toll on someone’s mood when too much time is spent scrolling through those posts. Theodore Roosevelt said, “comparison is the thief of joy.” People start comparing themselves to others on social media because they are not doing the same things or look the same way as the ones posting. This takes a toll on the mental health of people.

By cutting down time spent on social media, people can be free of the constant comparisons. People can start to focus on themselves and the people around them rather than what everyone else is up to on social media.

More Time

Not only is social media a thief of joy, but it is a thief of time. A lot of people spend way more time on social media than they should. Many spend hours of their day scrolling through it. By limiting time on social media or cutting it out completely, people will have more time to do other things. People will have time for their hobbies or for spending time with friends and family.

Better Sleep

According to sleepfoundation.org, the blue light that is emitted from electronic devices delays the internal clock in our bodies. This slows down the release of melatonin, which is the hormone that induces sleep and makes it harder to fall asleep.

One study found that people who looked at screens with blue light before going to bed got about 16 minutes less of sleep than those who looked at screens that emitted red light. Check out our article on the importance of getting a good night’s sleep and how sleep affects our bodies. Liquid Health’s Sleep Well also promotes natural sleep without causing the “hangover effect” a lot of other sleep aids cause.

How Can You Get Started?

There are many ways you can start limiting screen time to start reaping the benefits of unplugging. Some options include:

  • screen time apps
  • setting a timer
  • avoiding devices an hour before bed
  • doing other activities when bored
  • using e-readers that don’t use blue light
  • eating without watching a screen
  • keeping phones out of bedrooms at night

Overall, the benefits of unplugging are numerous, and these are only just a few. It can be a hard goal to accomplish, but a possible one. If unplugging completely is not possible, start with just limiting time on social media. The benefits of unplugging will be noticeable.

Sources

https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/8b5e/edc62aa30ae8c7cc706acc7faee569a58a07.pdf

https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/home-base/201802/the-social-media-disconnect

https://www.sleepfoundation.org/articles/why-electronics-may-stimulate-you-bed

https://www.sciencenewsforstudents.org/article/evening-screen-time-can-sabotage-sleep