by MARK JOSEPH B. FERNANDEZ
Social media and the internet are the latest trends for entertainment and leisure—being able to binge watch films, listen to popular music, and do other activities with just a steady connection and gadget in hand are especially enjoyable for millennials and Generation Z. Now, people can feel relaxation within the palm of their hands, literally.
It is also observable that even members of older generations experience the benefits of these platforms in terms of communication and connecting with others.
But it is also known that social media can be overwhelming and toxic when used all the time. It can be a major source of stress and dilemma, which is why the phrase “social media detox” was popularized.
Social media detox is a movement wherein the person will refrain from using the said platform for a certain period of time for many reasons. It is a movement being popularized mostly by members of the younger generations.
Social media detox is usually perceived as negative because it creates a communication barrier since the people who will undertake it will not use their social media accounts, therefore communicating with them can be quite challenging.
Despite this side effect, a social media detox is actually therapeutic. Being able to free oneself from social media actually makes one more productive and in touch with the tasks and responsibilities needed to be addressed.
An example of using social media detox for one’s betterment is when a pile of academic requirements, especially for graduating students, is expected to be submitted on short notice. Sometimes, even though social media and the internet can provide leisure momentarily, these platforms cause distraction and stress on top of the heavy workload.
Sometimes, receiving multiple notices of deadlines from social media accounts can also make students anxious, rendering them dazed and jaded when doing requirements. Having a social media detox to block the distractions and unnecessary notifications provides a healthy headspace for students to be productive and finish their requirements on time. These are also applicable not only to students but also to people having heavy workloads in their chosen careers.
A social media detox is also helpful in the sense that people can reconnect with recreational activities that are not dependent on technology, such as playing board games, exercising, and attending physical gatherings. Being free from social media pushes people to mingle with others in an old-fashioned yet authentic way.
With these in mind, social media detox really stays true to its literal definition: to detoxify from social media, which in return provides benefits because of the connections one can rediscover without the help of modern technology.
In addition, this movement helps people to communicate well with others because without the easy access social media provides, their skill in communication improves.
Faster communication, unlimited information, and recreational activities are the pros of using social media and the internet, but with these also come the distractions, anxiety, and stress that users can feel from time to time. Being able to detoxify from social media and the internet does not only lessen the cons these platforms can provide, but also helps people become disciplined users of modern technology. F
Editor’s Note: This column was originally published in Vol. 54, Issue No. 4 of the Flame. View the entire issue through this link.