3 Reasons Why Quitting Social Media Can Be Healthy for You
I quit social media and I’m not going back. Leaving social media changed me so much in such a short time, that I had no idea. From traveling, to self-discovery, meeting new people, and reconnecting with friends that really matter, I’ve grown.
I’m not going to lie; I still have so much to learn, but this is what makes life exciting. Staying on social media felt like living inside a box. I wanted more than just texting friends through Facebook messenger, traveling to places through Google, and defining my worth by the number of likes I get. I wanted to reach out to people, learn from everyone around me, and make something out of myself. Connecting with myself introspectively after quitting social media was a long journey, but it has made me wiser, stronger, and smarter.
YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, you name it, I was highly addicted. However, I let it go after I was hospitalized at the Universal Behavioral Center. In other words, I was admitted to the mental hospital. Indeed, from this, you can see that social media didn’t do me any good. Facebook, for example, is certainly like a serial killer. It can take away your motivation, confidence, self-trust, and health. A huge wall becomes built around you and you struggle to come out of it. That’s what happened to me.
Therefore, to warn you before it gets any worse if you are addicted to anything right now, especially scrolling on your newsfeed on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram, you need to take a step back and find something more productive for yourself. Too much of anything can affect us in negative ways and if it’s declining your health mentally, physically, or spiritually, that’s the most serious issue. Sometimes, we aren’t even aware of what our addictions are doing to our health because we are so consumed and lost in it. Before you know it, you will see symptoms that are causing your behavior to change. This is the reason that practicing self-restraint is really, really important. Self-restraint can help us get through anything.
As a mental health patient, I experienced psychosis, schizophrenia, OCD, depression, and anxiety while I was at the mental hospital because of using social media. I thought everything was my fault all the time and often felt bad when someone posted something negative. I always thought it was about me.
I no longer have psychosis, schizophrenia, depression, or anxiety because I let go of social media. It builds negative chemicals in your brain, and in order to get past it the best way you can recover is through medication and therapy.
I won’t lie, I still have a little bit of OCD. However, that too will pass. This is because I have a huge and amazing support system that made me who I am today. It was my family, close friends, psychiatrists, doctors, nurses, psychologists, therapists, and coaches that gave me the skills I needed to overcome and get over that wall I built around me. It was never social media. I now take the lowest dose of medication and am getting into vitamin treatment for my brainpower. I went from 180 mg to 20 mg. I have a positive lifestyle, and I know how to live my life without worrying about what people think of me.
Focusing on what is right and real, on those that truly know you’re worth and love you, those are the people you deserve. I found myself from my root, that’s who I am. How my loved ones raised me is my real identity in this world. That’s who I choose to be, not what society wants me to be.
Being a part of social media will only leave you overwhelmed, insecure, and imbalanced. Sometimes, you just have to think about the consequences and say goodbye. Letting go of social media has left me more mindful, refreshed, and energized. It added color to my life and made me more positive, confident, and mindful.
Here are three reasons that quitting social media has given me a much more enriching life:
1. You Engage in Face-to-face interaction and Meaningful Relationships
When we let go of social media, our relationships with others become stronger. We actually make memories because our connection is more real and genuine. For this reason, human connection is really important for our emotional and mental well-being. To be able to communicate with others face-to-face allows us to grow as a person. Having some kind of support system is really critical to living a longer and healthier life. Love is what makes the world go around and that’s all we need.
Meeting people opens your mind and heart as well. You gain compassion and more understanding of the world around you. You strive to reach out to others and give them a part of you that you worked hard to build. Whether it’s making a difference in one person’s life or more, it will brighten your day too.
Most importantly, spending time with those that matter the most in your life is the best feeling you can get. That is, those that make an effort to stay in your life and love you for you. It makes you realize who you really are. You are a person filled with worth because of the people around you. At the end of the day, it’s these people that love you and will never leave your side. Building relationships is just as important as building ourselves.
2. Your Sleep Improves
Ever feel wide awake after staring at your cell phone before going to bed? I’ve been there. Doing this affects your sleep cycle, therefore, managing the time you use your computer and cell phone is the best option.
When we are away from social media, we are less likely to get addicted, which will prevent us from straining and drying out our eyes. It can also weaken our vision, which means more eye doctor appointments. Looking at the blue light for too long is not healthy for the eyes. As a result, you can’t sleep because your brain thinks you’re awake. The light confuses your brain and makes it think that it’s morning, which disturbs your sleeping during the night.
Set a routine where you go to bed at a particular time and use the computer, laptop, or phone at a time far from your sleep schedule. Use it only if you need it, like for jobs, school purposes, listening to music, creating something, sharing positivity and kind words, gaining knowledge, playing some brain games, checking important emails with family and friends, and other important reasons. Take breaks. But remember; give time to your body and mind. Exercise, read a book or meditate. This proves you to have way better sleep. It makes your mind happy, and that’s what you deserve. So, whatever makes you happy, do those more often and you’ll sleep peacefully.
3. You Gain Confidence in Yourself
As you are sitting less all day, you begin to see what’s more important because of the things you do outside of the internet. Your image is no longer what you see, but who you are on the inside. You practice looking at the mirror every day and remind yourself that you are full, blessed, and worthy of attention and love. You embrace all your imperfections and flaws that you begin to glow.
Loving ourselves is hard because it takes time. I myself am still working on self-care and it’s a beautiful experience. For me, self-care is meditating, drinking tea, taking naps, reading, and journaling. You can try this too! Through self-care, I learn that whatever I do on the outside, such as make-up, style, and hair is only temporary. Although doing these things feels so good and brings confidence, it’s also making good and healthy choices, trusting myself, and embracing who I am. Taking care of ourselves is a good choice because it helps us take care of others and pass on that wisdom, love, and knowledge.
Sometimes, you need a new perspective in your life, and letting go of social media may be something that you will never regret. In the end of the day, you had the best day of your life matters the most. Not scrolling down the newsfeed and wishing you went to Las Vegas like your classmate Lisa, but counting your blessings and knowing that you too, had a good day and will have a good life. Hey, who knows, maybe you will go to Las Vegas too someday. Therefore, bless up!
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Author: Samia Mehbub
Samia Mehbub is a Bangladeshi American writer, inspirational speaker, and aspiring English teacher. She is the author of "Inspired to Comfort Your Soul." She is also the founder and Youtuber of Weaswords, an organization that brings awareness and fights for mental health. As a junior at the University of Central Florida majoring in English Literature, she writes for mental health literary magazines, such as Turtle Way and Word Gathering. Her poetry "Hello Sunshine" was published on Poetry Nation.