Think about how much time you spend looking at social media. For most of us, the first thing we do when we wake up in the morning is to check that no one has tagged us in an embarrassing photo from the night before and then proceed to “like” all the latest memes and videos on Facebook.
After that, it’s a quick look at Instagram to figure out who exactly it was that started to follow you and whether or not you want to follow them back. This whole routine can last between 15 minutes to a half hour, and already, we're pushing back plans for the day.
Wouldn’t it be great to live the day just for ourselves and not for others to judge? Here’s why taking a break from social media can be good and why it’s necessary...at least every once in a while.
Putting the phone down for a few hours might leave some frustrated at not being able to feel “in touch” with the social media world, but we soon realize that the real world is pretty interesting, too. Have you ever been in the mountains or some other awesome part of nature only to find that your photographs never do the landscape justice? Maybe we should forget about trying to see the world as a potential profile picture and instead use the authentic #nofilter—our own eyes!
The non-profit organization Common Sense Media reports that the average teen in the U.S. spends nine hours a day on social media, while the average adult spends around two hours a day. Therefore, the average person will spend roughly five years and four months in a lifetime on social media.
That’s enough time to become world-class at four different fields. (We'll wait for you to pick your jaw back up off the floor.) Malcolm Gladwell’s theory is that it takes 10,000 hours of practice to achieve mastery at something, which works out to only 417 days—talk about putting things into perspective!
We all enjoy a good night out at the weekend; it’s a good opportunity to blow off steam with friends and catch up. It’s becoming more and more common, however, that we sit in silence, all looking at our cell phones—either “checking in” to let everyone know that we’re in the coolest spot in town (funny how no one does it when they’re visiting their grandma on a Sunday afternoon) or Whatsapping our partners to say we’ll be home soon when we all know there's still going to be one more round. We’re in good company—let’s set our phones down and make the most of it!
Let people learn more about the real you
With a quick glance at one of our friends’ Facebook profiles, we may think they live a globetrotting, bohemian lifestyle, with their Ray Bans and Indie band-style photographs. In reality, I know Joe doesn’t know how to play the guitar, and Stephanie never wears flowers in her hair. Unlike Joe's Facebook friends, I know he has many hidden talents and unique interests that are considered not cool enough to “share” on social media. We say show off your talents, teach us more about your interests, and you’ll find you’re way cooler than your Instagram.
When we think about our favorite memories, they are all about being with loved ones or going on an adventure—maybe somewhere romantic or perhaps like that time when everybody couldn't stop laughing. They are certainly not about the day we looked at Facebook for 15 minutes on the bus.