To Detox or not to Detox?

Don’t I spend too much time on social media?

Social networks have become an integral part of our daily lives. Three and a half hours ― that’s how much a person spends on average on social networks and messengers a day. Facebook and Instagram can improve mood, make it easier to communicate with others, but at the same time, they increase the feelings of loneliness and amass anxiety. Personally, I use Instagram as my portfolio; I find a lot of useful information there, and I consider Telegram the most convenient messenger for communication.

But why do we spend so much time on social media and what to do about it? A piece of conversation between two experts ― Yaroslava Yevtyshenko (neuropsychologist) and Alina Shumak (psychotherapist) ― will help to understand.

Alina: ‘Why do we spend so much time on social networks? Because it’s nice. During scrolling and communication, our brain produces hormones of pleasure. The more time we are online, the more we communicate.’

Yaroslava: ‘Yes, I agree. Social networks are an easily accessible, interesting space for a person. There we can just now solve certain emotional problems, express our own opinion on certain issues. Social networks give you the opportunity to try different things, quickly find people with similar interests, hobbies, get feedback. And this is not even a complete list of opportunities provided by social networks.’

Alina: ‘It’s very fascinating, but what can you add?’

Yaroslava: ‘In the network you can even find ways to promote your work,”be among your own” by hobbies and interests. Of course, if we are talking about conscious consumption and use of this resource. Do you agree that now is the time to talk about the disadvantages of using social networks?’

Alina: ‘Yes. According to the latest data, those people who regularly use social networks have a fairly high level of anxiety. There are a number of studies that show that using social networks 30 minutes or less before bedtime ― makes it harder to fall asleep. This can be due to anxiety, which can increase when sitting on social networks, as well as due to the blue light of the screen, which is emitted by gadgets. In addition, constant presence in social networks becomes addictive — you check social networks, messengers or other services without a conscious desire to find something, that is, it turns into a mechanical scrolling. Yaroslava, how do you think it is better to stop abusing social networks?’

Yaroslava: ‘It is important to understand what we are trying to escape from in the social network and what we are trying to get. Then ask yourself if we can get it in another way. Ideally, you can try to arrange a detox: to abandon social networks for a certain period.’

Alina: ‘And you can enter a rule: start and end the day without social networks. For example, an hour before bed and an hour after waking up, do not turn to the Internet or touch the phone. You can limit the amount of time we spend on social media.’

Yaroslava: ‘Yes, this is an effective way.’

Alina: ‘Yaroslava, I’m sure you will agree that the Internet, social networks and messengers are not a total evil. The question is how we use them.’

Yaroslava: ‘Yes, you are right. Any service can be a great tool for communicating with loved ones, for dating, to show their talents, for the development of taste and education. Therefore, it is impossible to say that we need to completely remove social networks from our lives. But you should adjust their use and not sit in the net thoughtlessly.’

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