Have you ever noticed that short-term repairs never work?
Using tape to keep license plates in the back bumper of your car or gluing a piece of your shoe to hold it in place can help for a while.
In the end, you need a long-term solution.
Social media can be the same way.
Some experts have called “social media detox” as a way to deal with obsessive use. Here’s some value in the habit of seeing how obsessed you are with Facebook or any other platform. The problem is that like any productivity hack, it doesn’t really address the root cause or provide a solution that works year-round and for the next decade.
Usually it goes something like this.
The idea is to shut down Facebook for a month or even longer. You can’t check your feeds, you can’t post new content, you can’t even use Messenger. You stopped … for a moment.
It feels good at first. The brain science behind the use of forced social media is clear. We get a dopamine hit when we notice a large number of likes in the post. According to experts, this slot game treatment on social media keeps us hooked because we all like positive feedback.
We like these detox episodes because it reveals what we lack (namely, reality). We can live a normal healthy life again, minus the likes and comments. We learn to adapt quickly to the new normal. However, there is something that is not quite right. We know we’re just taking a break.
Another problem is that the social media platforms themselves are not actually to blame. You may think they are because they encourage obsessive use. Facebook and Twitter know we want to see positive reinforcement, and they make money when we use their apps all the time. However, they also provide added value. I like to see topics on trends on Twitter to make research easier. I use Facebook to follow family members, and I like to see messages from friends.
Detox is a Band-Aid repair. The reason we secretly know we’re going back. Some people do a detox and then never start using social media again, but I would say they lose. Also, detox teaches you to be obsessed with social media, but it really doesn’t reveal why you click, like and share so much in the first place.
It usually happens that people do detox for a while, then they go back to obsession. I recommend something completely different. It is related to the use of social media only short episodes so they are useful and useful, but then stop rather than continue scrolling, clicking and sharing for hours.
This is better than a detox because it helps you identify sanctions to use social media and then manage it.
Detox is a light switch that you turn off for a moment, but when you turn it back on, you still scroll as much. Controlled use is different. It’s more than a dimmer switch you use to adjust and strangle your use, leading to healthier habits.
If you are curious about how to manage usage, ping me by email and I can give you more tips on what to do to make sure you don’t just do a short-term detox.