This article was last updated on March 14, 2022
The average American spends 3.2 hours per day on social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, Vine, and Tinder. That’s 3.2 hours per day—1,168 hours per year—that each of us could be spending on activities, hobbies, passions, and dreams that give our lives more fulfillment, meaning, purpose, and value. That’s 3.2 hours a day that we could be spending making a difference in our own lives and in the lives of others.
Social media are a necessary aspect of our world, they supposedly bring all of us closer. But unfortunately social apps and sites also drag us farther apart. They hurt our relationships, suck up our time, damage our confidence, hurt happiness, and kill our self-esteem.
Disconnecting yourself from your social profiles—even if it is just for a little while—is a positive step that that can add to your happiness and your productivity. Unplugging yourself from the online conversation is a powerful move that will liberate you from the addiction of constantly checking for updates and always comparing your life with the lives of your peers. It’s a step that all of us need to take in order to feel and behave more human again.
The following are..
3 Reasons Why You Should Unplug From Social Media:
#1- Social Media Is a Highly Addictive Time-Waster
How many times have you checked your smartphone this past hour?
Just these past sixty minutes, how many times did you bust our your iPhone or android device to check the latest updates from your Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, and Tinder newsfeeds?
Was it 2 times? 3 times? 4? 5? 6? 7? Or have you lost count by now?
How many updates do you post to your social media profiles per day? How many videos do you watch on YouTube? How many Facebook posts do you browse through? How many hours do you spend on your social profiles on a daily basis?
If you ever get the chance to tally up exactly how many hours you typically spend on social sites per day, you might be shocked by the amount of time you are losing to the social media addiction.
According to a recent Marketing Charts article, the average American spends 3.2 hours per day on social sites. But if you include all of the social activity that you typically do on your phone while on the go, your average could be a lot higher than 3.2 hours.
Think about how much time that is.
3.2 hours per day comes out to 1,168 hours per year. That means the average American is spending 48 full 24-hour-days on social media per year. So if we assume that 13 is the age when young people typically first create their social media accounts, the average citizen of the United States will spend 2,736 full 24-hour-days of his or her life browsing through timelines, liking photos, and posting updates on social media.
If you’re part of that grand majority of people that haven’t deleted their Facebook accounts, those are 2,736 full-24-hour-days of your life that you could of spent reading books, seeing the world, making progress on your goals, helping others, finding your soul-mate, or spending quality time with close ones—2,736 days that you could of used to actually jump out into the world and make real-life connections with people.
Time is the greatest luxury we have. It’s the only expense that we spend every single day without any possibility of ever making it back. What makes times so precious is the fact that it’s limited. We only get so many days to walk this earth before we pass.
And I’m sure you could probably think of hundreds of better ways to spend 2,736 days of your life than getting the latest updates from your social accounts.
That’s why the #1 Reason Why You Should Unplug From Social Media is because it’s A Highly Addictive Time-Waster. The social media addiction eats up more of our time than almost anything else.
#2- It May Hurt Your Confidence, Happiness, And Self-Esteem
How often to do you see a Facebook post, a Tweet, a SnapChat clip, a YouTube video, or an Instagram post of someone at their absolute worst? How often do you notice one of your friends, family, or peers post an update about how sad they feel, how terrible their day was, or how miserably their life is going?
Almost never right?
People on social media are almost always at their best—as happy as can be, in love with life, on top of the world, getting engaged, getting married, getting promoted, having babies, or accomplishing big success. Or so it would seem.
People on social media almost always seem to be at the top of their game because the snapshots we see of each other online are not our true selves. The truth is—despite what the story their social media timelines might show you—no one’s life perfect.
We all have flaws and imperfections. But more often than not, we refrain from posting up our imperfections online for the world to see. Our worst flaws, mistakes, and awkward moments rarely make it to the internet. We don’t post out status-updates, tweets, photos, and selfies of ourselves as we actually are. We tend to air out photos of ourselves in our greatest, happiest, best, most successful, and most graceful moments.
Rather than using social sites for their original purpose of inspiring, supporting, and uplifting each other, we’re caught up in a competition of constantly trying to best, outdo, and impress each other with our “perfect lives.”
And what happens is, the feedback, re-tweets, double-taps, favorites, likes, comments, and attention that should be boosting your sense of self-worth actually end up Hurting Your Confidence, Happiness, And Self-Esteem. Because no matter how well-liked your latest post is, there will always be someone else who is more popular, more well-liked, getting more attention, and receiving more likes on their posts than you are.
Our newsfeeds keep us posted with all of the latest updates on how amazing our friends, family, and peers seem to be doing. And it’s really hard not to compare yourself. As I described in my October 2015 post about What Facebook Envy Is And 2 Steps You Can Take To Control It, there’s a good chance that the comparison will hurt your happiness, confidence, self-worth, self-esteem, and satisfaction with life.
#3- Social Media May Hurt Your Real Life Relationships
Have you ever gone to a social gathering and noticed that almost all of the people there were crouched over aimlessly browsing through their smartphones? Have you ever been at a bar, club, restaurant, birthday party, a gym session, or some other social outing and suddenly noticed that instead of connecting with each other—which is what they showed up for—everyone was aimlessly looking through text messages or social media updates on their smartphone?
I see this phenomenon all the time. It seems to get worse and worse as the years go by. Everywhere I go, I see pairs, groups, gatherings, and crowds of people out in public rejecting real live human interaction for the opportunity to stare down at their smartphone screens.
It’s funny because social media were originally intended to bring people closer together. But what they’ve actually done is the opposite. We’re spending so much effort and energy trying to connect with people online that we’ve forgotten all about the value of real, live, up-close-and-personal human interaction.
Social media is an addiction that can suck the life out of your relationships if you can’t manage to keep it under control. Because if you find yourself rejecting interaction with your close ones to spend more time going through your timelines, Social Media May Hurt Your Real Life Relationships.
The Solution: Take Your Life Back!
Social media is everywhere. It’s accessible from all the devices we’re constantly hooked up to. And it’s being used by almost everyone you know. It’s almost impossible to avoid.
But the great news is, you don’t have to be a victim of the social media addiction. There is a simple and powerful way to take your time, confidence, happiness, self-esteem, and relationships back: Just UNPLUG!
The best way to end that vicious cycle of constantly cracking open your laptop or whipping out your smartphone is to CUT YOURSELF OFF. Terminating your social media accounts is one route that I’ve seen a few people take. But let’s be realistic, social media does serve a useful purpose of connecting us with the rest of the world. So deleting your social accounts is not a must.
If you’re not ready to erase your social profiles, there are plenty of mobile apps, Google Chrome apps, and Firefox apps like FocusOn, StayFocusd, and LeechBlock that can temporarily block you from accessing your favorite social media. As someone who has used plenty of these apps to cut down on procrastination, I highly recommend all three.
You can have the best of both worlds. You can enjoy the connections, entertainment, and conversations of the online atmosphere and still have the freedom to use your time wisely, be productive, feel happy, be confident, protect your self-esteem, cultivate strong relationships, and keep your sanity.
All you have to do is UNPLUG!
Photo credit: Unsplash.com