The average American spends 3 hours and 35 minutes on social media sites every week. Over the course of a year, that adds up to about 186 hours spent on social media networks. That number equals a little over one month at a full-time job. It’s certainly a lot of time to spend behind the screen of a smartphone or computer, and it might also be a habit well worth reconsidering. Talkspace discusses taking a step away from social media to detox is a powerful way to regain control of your online habits and rebuild connections with the people and places around you.

Giving up social media may sound like a tall order if you spend a great deal of time interacting that way. While it can be tough, there are definitely benefits to doing a social media detox. You can take off as little or as much time as you want. It might be a weekend or a month. However much time you spend away from social media, you’re likely to notice yourself making at least a few of these positive changes.

Conquering Conflict & Criticism

Nightly news reports show an America that’s more divided by politics, race and religion than it has been in a long time. Nowhere is this more apparent than on social media, where heated debates can crop up on even the most mundane posts. It’s not just conflict about news items or opinion pieces that can be a drag either. You’re also more likely to experience constant criticism on social media networks than you are in real life. Subjecting yourself to this type of conflict can be very stressful and might lead you to feel more pessimistic than usual.

Beating the Comparison Trap

When you spend a lot of time on social media, it’s tempting to compare yourself to others. You might wish you looked more like a certain friend or find yourself envying the experiences and possessions of other friends. At heart, we all know that comparing ourselves to others all the time is unhealthy. Life isn’t a competitive sport. There’s no need to compare how you choose to live your life to how your friends live.

If you drop social media for even a few days, you’ll have an opportunity to step away from the comparison trap. That means you’ll be able to enjoy and appreciate what’s really important to you in life without distractions.

Experiencing the News Naturally

Do you ever read the comments on a news story before you read the story itself? It’s very easy to do so on social media. Unfortunately, reading what everyone else thinks means that you don’t have time to experience and process news naturally. When you take a social media break, you can take in news on your own time without the influence of people you never talk to in your day-to-day life.

Being Immersed in the World Around You

If you grew up in the days before social media reigned supreme, you might remember that you had both a public life and a private life. Aside from what you shared with friends on the phone or in person, nobody really knew what went on in your home. Your meals, workouts and down-time hobbies were your private business. Social media has totally changed this reality for many teens and adults alike. Instead of enjoying time at home and escaping from the stressful outside world, people find themselves letting the outside world into their private spaces. With social media, it’s possible for everyone to know everything you do every hour of the day.

Creating a private life for yourself by doing a social media detox allows you to better experience the world around you. You might find that you listen to your kids more or that it’s easier to communicate with your partner when you’re not glued to the screen.

Social media can take a serious toll on anyone’s sense of self and overall wellbeing. While it can be hard to step away from cherished social sites for a few days or months, there are plenty of resources to help you break the cycle. Deleting apps, getting rid of browser shortcuts and turning off notifications are great ways to get away from social media sites. You can let your friends know if you want to, but you don’t have to. You’ll likely find that you have a lot more to talk about with friends when you aren’t keeping up with their lives on social media.

A social media detox might also help you identify issues with your own confidence, self esteem or communication style. Recognizing how these issues affect your life and learning how to combat them is a great step towards wellness. Therapy is a powerful way to take control and get empowered during or after a social media detox. With Talkspace, working with a therapist is also easy. There’s no commute or wait in a boring office. Instead, you use the Talkspace app to message with a therapist who can help you when you need it.

It’s a great way for individuals who prefer to interact via smartphone or web to work with a licensed and qualified therapist. If you decide to start with Talkspace, you’ll chat with a matching therapist designed to understand your needs and connect you with the professional who can best meet them. The service offers affordable weekly plans and an open messaging format that allows you to jot down and send your thoughts to your therapist when it’s convenient for you.

Taking back your lust for life is one of the very best reasons to detox from social media. Whether you just need to regroup or want to pay better attention to the important people around you, detoxing is a smart move. Is it hard? Yes. Will you regret it? No. Getting away from social media for awhile is all about remembering what makes you the strong, unique person you are.

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