Social networks are a need in the modern world, but only for us to decide what role they will play in our life and how exactly to use them: as a means of self-expression, the realization of the need to belong to a group with the same interests, the need for approval not received in the “real” life or avoidance of reality.
Why is a complete withdrawal into the world of social networks and virtual space dangerous?
1. Humans are social beings. The Internet and social media can’t give you all you need to exist as a whole and be balanced. Real communication is a source of powerful positive emotions. Those for whom communication on social media is more important than real communication have a greater risk of developing depression. If a person is using social networks as a way to avoid reality, then sooner or later this new ”reality” will take over and become more important than real life, or life outside social media.
2. Loss of flexible communication skills. In the modern world, communication skills are valued above other qualities, their development helps us become more successful in work, in our personal life, in building relationships with other people. By shortening the time of real communication with people, you can seriously impair your communication skills.
3. When you choose in favour of the virtual space, loved ones may be deprived of your attention. This, in turn, can lead to a deterioration in your relationship with them and increase your feelings of loneliness. Unfortunately, often we don’t realize how important it is to communicate.
How do you know if social media is playing too much of a role in your life?
1. You prefer social networks to real communication with friends and acquaintances.
2. You spend more than 3 hours a day online using social media for private matters.
3. You are anxious if you haven’t checked all the pages on your social networks within 30 minutes.
If you answered yes to all of the questions, then it might be worth considering starting to return to the real world.
Here are some exercises to help you do this:
1. Feel the reality. To do this, remove any distracting objects, such as your phone or tablet, away from you, and focus on what is happening around you for a few minutes. What do you hear or see? Where does your attention go? Feel what is happening around you. Repeat this exercise several times a day.
2. Learn to get in touch with another person. Make a phone call, don’t write messages. Listen carefully to what the other person is saying – there is nothing more enjoyable in communication than knowing that you are being listened to. Ask questions, express your opinion, and be sure to note the reactions of the companion. Watch for changes in your mental state and feelings during communication.
3. Analyze in which moments of your life you were more often in social networks and, perhaps, you were depending on them. Remember in which situations interest in real life and real communication helped to easily abandon virtual communication.
4. Keep a diary of observations and write down how you feel every time you want to go to the social network. At the end of each day, record how many hours you have devoted to this activity. After some time, you can analyze how much time you spend on social networks every week, month, and possibly a year.
Rejecting the often illusory world of social networks might be tough in the beginning, and many are experiencing “withdrawal” because this is a real addiction. You might experience a feeling of emptiness, anxiety, irritation and anger at the start. Not only the system of values will be rebuilt, but also life itself. This will not be an easy process, but in the end, it will allow us not to mask our problems, but to solve them. And then what has been achieved in reality will allow us to finally feel ourselves real, fulfilled and harmonious.