- Is Addictive By Design (But Here’s How to Stop) at WhoIsHostingThis.com
- How to Beat Addiction
- What is Addiction?
- Are You a Addict?
- The Bergen Addiction Scale:
- How to Kick the Habit
- 5 reasons you will never quit
- 2. Deleting your account is breaking up with all of your friends
- 3. Temporary deactivation is just easier than deleting your account
- 4. Privacy violations feel less real than, say, an outbreak of E.coli
- 5. Deleting for noble reasons leaves more questions unanswered
- 9 Ways to Overcome Addiction
- I knew it was time for a change
- The average user now spends about 50 minutes per day on
- At the surface, is a tool—not inherently good or bad—but its impact on our lives is determined by how we use it
- 1 / Log the website
- 2 / Temporarily block the site
- 3 / Turn off all app notifications
- 4 / Delete the app
- 5 / Kill the newsfeed algorithm
- 6 / Block the newsfeed completely
- 7 / Deactivate your account
- 8 / Delete your account
- 9 / Throw your phone and computer into a ravine
- The Digital Detox – why people are removing social apps but not deleting them
- Mental health and social media
- What is a digital detox?
- How does a digital detox help people?
- Is the digital detox the end of social media?
- What is the implication of digital detoxing for your business?
Is Addictive By Design (But Here’s How to Stop) at WhoIsHostingThis.com
Disclosure: Your support helps keep the site running! We earn a referral fee for some of the services we recommend on this page. Learn more
It doesn't matter when or where. You could be sitting in a meeting at work, or listening to a lecture at school. You could be at the movies with friends, or at the dinner table with family.
It doesn't matter what you're doing (as long as you're not driving). Your fingers are twitching. You find yourself reaching for your pocket again.
You've just got to know: did your favorite page post a new update? Did anyone comment on your new profile pic yet? Have you gotten any s on your clever status update?
Everyone makes fun of you for always staring at your smartphone. Maybe your parents or spouse or kids yell at you to put it away and pay attention. You're mastering the art of stealing subtle glances at the screen before anyone notices that you're checking your feed for the tenth time in an hour.
It's not that big a deal, right? Pretty much everyone's on now. Social media is an integral part of modern society in the internet age.
The statistics seem to back you up: since 's founding, the amount of time the average person spends on social media has more than doubled, and itelf says that the average American spends about 40 minutes checking their feed every day.
But maybe all the jokes and pleas for your attention are starting to get to you. If everyone you know is telling you that you spend too much time on , it might be time to start listening.
When it comes to any addiction, it's not all about the quantity. It's about how it affects you and your loved ones, and whether it interferes with how you live your life.
If you think your addiction might be causing problems in your life, or you just want to cut back a bit so you can focus your attention and energy on more important things, here's how you can start to take control.
How to Beat Addiction
“Every form of addiction is bad, no matter whether the narcotic be alcohol or morphine or idealism.” – Carl Jung
With 1.32 billion monthly users, is one of the most heavily used websites in the world. So what’s the problem?
What is Addiction?
A strong and harmful need to regularly have something or do something.
Impacts of Addiction include…
- Inability to abstain
- Impairment in behavioral control
- Cravings for rewarding experiences (checking updates)
- Inability to recognize significant problems
- Dysfunctional emotional responses
Are You a Addict?
Combined with definition above, can you identify with these behavioral statistics?
Of US users:
- 63% visit the site at least once a day
- 40% visit the site multiple times throughout the day
- 48% of people check or update after they go to bed
40 minutes per day &ndash the average time someone from the US spends on
17% of total time spent on iOS and Android connected devices is spent on
15% of employees check during work hours
1 4 people feel ill at ease if they can’t log in to on a regular basis
Researchers in Norway have developed a way to measure addiction, as published in the journal Psychological Reports.
The Bergen Addiction Scale:
- You Spend a lot of time thinking about using
- You Feel the need to use more and more
- You Use to escape dealing with your personal problems
- You Have tried but failed to cut down on using
- You Become anxious if you’re prohibited from using
- You Have suffered productivity losses in your job/studies because of your usage
According to researchers, scoring “often” or “always” on at least 4 of the above may suggest you’re addicted to .
How to Kick the Habit
Hooked? Spend less time on by following these steps:
- Delete tempting games
Are you a social er? If you consider gifting imaginary farm equipment or playing with jewels as a way to hang out with friends, you might want to reconsider your social life.
- Click on the arrow in the upper right-hand corner
- Select ‘Settings’
- Choose ‘Apps’ on the left side of the page
- Click the ‘x’ next to each app or game you’d to remove from
- Remove fake friends
Do you really need to keep in touch with classmate acquaintances from years ago?
- Go to your fake friend’s profile
- Hover over the ‘Friends’ button
- Select ‘Unfriend’
- Unsubscribe from notifications
Notifications can get distracting, especially if you check every time you get one.
- Click on the arrow in the upper right-hand corner
- Select ‘Settings’
- Choose ‘Notifications’ on the left side
- Modify how you receive notifications from on this page
- Turn push notifications off on your mobile device
Without push enabled on your phone, you won’t feel the strong need to check each and every notification as it comes in.
- Select the highlighted button and scroll to the bottom
- Click Account Settings > Notifications > Mobile Push
- Un-check things you don’t want to be notified about
- Uninstall Messenger feature
Sometimes we can’t say no to chatting with friends online. Prevent the temptation by getting rid of Messenger.
- Go to Settings
- Open Applications Manager
- Select Messenger
- Click Uninstall
- Hold down the Messenger icon until the icons begin to shake and an “x” appears in the upper left hand corner
- Click on the “x” and select “yes” to delete Messenger
- Uninstall the app on your mobile device
at your fingertips is a big waste of time. Just check notifications later on your computer. They’ll still be there.
- Tap ‘Apps’ icon
- Select ‘Settings’
- Go to ‘Application Manager’
- Swipe left until you get to ‘All’ tab
- Scroll through until you find
- Choose to disable the app
- Hold on to app icon until all apps begin to shake and display an ‘X’
- Click ‘X’ to remove from iPhone
- Take a break by deactivating your account
Still feel the constant urge to check ? Perhaps a vacation from social media is in order. Remember, your data is still saved so you can always reactivate in the future.
- Click on the arrow in the upper right-hand corner
- Select ‘Settings’
- Click on ‘Security’ on the left side
- Chose ‘Deactivate your account’ at the bottom of the page
For extreme cases of addiction. Warning: this option will permanently delete your profile.
- Click on the arrow in the upper right-hand corner
- Go to ‘General Settings’ menu
- At the bottom of the page, click on ‘Download a copy of your data’ – this saves your data in the event you need it in the future
- Access the ‘Delete My Account’ page, only accessible at https://www..com/help/delete_account
- Select ‘Delete My Account’
can get in the way of real life. Rather than ‘’ an event in someone’s life, BE a part of their life.
- How to Delete/Uninstall an iPhone App – alvinalexander.com
- Americans Now Spend More Time on than They Do on Their Pets – businessweek.com
- How Do I Remove an App or Game That I&Rsquo;ve Downloaded? – .com
- How Do I Adjust What I Get Notifications About? – .com
- How Do I Unfriend or Remove a Friend? – .com
- How to Remove Built-in (Bloatware) Apps on Your Android Devices? – .com
- How Do I Deactivate My Account – .com
- How Do I Permanently Delete My Account – .com
- Apps Solidify Leadership Six Years into the Mobile Revolution – flurry.com
- the True Costs of Addiction: Low Self-Esteem and Poor Body Image – forbes.com
- Our Mission – newsroom..com
- Social Media Update 2013 – pewinternet.org
- 2013 Wasting Time at Work Survey – salary.com
- Social Media Survey Finds Use in Bed, on Waking – sfgate.com
- New Research about Addiction – uib.no
- Hartman E C (2006), the Population Fix, Nature.
- Addiction – Definition – Merram-webster.com
- Definition of Addiction – asam.org
- How Do I Turn Push Notifications on or off from Mobile? – .com
- How Do I Uninstall the Messenger App from My Android? – .com
5 reasons you will never quit
Is there a tipping point with ?
Late Wednesday, reported first-quarter earnings that were better than most analysts’ expectations, but the company also said it took a $3 billion charge that it “reasonably estimated” it will have to pay the Federal Trade Commission for violating a consent decree on user privacy. Despite its recent privacy controversies, reported an increase in active users of 55 million on the previous quarter, bringing the grand total to 2.37 billion. shares were up 8% in early trading on Thursday.
Not everyone is so beguiled by their friends’ status updates and vacation photos.
In an interview posted this month on Yahoo News’ Skullduggery podcast, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the New York Democratic Congresswoman, said she’s given up posting on her , -1.
21% account and said she is also cutting back on her use of TWTR, -1.39% and Instagram, where she has 3.94 million followers and 3.2 million followers, respectively. Her official page has more than 738,300 followers.
“ ‘I think it has effects on everybody. Increased isolation, depression, anxiety, addiction, escapism.’ ”
— —Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the New York Democratic Congresswoman
“I think it has effects on everybody. Increased isolation, depression, anxiety, addiction, escapism,” she told Yahoo. “I personally gave up , which was kind of a big deal because I started my campaign on . And was my primary digital organizing tool for a very long time. I gave up on it.”
Over-dependence on social networks as a social outlet can also lead to what some doctors call “ Depression,” according to a 2010 report, “The Impact of Social Media on Children, Adolescents and Family,” by the American Academy of Pediatrics. Another report released in 2017 found that the more you use , the less satisfied you feel about life.
Don’t miss: What Zuckerberg didn’t say: You risk more than your data on
Excessive browsing can also be a problem. A 2015 study in the journal Cyberpsychology, Behavior and Social Networking suggested young people who are heavy users of social media — spending more than two hours a day — are more ly to report poor mental health and psychological distress, symptoms of which include anxiety and depression.
“ Over-dependence on social networks as a social outlet can also lead to what some doctors call ‘ Depression.’ ”
A separate study released in January 2019 looked at 504 millennials who actively use , , Instagram, and/or Snapchat SNAP, +1.
78% who met the criteria for a major depressive disorder scored higher on the “Social Media Addiction” scale. These individuals were more ly to compare themselves to others better off than they were.
The findings are published in the latest edition of the peer-reviewed Journal of Applied Biobehavioral Research.
In April 2018, said that 2 billion users ly have had their public profile information scraped by outsiders without their explicit permission.
It also said that information from the profiles of up to 87 million people had their data “improperly shared” by Cambridge Analytica, a U.K.-based political consulting firm that closed operations in May 2018.
refrained from calling it a data breach and, instead, said Cambridge Analytica abused ’s terms of service.
#Delete has been a regular topic of conversation on social media since the news of the data scandal first broke. But will this be enough to persuade users to delete their accounts? Or even deactivate them?
If you deactivate your account, or even just stop posting updates for a couple of weeks, has a virtual army — your friends — who will text, email and even find you on TWTR, -1.
39%, asking what’s wrong and imploring you to come back. They may feel you’ve abandoned them. is also “sticky.” With over 2.
3 billion active monthly users worldwide, it would take a tectonic shift for people to delete their photos and walk away.
“ The biggest social network on the planet is stickier than most checking accounts or cable companies, psychologists say. ”
The biggest social network on the planet is stickier than most checking accounts or cable companies, psychologists say. Try to give up , and at least some people are ly to think you have an axe to grind with the world or them personally, are going through a divorce or have slipped into a deep depression. What kind of a person doesn’t have a account?
“I think it is a bridge too far to say it is a cult atmosphere,” said Sherry Turkle, a professor in the Program in Science, Technology and Society at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
“It is a place where we have become accustomed to sharing our lives, to checking in with friends, to seeing that we are wanted, a part of things, part of a group, thought of.
” It is, she said, a community.
2. Deleting your account is breaking up with all of your friends
“When you step away, you’re breaking up with everyone in your network,” he said. “Breakups don’t normally end on a good note. It’s rarely that both parties agree pleasantly that things aren’t working. People notice the absence and they want an explanation. They might be prone to wonder if you’re OK or if they’re OK. Is it something about you or is it something about me?”
“ is that bar from ‘Cheers’ where everyone knows your name. Why would you move to LinkedIn or WhatsApp? ”
Sure, people use to network and log into their Tinder IAC, -3.83% account. Those left behind often take it personally, and may even have formed a co-dependent relationship with their friends, said Simon Rego, chief psychologist and Montefiore Medical Center in New York. People either send messages asking, “What’s wrong?” or, even worse, “What have I done?”
is that bar from “Cheers” or a virtual town where everyone knows your name. Why would you go somewhere else or move to LinkedIn or WhatsApp? “The primary motivation to be on is to reap the benefits of huge amounts of positive affirmation,” said Fran Walfish, a psychotherapist and author in Beverly Hills. The opposite of that, she said, is rejection.
“Folks reach out to inquire where you are, what’s wrong, whether you’re depressed, or if you’ve done something to them,” she said. “These cult- members can be compared to kids who, when they don’t feel satisfied with a tablespoon of mom’s good attention, misbehave negatively in order to sustain mom’s attention. In other words, any attention is better than none, even if it’s negative.”
3. Temporary deactivation is just easier than deleting your account
Many people temporarily deactivate their profile — so their data remains online — rather than delete it, Walfish said.
Aside from the time associated with downloading and storing photographs, deactivation seems less harsh. “Deactivating also attracts a lot of attention, albeit negative,” she said.
And for those who want to make a public statement, that attention is not exactly unwelcome.
“ Aside from the time associated with downloading and storing photographs, deactivation seems less harsh. ”
Around one-third of users take breaks from their accounts, according to interviews of 410 current and former users carried out by researchers at Cornell University. Deactivation merely hides the account from friends, but the site retains all the data. ( was not immediately available for comment.)
Also see: blocks, then allows ‘Daily News’ column about Cynthia Nixon
quitters are more ly to be men (71%), concerned about privacy and older (with an average age of 31 for quitters), according to a survey of 321 users and 310 quitters carried out by the University of Vienna and published in the journal “Cyberpsychology, Behavior and Social Networking.”
Pursues Positive Vibes
4. Privacy violations feel less real than, say, an outbreak of E.coli
The recent revelations of privacy violations hit ’s stock, but for consumers they are less tangible than, say, an E.coli outbreak in Chipotle CMG, +0.
62% and the consequences may be harder to grasp. Privacy violations on or Equifax EFX, +1.49% don’t appear to create the same fear as E.coli.
The latter can obviously kill you, but the former is a concept that’s more difficult to understand.
“ Missing a party on a Friday night pre- pales in comparison to the hubbub on social media every single day. ”
Rego said people have a fear of missing out on stuff that happens on . “ has 2.3 billion monthly active users. Imagine that as a potential big party going on,” he said. FOMO for teenagers before was created in 2004 was bad enough, but missing a party on a Friday night pales in comparison to the constant hubbub on social media every single day.
Read also: Take this seat on an airplane to reduce your chances of getting sick
In the 1950s, the American social psychologist Leon Festinger developed the “social comparison theory,” which argues that we all have this innate drive to evaluate ourselves. “We feel good if we compare ourselves to people who may be perceived worse off than ourselves. It’s a way to indirectly feel better about life. gives you that.” The opposite, however, is also true.
5. Deleting for noble reasons leaves more questions unanswered
But some people desert for nobler reasons. Last year, actors Tea Leoni and Jim Carrey said they would delete their accounts after the allegations that an app linked to data firm Cambridge Analytica mined information from tens of millions of members. Carrey wrote: “Who are you sharing your life with? #regulate.” Leoni cited “unauthorized sharing” of information.
“ ‘It is a place where we have become accustomed to sharing our lives, to checking in with friends.’ ”
— —Sherry Turkle, a professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology
The scandal forced chief executive Mark Zuckerberg into a mea culpa last year on CNN US:TWX where he apologized. “This was a major breach of trust and I’m really sorry this happened,” he said. Zuckerberg said the company will review thousands of apps and create a tool for people to find out if details about their lives was shared by an app without their knowledge.
But that is easier said than done. If you delete should you also delete Instagram, which is owned by ? What about LinkedIn? You may want a new job someday, but do you want old high-school friends and frenemies snooping on your LinkedIn profile?
What about ? Do you delete that too in protest because of what some critics regard as its inconsistent approach to bullying and hate speech on the platform? What about Google GOOG, -0.03% and privacy issues over who has access to your Gmail account? Will the next big social network be any better?
Also see: Lonely people share too much on
Some people remain optimistic about finding a solution where people can communicate on social media without compromising their privacy. People are now reliant on , Turkle said. “So before we just delete, we might want to see if as activist consumers and citizens, we can think about fixing social media.”
’s stock was up 39% year-to-date, while was up 36% year to date, compared to a rise of 16.8% in the S&P 500 SPX, +0.52% over the same period and an increase of 14% in the Dow Jones industrial Average DJIA, +0.62%.
(This story was updated on April 25, 2019.)
9 Ways to Overcome Addiction
On a day any other, I was standing at my desk working on a blog post, trying to come up with the appropriate words to write. Frustrated at my lack of progress, I turned, looked out the window for a moment then looked back to my screen.
My blog post had disappeared, but the infamous blue and white website we all know so well had replaced it.
Later that afternoon while working on another written piece, a co-worker walked into my office and interrupted me mid-sentence. After a quick conversation, I looked back at my Word document and found a sentence that looked approximately this:
The efficiencies of quantum mechanics determine that sev
While that sentence is 100% fabricated, the example of what happened to the end of it is 100% true. For the second time that day, I had subconsciously typed the word “” without realizing it, and it scared the crap me.
I knew it was time for a change
What started out as a simple way to connect with college classmates has become an all encompassing communication hub where we get our news, updates on family members while spending a heck of a lot of our time.
The average user now spends about 50 minutes per day on
I’d venture to guess that the 50 minutes aren’t in a solid block either, occurring in small 2-3 minute chunks as notifications come in throughout the day.
These bursts create small interruptions, pulling us away from what we may be doing, eating, working on, or creating. It’s no accident that brings us back as frequently as possible. For the company, our attention equals dollars.
any habit loop, is designed to work its way into our brain as a trigger-habit-reward cycle that is incredibly difficult to break.
At the surface, is a tool—not inherently good or bad—but its impact on our lives is determined by how we use it
Imagine picking up a hammer 35 times per day and using it wherever you happen to be. When you need to drive in a nail, picking up a hammer makes a lot of sense. Otherwise, it would seem quite ridiculous.
is the hammer and connecting with friends and family is the nail. Everything else gets diminished by the hammer— our personal lives, intentions, and meaningful connections to the world.
1 / Log the website
Make it so that you have to manually log in every time you want to use . Doing this will give you a few seconds to decide if you actually need to log on, creating intentional friction in the process. This strategy works best when on the computer, but can also work if you don’t use the app on your phone.
2 / Temporarily block the site
By using a productivity browser extension Strict Workflow, you can hit a button that will block any websites you don’t want to visit for a specific duration of time.
Once break time comes around, it will allow you to go to the sites of your choosing. Click the button again, and the sites will be blocked while you focus.
These blockers help reduce the number of times you may bounce to during a focus period.
For additional support on intentional living through minimalism, habits and creativity, check out the Break the Twitch Member Community. You’ll get access to member-only courses, private community forum, a welcome one-on-one call with me, and more—all while supporting the intentional content we make at Break the Twitch.
3 / Turn off all app notifications
This is definitely recommended if you’re wanting to overcome addiction. Let’s face it, it’s hard not to check when you see there are notifications.
And doesn’t hesitate to show you as many as possible to get you back on the scroll. It’s best when you intentionally decide to check , without hearing an alert that triggers your attention.
Reduce distractions and the urge to check and scroll by turning off all notifications in the app.
4 / Delete the app
While you can still use your mobile browser to check , doing this significantly reduces the notifications.
The app is made to be as low friction as possible and deleting it will help you avoid using when it’s less appropriate. Not having the app helps break the twitch of being able to check the site so quickly.
Even more powerful is if you use the first tip and log the site, forcing yourself to log in on your phone.
5 / Kill the newsfeed algorithm
If you’re habitually checking , one way to reduce the desire to do so is to have no new content come up when you do. You can use a browser extension called Purity to automatically reorder the newsfeed into chronological order. That way, won’t show you new content every time you open the site. And as a result, it will be much less interesting when you do visit and scroll.
6 / Block the newsfeed completely
Using the same Purity app, you can select an option to delete the newsfeed all together. It will show up as a blank space in the middle of your screen and won’t entice you to scroll down if you need to log on to to post something or check on one of your business pages. You can take care of whatever you might need to for work and then be done with it.
7 / Deactivate your account
Unfortunately, has made it ridiculously easy to reactivate your account. All you have to do is just log in again. But, the best way to break a habit cycle is to detox and rewire your brain from that habit. I’ve found that it takes at least five to seven days to break the initial ‘twitch’ habit cycle, so commit to at least that. Deactivate your account and log back in when you’re ready.
8 / Delete your account
You have to dig around in your settings to find this option. But if you feel that isn’t benefiting you in meaningful ways, just get rid of it.
If you want to keep your content, you can download your entire history in one small zip file and backup everything you’ve ever posted.
To continuing sharing with others, you can start a blog where people can find you with a quick Google search and where you can share your life updates and learnings.
9 / Throw your phone and computer into a ravine
If all else fails, find a property on which to homestead, grow your own food, and throw your electronic devices into the fire river of Mordor.
There are fewer things better than some quality time in nature to help beat an addiction. Perhaps we need to take some extreme measures to ensure our own progress.
Getting rid of your electronic devices is a solid move in overcoming extreme addiction.
is a tool that just any other, should benefit us when we use it. When used intentionally, it’s a valuable resource that allows you to connect in meaningful ways. If you feel it’s controlling your life more than it should, use the strategies above to overcome addiction.
Create some much needed space in your digital life with this free 7-day email video series from Break the Twitch.
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Interested in learning more? Check out what it was for me to deactivate my account for 60 days, and my friend’s experience taking a social media sabbatical.
The Digital Detox – why people are removing social apps but not deleting them
The social landscape is currently in flux. Platforms are seeing immense shifts in the way people engage with their services. For example, while sees rapid decreases in users, Instagram is experiencing a seemingly unstoppable upward trend.
Volatility in the social media market is nothing new. You only have to look at past case studies such as the demise of platforms MySpace and Bebo to see how constantly changing user needs and expectations are sculpting the digital environment.
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This constant change means that — as in past years — 2019 promises to bring massive alterations to the world of social media. While different platforms may see users shrink or grow, there is one constant that could have major implications across the entire industry: an overall decline in the numbers of individuals actively engaging with any social platform.
A recent survey has revealed three important facts:
- 6% of users have removed apps off their phone.
- 6% of users have permanently deleted their accounts.
- 8% of users have both deleted their accounts and removed mobile apps.
What’s going on? This isn’t a shift between platforms. It’s people totally removing themselves from the social media environment.
Mental health and social media
People in Western society are becoming much more open to the impact mental health has on their wellbeing and 2019 is the year of looking after the mind as well as the body.
Meditation was the fastest growing health trend in the USA last year, even out-performing popular diet and exercise regimes.
Awareness campaigns have also brought to light the dangers of not taking care of your mental health.
Which brings us to social media.
Platforms can have a negative effect on mood. Users report feeling they’ve wasted time spending hours of socially scrolling. Updates from friends and influencers can also leave people feeling jealous and unfulfilled. These emotions are unhealthy, and they are something our newfound awareness of mental health has allowed us to identify.
In an attempt to look after themselves, many people are now turning to the social or digital detox.
What is a digital detox?
You may have noticed that the survey of social media users discovered 24.4% of individuals had deleted their social accounts. However, over 30% of respondents had removed social media applications without actually deleting their profiles. This 30% don't want to remove themselves from the social scene totally. They are instead detoxing — in other words, taking a break.
Detox is defined as “a process or period of time in which one abstains from or rids the body of toxic or unhealthy substances; detoxification.
” Detoxes are usually used to support health in other ways — going sugar or alcohol-free.
In the context of social media, digital detox strategies are being employed by individuals to step away from the screen and focus on improving their mental and real-life social wellbeing.
During a social media detox, users severely reduce their use of all platforms. Detoxing is dieting — it has no predefined time limitations. People detox for as long as they feel will be beneficial. That means they aren't deleting their social accounts because the intention is to return at some point.
How does a digital detox help people?
There is evidence to suggest digital detoxing promotes genuinely healthy physiological responses. Studies have demonstrated those on hiatus from social media experience better sleep and see improvements in memory.
Their subconscious mind also appears to assume more outwardly social qualities. In the studies, rates of interactions with other people outside of online settings increased, as did eye-contact.
Strangely, posture seems to improve as well, with people adopting more open body language.
For some, it is these types of wellness benefits that draws them into a digital detox. But for others, the reasons are far less tangible.
Many who break from social media cite a lack of time for other activities as their primary driver. The fact is they are just investing too many hours doing something they identify as wasteful.
Instead, they want to devote time to loved ones, friends, hobbies and personal development.
But why go for the full digital detox when you could reduce the hours you spend on social media? Because social media has been found to have addictive qualities.
Physiological responses to social media — such as the impact on self-esteem and self-worth — can lead to individuals to develop dependant behaviours similar to drug or gambling addictions.
As with other addictive responses, such as quitting smoking, total removal of the culprit — in this case, social media — is more effective than simple reduction.
This factor is what drives many people to remove themselves from the digital environment entirely — rather than cutting back their time on the platforms.
Is the digital detox the end of social media?
The simple answer is no. Un other addictive activities smoking, the purpose of detox intervention is not long-term elimination, but rest and recuperation, followed by controlled return.
In essence, the same reason we’re not going cold turkey on social media is the same reason we’re addicted to it.
Un substance abuse and gambling addictions, overuse of social media is not altogether shamed or classified as socially unacceptable.
And while people understand social media has detrimental factors, they are seen more as acute repercussions of usage rather than side-effects with long-term implications.
That’s why 30.6% of users have removed apps off their phone, but have not deleted their accounts. Social media is not something they intend to remove from their life wholly — they just want a break. What's more, this number could start to decrease as we move into the future.
We began this article with the statement “the social landscape is currently in flux.” This statement isn’t just true for the users — it’s also true for the providers.
Social media giants are not oblivious to the shift in their user numbers. They are also aware of the rise of digital detoxing and the health and wellbeing reasons behind it.
Their response has been to start addressing the issues causing people to consider a social media detox.
They are also considering preventative strategies to keep users engaged with their platforms and reduce the need for a detox in the first place.
So what is changing?
- Routing out Negativity — Negative emotional states and feelings of low self-esteem are one of the core reasons people are moving to social detoxing. Platforms are increasingly trying to remove the potential for this by adjusting algorithms and testing new methods of engagement. Instagram is currently trialling removing s from images to shift the emphasis from metrics and the approval of peers to the enjoyment of sharing. There has also been a big push towards fighting abusive activity and online bullying — another factor that makes people remove themselves from the social media environment.
- Fighting Fears of Addiction — According to founder Mark Zuckerberg, social media can adapt to limit its addictive effects — un other habit-forming outlets. This comment suggests the way platforms present information to users will change to stave off addictive behaviours and encourage people to engage without fear of forming dependency.
- Creating Meaningful Interaction — One of the primary issues detoxers have with social media is time-wasting. To present more meaningful social experiences, is looking to harness algorithms that increase opportunities for genuine online social engagement. hopes they might find social media a more satisfying and productive part of their social life — by changing the way people interact with it.
These aren't the only ways social platforms are adapting technology to fight the need for digital detoxing.
Other methods currently being deployed are on-site usage timers and the streamlining of advertising to support problems with information overload.
Platforms Instagram, and , will be putting considerable investment into keeping their users active as we move towards 2020 and beyond.
What is the implication of digital detoxing for your business?
The majority of UK businesses now use social media as a form of customer acquisition. There is immense value in developing social branding as it is a powerful marketing tool, engaging users and leveraging platforms to build a business. Yet, with so many individuals leaving social media — both long and short term — how do you stop the changes negatively impacting your business?
The first thing you have to consider is that as changes to combat detoxing come into force, people are ly to feel less inclined to leave social media.
As with all shifting trends, we’ll probably see a reverse in the coming years as social platforms adapt to the needs of their users.
Effectively, this means you should continue to develop your social media status, and not write it off as a dying platform.
However, during this current period of instability, it’s also crucial you look at methods of engaging customers that work with the rise of social media detoxing. Techniques that can support your marketing efforts — while avoiding the negative impacts of detoxing clients — include:
- Building Email Lists — While your customers are away from social media, you want to maintain contact with them. Email lists enable you to send updates and promote your brand to users who wouldn’t otherwise be aware of opportunities.
- Search Engine Marketing — If your users have cut out social media from their life, they won’t be able to source your information from the platform. Instead, they’ll ly turn to other business-discovery tools Google. Ensuring you are optimizing your online presence for search engines is going to be key when it comes to acquiring socially-detoxing clients.
- Meaningful and Positive Social Presence — With so many detoxers leaving due to perceived time-wasting or the negative impact of social engagement, your content must offer more than fleeting visual stimulus. This means not sharing memes or funny videos just to get s, but instead producing content that impacts on your customers. Depending on what you offer, this could be anything from industry insights or tips to information about upcoming events or changes to your business/services/products. Whatever content you share, always ask yourself, is there value in it?
The current popularity of social detoxes may be concerning, but it doesn’t have to be a problem if you play your cards right. It is a fact of online marketing that the landscape develops and evolves rapidly. There will always be changes to how you use platforms social media to grow your brand.
The key to staying afloat is awareness. Keep up-to-date with what is happening and you’ll be able to take the necessary steps to move with the times. Your customers will always be out there. It’s just a matter of engaging them in the right way.
Words by James Speyer -As Exposure Ninja’s longest-serving content specialist, James is a digital marketing addict with tons of experience delivering clever content strategies for happy clients. A strategic, creative thinker, James specializes in blogging and outreach, ensuring that his digital PR strategies provide excellent RoI.
Images by Benz Alonzo – Benz M. Alonzo is a graphic designer, illustrator and photographer on the Sunshine Coast, Australia. Benz specializes in a few fields – including digital marketing. Having worked with major timewear brands such as Michael Kors, Nixon and Esprit, Benz is an expert designer with over eleven years of experience in the trade.