The Biggest Benefits of a Social Media Detox, According to an Expert

Does spending countless hours scrolling through social media on your phone leave you feeling down on yourself?

If that's the case, you're definitely not alone, and what you're feeling is a good sign that you're in need of a social media detox. Of course, putting down your phone and learning to reengage with the real world is easier said than done, so we went to an expert for some guidance.

We turned to Jennifer Kelman, therapist and mental health expert on JustAnswer to learn all about the benefits of detoxing from social media, how to do it, and why spending less time online can be an important form of self-care.

Why You Might Need a Social Media Detox

Jennifer Kelman: Social media is not real life, so spending excess time trying to connect in this way may cause one to feel down, depressed and lacking in esteem. These negative feelings are self-imposed, because one has the ability to turn it all off and not seek it out. Detoxing from all of it can feel freeing and also help to fully engage face-to-face with others rather than keeping up through a device.

Woman frowning at phone on couch: Shuttterstock. upset sad skeptical unhappy serious asian woman talking texting on phone displeased with conversation at dark home in midnight. Negative human emotion face expression feeling using cellphone on couch

(via Shutterstock)


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Social Media Isn't Real Life

JK: People portray their lives in ways that aren't accurate, and that can cause people to feel that their lives are suffering as they compare themselves to others. Get off the apps and go for true engagement with others, as that is where the rich and connected feelings are, and that is what lifts us up and brightens our spirits. Put the devices down, close the social media accounts and watch your mood soar. Nobody has the perfect life that is portrayed on social media, so stop letting it help you to feel poorly about yours. "Likes" on social media cannot determine your mental state unless you let it, so take the control back and only do things that promote feelings of well-being, and social media rarely does that.

Woman in striped shirt frowning down at phone: Shutterstock. Portrait of a frowning pensive casual young asian woman standing over blue wall background holding mobile phone

(via Shutterstock)


How to Put Down Your Phone

JK: Make a commitment to yourself that self-care is more important than the device. Simply decide to use the devices less and stick to it. Once you begin to feel freer, it will lead you to needing the devices less and less. Ask yourself, why is missing out on things such a bad thing? It isn't. Take time to refocus your priorities on what is truly important and then it won't feel like you are missing out on things, because you will only be doing the things you truly want to be doing and connecting with those people that are truly important.

Friends having pizza party and laughing: Shutterstock: Group of multiethnic friends eating pizza during party at home. Group of young men and women having fun together. Happy people talking and laughing while eating italian food and sitting on couch.

(via Shutterstock)


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Protecting Your Mental Health

JK: Anxiety creeps up the more connected we are to devices and social media, so opt for better mental health by opting out of social media.


Want to spend more time in the real world, but you're afraid of getting sick? Click HERE to learn about how to deal if the pandemic has made you a hypochondriac.