DO YOU NEED A SOCIAL MEDIA DETOX?
Discover The Hidden Blocks Holding You Back
by Shana Yao
We're addicted. We check our smart phones a million times a day, are on our laptops consistently, and are constantly "checking in" on Facebook to see if there is any breaking news that happened in the last 10 minutes since you checked in.
Addicted. Like a drug addict, research shows that "the computer is like electronic cocaine." and can negatively affect everything from people’s behaviors to your self esteem.
That's a bit alarming but as an online business owner, being well, online, is part of being in business. It's a daily occurrence and a business essential. But knowing it is addicting, can there be other negative effects? Just how do you determine if it is actually hurting your success or helping it?
Research shows that people who spend as little as 61 minutes online everyday were shown to be classified with depression. As a business owner myself, I'm sure you can relate to the constant flood of pretty photos and highlights showing everybody's best moments of their lives.
This study is significant, particularly to online entrepreneurs, whose job it is to promote themselves on social media in order to build their success. The study states that due to exposure to “highly idealized representations of peers on social media elicits feelings of envy and the distorted belief that others lead happier, more successful lives.”
This comparison to others can not only be self defeating and personally damaging to the ego, but as an online business owner, it can lead to low self esteem, personal shame for no reason, and in the end, failure in business.
Is It Helping Or Hurting
Gaining clarity in your social media consumption and habits is an essential for any business owner who has ever caught themselves feeling depressed or defeated after a day online. Knowing the signs to watch for is the first step to clearing the clutter. Just like a detox in your diet, the body and mind can pick up toxins that detract you from your whole self.
There are 6 things you should watch for when looking at your own social media habits. Consider the effects and how severe they are inside of you - and if you find yourself struggling with some parts of your business/life - it's time to ask yourself if it in part may be due to social media.
1. SOCIAL MEDIA CAN MAKE YOU ANXIOUS
Social media is addicting - and just like any addiction - alcohol, smoking or even food - addiction to anything can make you feel anxious. According to Peter Whybrow, the director of the Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior at UCLA, “the computer is like electronic cocaine,” and it fuels what amounts to manic-depressive episodes in users—manic episodes followed by depressive periods. The Internet “leads to behavior that people are conscious is not in their best interest and does leave them anxious and does make them act compulsively."
Just like you didn't mean to eat that entire tub of ice cream last night despite the 10 lbs you were committed to losing, or how you spent 3 hours on Facebook when you were only going to "check in" for 5 minutes - compulsive behavior is uncontrolled behavior. And uncontrolled behavior does not a successful business make.
2. It Can Be Hurtful To Your Self Esteem
Just like I mentioned in the beginning, it only takes as little as 61 minutes online every day for it to cause depression in people. So if you find yourself not feeling as good about yourself at the end of the day than the beginning, this is probably why. The cause as cited by many real surveys of people indicate that it’s “knowing too much about too many people”. This is when you start comparing yourself to others - people you may not even know - can put you into a state of lack.
3. It Can Make You Have FOMO
Fear Of Missing Out - otherwise known as FOMO - may be the main cause of distraction and addictive social media behavior. I mean, when was the last time you checked your phone wondering who needed you? When you replied to a post on Facebook because you felt like people need to know your opinion. Or when you see a party you weren’t invited to, an event, or your friends chatting away with each other without you and you think - wow, and I introduced them! The truth is, none of that even matters and shouldn’t affect your current behaviors. Otherwise known as "social anxiety" it's HUMAN - life is always going on around you - and knowing that it’s up to you to decide what you want your life to be about and when.
4. It Affects Your Health
No - I’m not just talking your mental health - research shows that your thoughts actually impact how your own cells express themselves - your own thoughts sends messages to your biological makeup that affects how it functions, impacting everything from your nervous system to your own genes.
Heavy, I know, but it’s information that may make you take a second look at why your health may be suffering or those times you just don’t feel good. Understanding that every time you get angry when someone you don’t even know says something you don’t agree with, or you feel doubt or shame from social media, is not applicable to you and may be causing long term damage if you fall into the trap. It’s easy to forget that the Internet is not real life so don’t treat it that way.
5. It Can Make You Feel LESS Connected
I know - you think you are using social media to build connections all over the world. And when used correctly, you are. But when was the last time you stopped texting, typing, and actually picked up the phone and called someone you haven’t spoken to in a while? What it causes in many is a very real fear of talking - on the phone, on videos, and being in the public eye - all because you haven’t done it in so long. Online communication is one of the most impersonal ways of communicating—it’s low intensity, and it requires low commitment on the part of both parties, but it can also prevent you from forging deeper bonds with the people you actually care about.
6. It Can Keep You From Actually EXPERIENCING YOUR LIFE
This is the most important reason of all for detoxing from social media. There you are, trying to build your business, go to your next level, and create more HAPPINESS in your life - and instead of creating freedom you’re caught up trying to learn how to communicate online, worrying about other people’s lives you don’t even know, and losing your self esteem so much that you forget that the joy of life is to actually LIVE IT.
Whether you have a business or not, you’re human. And as humans, understanding that life is always going on - around us and inside of us - and it is your job to decide what that life is that you want to lead.
Social media in today’s day and age is unavoidable and shouldn’t be avoided. It’s a powerful tool when used correctly that can lead to great connections, success in business, and learning new things. But how you use it should be done with deliberate and focused intention.
A few things to consider when detoxing is:
1. How much time you want to spend on social media vs. how much time you spend on your life
2. Deciding who is important to you online. You become most like the 5 people you surround yourself with said Jim Rohn - which means deciding who those 5 (or more) people are. Your “feed” will impact your perception of your life - so deciding who has your best interest at heart, where you want to be, and who “gets’ you is a personal choice that shouldn’t be taken lightly
3. Edit your social media consumption. Unsubscribe from groups and lists that don’t apply to you. Remember, just because you may not see it on a regular basis, even IF you do can give you FOMO and lead you down a different path.
Detoxing from your social media and taking deliberate and focused action, has the potential to:
- Raise your confidence
- Reduce your stress levels and "busyness"
- Stay focused on your own work
- Have more quality time to spend in your everyday life
- Potentially make more money with a greater sense of focus
It’s not easy to change your behaviors and the way you think about your social media habits, but trust me, if you do, you will discover what real freedom is.
If you are ready to take your social media and business to the next level and discover your own personal money code, gain clarity and feel like the independent business owner you are, I invite you to schedule a chat. Let's get you on your road to confidence and success, and your best life.
About the Author:
Shana Yao is the CEO of Total Genius and works with clients to help them discover their brand story in their life experience and design it into their successful business and life. With over 28 years of experience managing multimillion dollar retail and shopping center locations, including the famed Rodeo Drive, she has a unique and strategic understanding of business. Her focus around the areas of holistic health, personal style, and mental clarity, are based on the belief that true success is found in becoming the person you are meant to be in life and using that to empower your business. For it's the combination of your greatest strengths, talents, and life experience that fulfills your life and creates true, everlasting success.
Join her and other independent small business owners, lighting the world with their holistic and powerful businesses in her private community The Club
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