Approximately two months ago I decided to turn off social media notifications on my phone. In a world where technology plays a crucial part in the social scene, why did I decide to do this? Before I answer this lets analyse and roughly calculate how much time an average millennial spends using social media.
You wake up every morning and the first thing you do is check your phone. You sit eating breakfast probably watching YouTube videos. You go to work, but what do you do on your break? Browse social media, maybe? For those who attend school or university, you probably sit on your phone more than you actually study; I know I do. You probably get home and listen to your Spotify playlists in the shower, or at the gym, right? And before you hit the sack, you do that last-minute social media check, yeah?
That’s what my day looks like and I’m your average twenty-something; so I’m guessing that quite a few of you relate too. When I realized this for the first time, I was enormously stressed; stressed from the pressures of work, family commitments, friendship dramas, and the future, and I realized that checking social media as much as I do adds to the list of tasks that I mentally make for myself every single day. And guess what reminds me to check social media as much as I do: notifications.
Every time I check my phone- whether it is to call someone, or simply to see what the time is- I always had at least one notification popping up every hour, triggering me to then go and check all my social media accounts.
I’ve also realized that, for my own mental and emotional wellbeing, relying on those social media notifications for self-validation and as an esteem boost is incredibly unhealthy.
Don’t get me wrong, I think social media and communication technologies in general have done a great deal of good for this world, but I’ve also taken the time to think and realize that they can also be detrimental to the way that humans communicate and think. Which is why I’ve decided to set myself a boundary; it’s small, and not revolutionary in anyway at all, but I figured that it would help me balance my time between checking my social media channels and the real world. Guess what it is…
Turning off notifications.
When I say ‘turning off notifications’ I mean turning off SOCIAL MEDIA notifications; my text and call notifications are still alive because I rarely text and calls are not the centre of my issues with social media usage.
I’ve had these notifications turned off for two months now and the main outcome that I’ve realized is that I now don’t rely on likes and follows and mentions to feel like I’m succeeding in my social circles. I now couldn’t care less about how many likes I get on an Instagram photo, and I couldn’t care less about how many people are tagging me in memes on Facebook- little things, I know, but you’ve got to start somewhere right?
If you’re feeling any of the feelings that I’ve stated above- like stress and social insecurity- try turning off social media notifications for a couple of days and finding self-validation in other areas of your life.