The holidays are the perfect time to cut yourself off from the world — work, forced socialization, responsibilities — and focus on yourself and the people who matter the most.
Except you don’t cut yourself off from the world.
On your first vacation day, you feel the urge to open your phone and tune in to your friends’ stories. You log into social apps and mindlessly scroll. Before you know it, you’ve spent three hours tapping and viewing — not a relaxing nor productive way of spending the holidays. You may not notice it, but spending copious amounts of time online during your downtime does more harm than good to your health.
Here are three reasons you should log off your social media accounts while you’re on vacation.
A Detox Is Good for Your Physical Health
You don’t mind the time when you’re busy viewing cat videos and scrutinizing foodie photos. As such, you could spend hours glued to the screen without noticing.
Prolonged digital exposure, however, can lead to digital eye strain, which causes blurred vision, dry eyes, headaches, and even neck and shoulder pain. The longer you stare at a screen, the more sensitive your eyes are to the strain.
A social media detox gives your eyes the rest they deserve and enables them to recover from all the digital exposure from your work.
Social media also meddles with your sleeping pattern. Apart from offering new content every second, which stops you from logging off, the blue light emitted by the screen restrains melatonin production. Melatonin is a hormone that controls your waking and sleeping cycle. Constant online presence is preventing you from much-needed sleep.
A social media detox means there are fewer things to keep you from your bed, and you’ll get a more restful sleep.
Replenish Your Mental Health
Without realizing it, social media impacts your mental health negatively. People portray a picture-perfect life on Instagram, leaving you to think that your life is less interesting and eventful than your peers’. Someone else’s curated, carefully constructed feed can leave you unsatisfied with your lot.
When you log in, you will always find a trendier holiday spot than the hotel you’ve booked and more expensive vacation clothes than your Spyder boys’ ski jacket. There will always be fancier cars, more lavish dinners, and more picturesque views.
Spare yourself from any potential bitterness and keep others’ holiday feed at arm’s length. Focus on where you are and the people you’re spending time with.
Create New Memories with Your Loved Ones
The best part of a social media detox is, by disconnecting from the digital world, you are reconnecting with the real one.
Enjoy the views without worrying about getting an IG-worthy picture. Hold a messy game night with your friends without thinking about how it would look on Facebook. You’ll be immersed in conversation, more open to new ways to pass the time, and enjoy the company of your loved ones.
That isn’t to say that social media is the bane that separates us all. Social networking sites have made it easier to connect with people we don’t get to see often. It’s the excessive use that causes damage to our relationships and self-esteem.
So next time you go on a vacation, hide or delete the apps, take a few good pictures, tuck your phone away, and enjoy time off from the digital world.