Here at Loose Ends, we believe in the power of face-to-face communication. Although we’re an app, we also believe that most of us are in need of a serious digital detox.
Obviously, there are pros and cons of social media, but the amount we consume could be doing damage to our relationships and our health. For example, 60% of people admitted to feeling jealous, depressed, sad or annoyed after checking their social accounts.
In a bid to tackle the issue, the Royal Society for Public Health has announced the launch of Scroll Free September.
They’re challenging the public to go on a social media detox for one whole month. No more Facebook, Instagram or Twitter, just more time with the people you love.
But how could a social media ban improve your life?
Here are just some of the benefits of doing a digital detox for Scroll Free September.
What is Scroll Free September?
Scroll Free September is the world’s first large-scale social media-free month.
The RSPH is asking everyone to take a break from all personal social media accounts for the 30 days of September. Instant messaging and work-related social media are not included in the ban but anything that involves scrolling, swiping or liking is off the cards.
The goal is to help us reset our relationships with our screens. Social media isn’t all bad, we just need to find a better balance.
What are the benefits of a digital detox?
There are plenty of pros and cons of social media. Facebook, Instagram and the rest are great ways to keep in touch with far-flung friends and family. However, when it’s preventing us from meeting up with or nearest and dearest it may be time to consider a digital detox.
Here are three of the benefits of putting your phone on hold.
You get (much) more time with friends
We’re all guilty of being “too busy” to meet up with our loved ones. It seems that no matter how hard we try, work, school or life just gets in the way. But how busy are we really?
A recent Ofcom report claimed the average person now spends 24 hours a week online. That’s one whole day! Rather than aimlessly scrolling through your feed, why not get together with friends for a bottomless brunch or hit up an outdoor cinema?
Remember, while you’re with your buddies, leave your phone in your pocket! More than 80% of us admit to interrupting a face-to-face interaction to check social media, texts or emails.
It’s good for your mental health
The relationship between social media and mental health is a tricky one. While light use is unlikely to hurt you, too much can lead to problems.
A study by the University of Pittsburgh found high levels of social media use can lead to increased feelings of social isolation. Similarly, the RSPH’s #StatusOfMind 2017 report found using social media can wreak havoc on your mental well-being.
Problems reported included heightened feelings of anxiety, depression and body image issues.
With that in mind, we need to start reassessing our relationship with social media and mental health.
Meeting up with friends is an excellent way to improve your well-being. Face-to-face interactions with loved ones releases the hormone Oxytocin — your body’s natural antidote to depressive feelings.
If you’re finding yourself spending too much time on your phone and not enough time with your friends, challenge yourself to get out there and reconnect with your mates.
You will sleep better
Most of us are guilty of flicking through our phones before we go to bed. Checking your latest social media notifications might seem harmless but it could be messing up your sleep.
That’s because when it gets dark outside the brain releases melatonin — the hormone that helps send us to the land of nod. However, the blue light from our screens tricks our body into thinking it is still daytime.
The result increased levels of alertness and a rough night’s sleep.
By going on a digital detox for a month, 33% of social media users asked believed they would feel more rested.
We all know the benefits of getting enough shut-eye for our mood, productivity and energy levels. So swapping your evening scroll for a night-time stroll, book or even some meditation could have positive effects in all areas of your life.
Three ways to go on a digital detox
If you are addicted to social media then Scroll Free September may seem like an impossible challenge. To help, the organisers have set different levels of the challenge so that you can take baby steps towards reducing your use.
Here are three options.
1. Cold turkey
This means giving it up completely. A full social media detox. No more liking, commenting or hashtagging for 30 whole days.
2. Social butterfly
If you take this route, you are putting down your social media whenever you’re with your friends. So no Insta-snaps of your latest meal.
3. Night owl
If a full day is too much, just focus on logging off social media every evening, after 6pm. You should see an improvement in your sleep and your headspace.
Whichever option you choose, a digital detox will help you press reset on your social life. Give Scroll Free September a try for a happier, healthier month.
We appreciate the irony of a mobile phone app advocating Scroll Free September, but the primary goal of Loose Ends is to bring people together – in the real world!
We exist to help people meet up with their friends and not just message them. With none of the anti-social distractions of traditional social media platforms and all the power of bringing people together, Loose Ends can help you make memories with your mates this September.