5 Reasons Why You Should Take a Social Media Sabbatical Right Now!

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5 Reasons Why You Should Take a Social Media Sabbatical Right NOW

Have you felt that your life revolves more around screens than the faces of people lately? Taking and posting photos of hotel rooms before entering, of food before eating, and of boarding passes before taking off on a vacation are all well-accepted norms.

We measure our worth in likes, positive comments boost our self-confidence, and getting wi-fi has become a basic necessity. Are we all turning into social media zombies who feed on the artificial world created by Facebook and Instagram? Maybe. Before that gets confirmed (which will happen sometime very soon), it’s time to take that social media sabbatical. Pick your reason:

1. You cannot live the moment

You only live once. But if you keep staring at that phone screen of yours, you will never realise when it is over. Thanks to social media, you know what your friend in Hong Kong is having for lunch but have no idea what your spouse ate at work. You are on the dinner table, but both the kids are busy on their tabs and your partner, and you are checking out your respective Facebook feeds. Where are those meaningful conversations over dinner gone?

It is easy to drift away from the moment when you have so much happening on your mobile phone. For once, try talking with the friend you have met for coffee instead of that one who is live on Facebook Messenger and look at your family and talk to them while having dinner. Maybe your kids will follow suit too.

How can this affect you professionally?

  • It is tough to build strong relationships at work, if your time is spent online during work breaks. Instead you should interact with your peers and seniors, seek out mentors or learn more about what is happening in a different team.

Related: How Social Media Can Make or Break Your Career

2. You have started comparing

Your Facebook and Instagram feeds are full of happy people with perfect lives – some getting married, some always vacationing, some shopping expensive brands, and some with flawless bodies. So, even if you are not the person who would feel depressed seeing others happy, if this happens all the time, it is only natural to feel you are lacking something. However, what people portray on social media is only a part of their day and lives; it could even be entirely fake.

So, the friend who put up photos of her fairy-tale wedding might already be unhappy with her husband and that one with those six-pack abs might be losing his mind over his strict diets. Social media turns you into a self-sympathising, disheartened person you are actually not. Therefore, this detox will give you a reality check and make you thankful for all that you have in life.

How can this affect you professionally?

  • This is the worst one to develop. Comparing designations, office offsite venues or awards won can make you feel that you aren’t getting your due. This will create resentment and impact team dynamics, if someone is favoured for an assignment over you.

Related: Can Money Buy You Happiness?

3. You have made your life too public

In pursuit of looking ‘cool’ just like everyone else, you ‘have’ to upload your workout photos, dessert photos, vacation photos, and even date-night photos on social media. So, your life is up and open for everyone to like, comment on, and judge silently or otherwise. Oh, and the pressure of taking that perfect selfie! Nothing beats that.

Phone conversations between friends and family have reduced as everyone knows what’s happening in each other’s lives through social media. Not many emotions, actions or relationships are personal anymore. We hold their exhibition on social media each day and everyone’s welcome to get entertained!

A break from social media will push you back to saying ‘I love you’ to your wife in person with an actual rose or picking up the phone and wishing a friend on his birthday. It will also make you realise that some things are meant to be private.

How can this affect you professionally?

  • Your opinions about the latest office gossip, or your passion for the most controversial protest in town could impact your work. Sometimes, it might even hamper your chances of landing a job. Be careful of what image you are portraying socially. If you sound arrogant, childish or downright offensive, organizations that encourage diversity will not touch with a barge-pole.

Related: 5 Troubling Ways Millennials Are Mismanaging Their Money

4. You waste too much time and money

Remember that night when you promised yourself that you will leave the phone and go to sleep in 5 minutes and came across that new Facebook shop selling cute coffee mugs? Of course you bought half a dozen without needing even one and wasted an hour selecting them. With so many distractions, appealing ads, and constant updates, it is difficult to put that screen down. So, you end up spending your precious time and money.

You might want to take that break now or wait till you spot dark circles under your eyes or see your monthly budget disappearing with online shopping.

How can this affect you professionally?

  • Becoming an online shopaholic can impact your savings, career planning or retirement plans. So one good way to avoid getting into debts or going bankrupt is to take a social media sabbatical or stay away from the tempting online ads on your newsfeed.

5. You might be addicted

According to a recent survey by consultancy firm Ernst & Young, Singaporeans spend over 12 hours each day on their gadgets. Now that is a scary finding. Internet and social media addiction is a reality and increasing number of people are succumbing to it daily.

So, if you wake up and check your Facebook feed before getting out of your bed or cannot leave the house without your phone, beware. You might slowly be getting addicted to social media. Internet addiction was also on the list of our 4 costly addictions in Singapore. The fact that there are Internet rehab clinics all over the world and many in Singapore including The Cabin and National Addictions Management Service confirms the power of this addiction.

How can this affect you professionally?

  • You can get fired! Or worse still, not be able to hold a job altogether, if the addiction is rather serious. Even if it doesn’t reach the levels of addiction, using devices might impact your concentration or make you lose your focus at work.

While social media can prove to be immensely helpful in keeping in touch with loved ones and finding career guidance, it is a double-edged sword that not everyone knows how to handle. So, take a break and see how it feels. We are sure you will learn many new things about the people around you and even yourself while you are at it.

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