The Reality Behind a Digital Detox
In the latter end of last year, the hypnobirthing website, birth-ed, underwent a period of radio silence.
Megan Rossiter had decided to take some time away from all of her social media accounts, which included stepping away from her work, to focus on her mental health.
In October 2019, Megan made the choice to remove all social media apps from her phone as part of a months digital detox. As well as being another guilty user that spends several hours a day scrolling through the likes of Facebook and Instagram, Megan actually relies on these platforms for her business, so this was not a decision that was made off the cuff. So, what was it that prompted her to temporarily cut all ties with not just the social media scroll cycle, but work too?
“In October last year after trying for our second baby, I suffered an ectopic pregnancy. I run a business working with pregnant people, so the vast majority of my social media feeds are full of pregnancy snaps, baby photos, and chat about birth! I needed some time away to allow my feelings to settle, so I went cold turkey-even though it meant stepping away from my business!”
In times of trouble, social media can often be a place where users go in attempt to seek support and comfort. However, it doesn’t take long until you’re whisked up in the world of comparison, competition and corruption which makes you wonder why you even started scrolling in the first place. From my personal experience, the weekly screen time notification that pops up on my phone is more embarrassing than someone seeing my drunk text messages, so how long did Megan typically spend on her apps?
“Prior to my month off, I spent several hours a day flicking through”, Megan informs me with a nervous laughter. “It was mostly for work, but the funny thing with social media is how the boundaries cross into personal life so much too. Typically, I’d say it was 3-4 hours a day”.
Megan isn’t alone in this boat. According to a Twitter poll, 50% of respondents say they also spend more than 3 hours a day scrolling through their phone. This is partially down to the fact that social media provides instant gratification. Within a few clicks and scrolls, we receive adrenaline rushes, automatic information, answers to every question we may have. When I ask Megan how the initial adjustment made her feel, she hesitates.
“For the first week off it felt weird, I found myself constantly reaching for my phone, opening the home screen and realising I’d deleted it [social media] all. It took about a week to kick the habit and finding other things that I enjoyed spending my time doing, but it absolutely helped me feel better".
But did this feeling persist throughout the detox?
“It did actually, I felt really great and my mind ticked less. I felt less stressed out, and it was much easier to focus on one thing. It was to the point where if I didn’t rely on social media for my business I probably wouldn’t have gone back”.
A social media detox is something that many users consider, especially as the likes of celebrities Ariana Grande and Kendall Jenner have done so too. According to another Twitter poll, 89% of people said they'd felt the urge to delete their social media, but only 16% had actually followed through with it.
“I would absolutely recommend a social media detox!” Megan exclaimed when I asked if she’d recommend it. “When I realised, I couldn’t go 30 minutes without checking my phone I realised it was something worth kicking. I’m back on social media now but all notifications are off and all business posts are scheduled so I don’t find myself on there for hours and have set myself limits for all the apps too!”
To find out more about Megan Rossiter’s hypnobirthing website, click here.