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Gen Z have been online since the day they were born, while other generations might still remember the days before social media blew up. Regardless of whether or not we like our phones, it's become quite a necessary part of socializing. Many of us have mixed feelings about it, and many of us believe having a “phone detox” is necessary to maintain mental and physical health.
But unplugging comes with a few social drawbacks. Gen Z kids and teens attend classes on Zoom, and many adults now work from home. What if unplugging meant that we would lose our support network or our jobs?
“The type of person who is better off without social media is someone whose communities and connections are readily accessible in real life. Many people rely on social media as a central part of the information infrastructure and a means of connection with geographically distant communities, most especially teens and adolescents raised in a socially connected environment.” — Angela Lee, Stanford University.
“Rather than putting a hard stop to online platforms, it’s much more realistic to adopt changes that allow us to reassess our mental and emotional health while understanding how social media fits into the picture.”
— Psychotherapist Dr. Markesha Miller
In other words, make social media work for you, not the other way around.
Here are some ways you can have a healthier relationship with your phone.
🔔 Enable only useful notifications, turn off everything else.
🔥 Be ruthless with your apps: delete apps you only use on occasions
🔘 Grayscale: go into settings and turn off colors. Doing this will make your phone less addictive.
📩 Unsubscribe to unnecessary emails.
😴 Ban phones from your bedroom
While we figure out what works for us, we should look critically at the social platforms we use and voice concerns that may inhibit our mental wellbeing and our overall quality of life.
In case you missed it, check out our previous article on the effects of Instagram on mental health.