Beginning the new year with a detox isn't anything new but putting aside the smoothies and salads, I thought I'd restrict a different type of toxic indulgence.
I don't hate it, in fact it is essential to my work as a journalist and the reason why I am still in touch with my amazing friends from home, university and abroad.
But it got to the point that checking my social media accounts became an addiction and my mental health was almost certainly affected by this.
I'd spend hours a day scrolling through various food, fashion and fitness accounts on Instagram.
As a millennial, of course I had all of these apps downloaded on my phone which meant at a tap of a finger I could stalk my ex's new girlfriend or stare enviously at a fitness model (while stuffing my face with vine leaves and hummous.)
Along with going to the gym more and using less plastic, I decided January 2018 will be the month I put an end to all of this.
I deleted Instagram, Snapchat and Twitter from my phone and even included Tinder and Pinterest in the clear out for good measure.
Facebook was a tricky one for me due to work reasons, so I had to make do with deleting its messaging app and switching off notifications from the main site.
I also decided to switch my phone to 'do not disturb' one hour before I go to sleep so I wouldn't be tempted by a late night urge to stalk various celebrities on Instagram.
I did however have to draw the line somewhere and only committed to a one month detox (for now) and allowed myself to use the websites but ONLY on my desktop or laptop - but hey, baby steps right?
So, why am I doing this?
In short, for my mental health and productivity.
While this ‘detox’ might not seem a big deal to many, it is not exaggerating to say that a lot of the younger generation is now ruled by the transparent hand of social media, whether it be taking pictures every time we eat avocado on toast or constantly tagging our friends in mildly funny memes.
And while I have long been aware that constantly checking up on other peoples' seemingly perfect lives on Facebook was not healthy, I kept on doing it.
But rather than feeling jealous, comparing my social life, career, financial situation and love life to other people's was diminishing my self esteem when in reality, I was in a good place and should have been grateful for it.
Similarly, what began as fitness and health motivation turned into wasted hours trolling through photoshopped pictures on Instagram.
I use to read a lot but instead of picking up a book, I picked up my phone and liked my friend's picture of her new gym outfit - what a great use of my time.
As cliché as it sounds, I realised that my time is better spent improving my quality of life rather than gazing at other people's through rose tinted glasses.
While a social media clearout might not work for everyone, being more mindful in what you post and what you see on those platforms is certainly one step forward.
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