Social media is a cesspool of toxic sentiments and we are getting sucked into it deeper by the day. Even if we recognize the toll it takes on our minds, it is virtually impossible to resist the urge of mindless scrolling. 

What began as a leisurely activity has moulded into a burden we cannot shake. 

Social media platforms are notoriously engineered to lure you in and keep you hooked, leading to a behavioural addiction driven by the subconscious impulse of mechanical engagement which increases your dependency on it over time. 

According to a 2017 study, there were over 4.55 billion active social media users, which makes up almost 57.6% of the world’s population.

It all boils down to the fact that social networks are worthless without their patrons. They survive on a “network effect” and profit the more people rely on it. So naturally, corporations will do anything in their power to keep their audiences tethered. 


However, feeding into our addiction only adds fuel to the networking giants and the continual dispersion of misinformation, malignant propaganda and a distorted version of reality which triggers a series of mental health catastrophes such as depression, body dysmorphia and self-loathing to name a few. In 2022 alone, it is predicted that almost 330 million will potentially suffer from internet addiction.

Caught in a pickle, social media users are beginning to realise the benefits of taking a hiatus from the platforms. The hashtag #digitaldetox is widely popular on Instagram with over 250,000 posts publicly sharing the benefits of their time off. Twitter seems to agree too: 

While a detox won’t create a long-term behavioural change, limited exposure to a simulated reality can help us declutter our brain by removing the unnecessary noise and negative emotional triggers that accompany social media. 

When we detach from the virtual world, we enable ourselves the space for self-observation. Taking a step back from social media provides the opportunity to observe any obstructive thoughts and mental health triggers that might have adverse effects on our psychological well-being. 

Awkward Yeti

It is also worth noting that no matter how long we spend engaging with other bodies on the internet, social media is a sedentary activity. It comes at the cost of minimizing real-world interactions. 

To put it simply, social media is like a reality show – heavily curated and heavily edited. Thus it facilitates feelings of exclusion and envy from a world that doesn’t even exist. Substituting inter-personal experiences for internet contact exposes us to unrealistic and manipulated portrayals of connections which can aggravate social isolation.

It’s ironic how a tool crafted to boost connectivity has isolated us from reality and wreaked havoc on our mental health. To ensure that social media has a positive impact on us, it’s important to be mindful of our usage. That means knowing when it’s time to take a break.