IS IT TIME TO LOG OFF?
If you don’t post a picture of your breakfast on Facebook, did it actually happen?
There are currently 13.8 million Australians logged onto Facebook, which is about 60 per cent of the population.
And women are the biggest offenders, accounting for 53.2 per cent of users.
Another four million Australians use Instagram — so is it time we logged off and embraced the real world and present moment?
Shepparton resident Kirrily Kop is a self-confessed social media addict who scrolls through Facebook and Instagram in the morning, during work breaks and whenever there is a free moment.
“Sometimes I feel like it rules my life,” she said.
“If I’m out to dinner or have company I’m not on social media ... Unless it’s for a cheeky Instagram upload.”
Despite a clear obsession, which is undoubtedly shared with many others, Kirrily said social media helped her keep in touch with others and find new shops, restaurants and recipes.
“A picture is worth a thousand words — you really feel like you are still very much involved in your loved one’s lives even though you might live 100 km apart.”
While Kirrily said a social media detox would be a “struggle”, Shepparton resident Bella Considine has been logged off for more than a year.
Bella said she initially enjoyed connecting with people when she moved to Bendigo for university, but the novelty wore off when she finished her studies.
“I was seeing everyone going overseas and finding jobs after graduating, as I had trouble finding one. I would be thinking: ‘I wish I was doing that,’ ” Bella said.
“Being on social media was starting to make me feel unhappy. I now feel happier now that I don’t need everyone knowing what I’m up to — I feel more free.
“It’s good (logging off) because people make more of an effort to find out what you’re up to.
“With social media, you already know what people are up to.”
While there are obvious benefits to keeping in touch with others, there might also be some benefits from switching off — even if just for a little while.
“Give it a go. Even if you deactivate it for a month and then go back on,” Bella said.
Some tips on how to do a social media detox:
1. Understand the majority of people aged between 18 and 25 may consider your detox strange. But don’t worry, they won’t be listening — they will be too busy uploading a picture of their dog on Instagram.
2. You can ask a good friend to reset your password and give this password to you when you have finished your detox.
3. Delete all social media apps off your phone and tablets and charge your phone outside your bedroom — that way you won’t be tempted to download them again when you’re tossing and turning in bed from detox withdrawals.
4. Keep busy. Go for a run, read a book, visit a friend and have a conversation (a real face-to-face one). If you’re busy, you won’t even realise the missing smartphone from your hand.
Story: Alexandra Bathman
Photography: Holly Curtis Kirrily Kop is among millions linked in to social media while Bella Considine has reconnected to socialising in real time.