Dig­i­tal detox

IS IT TIME TO LOG OFF?

ME - - Front Page - Sta­tis­tics: http://blog.margin­media.com.au/our-blog/aus­tralian­in­ter­net-so­cial-media-sta­tis­tics-jan-2015

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.

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