Living your life on social media has become so normalised that we forget that it’s not actually living. It is not uncommon for the average Joe or Jane to delegate a chunk of their daily routine to scrolling through their socials. And sure, on the surface it’s great. Without changing out of your pyjamas on the weekend you can find a date online, Whatsapp your bestie, and find a sense of validation by Instagram-ing your brunch from the day before.
But is our behaviour bordering on addictive? Yes. Yes, it is. Wollongong University’s Professor Katina Michael is an expert in online addiction. She says as the internet elbows its way into more areas of our lives, problems are becoming more common. “The greater the access and the greater the penetration of these applications and services, the greater the propensity for more of the population to have some form of trigger.”
New research claims that in 2017, more people are looking to quit social media than quit smoking. There’s even apps like AntiSocial which you can use to track how much time you spend on your phone – like a Fitbit for your mental health – which you can also use to block your socials. The app’s creator Chris Eade says “We’re not trying to tell people to stop using their phones. We’re just trying to give them the reference point about where they stand. “ The whole idea, then, is about giving you back some control. With many of us looking to kick the habit this year, we created a list of the top 10 things you can do instead of sitting on social media and avoid the #humblebrag vortex.