On the 17th of May Love Island celebrity and Rugby 7s superstar, Greg O’Shea took to Instagram to announce his temporary departure from social media.
Two weeks later, on Monday June 2nd, a refreshed Greg marked his return with two simple words ‘missed ya😘 ‘.
Greg is only one of the many celebrities that have taken part in a ‘Social media detox’. The list of celebs who’ve made sure to nurture their mental wellbeing includes Lizzo, Miley Cyrus, Pete Davidson, Millie Bobbie Brown, Cardi B, Blake Lively, Kanye West and Meghan Markle (To name just a few).
Lizzo has even taken to posting mindfulness on the ‘gram and admits even she often finds herself overwhelmed and in need of an injection of positivity.
So what can we learn from these high profilers keeping a low profile for a change?😏 If even celebrities feel overwhelmed by the digitalised world? 😮 Does this mean we’re somewhat relatable?🤩🤩🤩
Well…while social media might be a great source for the latest fashion trends and keeping up with the Kardashians, studies carried out by the San Diego State University showed that teenagers who spent over five hours online daily were 71% more likely to have at least one risk factor for suicide compared to teenagers who spent one hour or less online.
Heavy stuff, I know. But this must mean something? We’re spending too much time online and it’s just not good for us!
We decided to speak with someone who knows their stuff about mental health, social media and making this world a better place in general😇
Tammy Darcy, Founder and CEO of The Shona Project – A multi-award-winning national non-profit organisation chatted with us about the work they do to support users of social media and provided advice on how to develop a healthy relationship with online platforms.
The organisations’ mission is to inspire, empower and educate today’s Irish girls to be tomorrows stronger, confident and curious young women👩🏾🤝👩🏻
When asked about the correlation between social media and mental health, Tammy pointed out links between anxiety disorder and the digital phenomenon.
However, the Waterford woman believes social media can be utilised in a positive and constructive way💡
“The speed at which we’re supposed to be processing information and the ‘connect-ability’ that we’re expected to have. I don’t think that we’re equipped for that. And it’s just gotten to a stage now where we just don’t have enough quiet time to process stuff that’s going on. We’re being distracted constantly and bombarded with stuff,
“We need to look at our habits around it (social media), especially the young people that we work with (the Shona Project), and look at the habits around it and see are they serving us well? And are they serving us in a positive way?
“There’s a lot of negative talk about social media, and there are a lot of negatives to it. But it might be just a case of changing those habits and using it in a more positive way and in a more self-serving way, and to maybe change the type of content that we’re reading all day, every day and the effect that that has on us. So yeah, there’s a number of ways in which it affects us, but we can change it if we’re just more conscious of how we use it” she said.
Tammy voiced concern about the social media effect on women in particular.
The Shona Project is attempting to break the negative rollercoaster girls can find themselves on when scrolling newsfeeds.
“What we’re trying to deal with on our social media platform is that for every 10 posts that a girl sees in her feed that tells her that she’s not good enough, or she’s not pretty enough, or she’s not smart enough or not accomplished enough, that then the one post from us will challenge those assumptions a little bit. And just even up the messaging a little bit” she said.
Tammy still believes social media can be used as an amazing tool that allows families and friends to connect, especially right now.
However, she highlighted the necessity to be able to acknowledge when social media is becoming a priority “online life should be a support to offline life”, she said, when it begins to sway the other way- that’s when we need to rethink!
She hopes people will learn how to take a break from social media and not to make it a priority.
Waking up in the morning shouldn’t include being immiediately bombarded with comparisons, horror stories and negativity once you open your eyes for the first time in the day.
“Finding balance between being informed and being overwhelmed” is vital says Tammy.
So, what can we take from our chat with Tammy and the example set by the bould Greg O’Shea?
Here are your top tips.
- Balance is key. It’s okay to enjoy social media, to post, to like and to share. However, when it begins to be the first thing we want to do when we eat a good meal or witness a funny moment, maybe then we need a bit of reflection.
- We don’t need to go all extremist. Yes, deleting the apps every once and a while will only do you good, but not necessarily essential. As Tammy said, don’t let it overwhelm you. Don’t let it be the first thing you check in the morning. Take a shower. Talk to your dog. Take a walk. Do some yoga. Whatever it is you do first, just don’t make it second.
So there you have it. Social media has its pros, but its those con’s we need to look out for. And look out for in others.
Saying all that, don’t forget to share this article on your social media, that’s definitely a pro worth doing 😉😂🤣