Five Reasons to Take a Break From The Internet

Social media detox

While you’ll see me roll my eyes and sigh like a conservative old man at certain aspects of millennial culture, the internet is not one of them. I will proudly tell anyone that I love the internet. And not just because it’s full of memes and reassures you that at any point, you are not alone in your existential crises. The internet has created millions of opportunities for everyone since its conception – to start a business, meet other people, have a creative space to share their skills and talents.

For example, take blogging. I think it’s super cool how we can share our opinions and start conversations, all while allowing other people to capitalise on our knowledge through tutorials, recipes, guides. Moreover, connecting with likeminded individuals across the world would be much slower if communication was still done via messenger on horseback: the world is faster and more immediate on the internet. While this isn’t for everyone, I love it in moderation and thrive in an environment where everything is evolving and constantly moving forward. Moreover, as much as people like to separate the internet from the ‘real world’, they are becoming increasingly interconnected and influence each other on a daily basis, often for better rather than for worse (I mean, I highly doubt delicious vegan cafes would be popping up all over the place had it not been for the world wide web allowing the vegan message to spread like wildfire, if you excuse the unoriginal simile).

Taking a break from social media

That being said, the online world has its drawbacks and from time to time, a break can benefit virtually all of us. Of course, there are people out these who depend on it to make a living, and whether you agree with such a career path or not, time off equates to less income. But in many cases, these people have found their thing and provided that they’re doing what they love, taking extensive breaks isn’t necessary except for in extenuating circumstances.

A couple of months ago, a girl I know said to me that when she goes on her annual holiday to France, she has no internet access for 2-3 weeks and simply hearing those words made my heart skip a beat because I couldn’t remember the last time I stayed offline for more than a couple of hours. For the reasons mentioned above, there is nothing intrinsically wrong with that. The internet is amazing, and I don’t agree with people who blindly hate it just because it is unlike ‘the good old days’. However, there must be a balance with everything in life and spending too much time online can have negative consequences, right down to an addiction. We also cannot deny that among all of the self-help resources and innovative ways to find solace in times of hardship, there are unreasonable pressures on here which can make us feel overwhelmed and impact our mental health.

Why we should unplug

Internet detox

Taking an internet break doesn’t have to mean switching off for months and retreating into a cave or living in a forest (ironic because I am in a forest of sorts in these photographs, but that is entirely coincidental). In most cases, a weekend or a set amount of hours each day is all I need. So, for what reasons may such a break be beneficial?

You can prioritise other aspects of your life

This applies to people who do not sustain ourselves through the internet, i.e., most of us. Recently, I had to take three weeks off from blogging because I had to prepare for an exam and except for an occasional post on Instagram, I was completely switched off. In situations like this, prioritising studying, work, projects not related to your online endeavours, while keeping up with the online world is often not possible, and staying away from the latter is the best option to avoid burning out.

internet break

You can avoid procrastination and time wastage 

Similarly to the above, you can get much more done when you are not bombarded by constant distractions. Even if I am doing something internet-related, such as writing a blog post or editing photos, I turn off my WiFi as a means of disciplining myself – because I know from experience that ‘quickly checking twitter’ usually snowballs into hours of mindless, unproductive scrolling. When I was revising for my IB finals, my ability to efficiently finish all of the tasks I’d allocate to a given day was largely due to my decision to strictly avoid the internet until 8 pm each evening. Hence, if you ever fall behind and find yourself unable to complete your to-do lists, analyse whether an internet break may be a way to overcome such a hurdle.

You can try new things and re-discover old passions 

ootd

Undoubtedly, as it plays such a big part in our lives, we may wonder what people did with themselves before the Internet came into existence and struggle to imagine life without it as a source of entertainment. However, there are plenty of options. You can learn a new language, read more books, join a club or a society, write prose and poetry, travel, spend more time in nature… For example, I have always loved painting and drawing, but avoided it in recent months due to insufficient time. But, at one point I had to ask myself – how much time am I wasting online each day? (Here ‘wasting’ is a key word, because connecting with other bloggers and my readers is one of my favourite things.) Is this time well-spent or would I rather dedicate it to something creative and fulfilling? The answer is quite obvious. On occasion, we should all step back as a means of discovering what’s been missing from our lives.

You can improve your mental and physical wellbeing

If you’re on the verge of taking a break from social media because of your mental health, you should 100% do it. The internet is a direct cause of some peoples struggles, which is understandable given how overwhelming it may be, and how hard it is to keep in mind that social media is not a realistic point of comparison when things are not going to plan in your life. Over the years, I’ve become an expert at shielding myself from such pressures and developed an attitude of skepticism regarding displays of perfection, but at times I still need to distance myself from the excesses of Instagram, Twitter, Facebook. Similarly, if you struggle with your mental health in any way, the internet can start to feel like a burden as opposed to a joy. Unplugging in these instances can be the utmost act of self care.

Social Media break

How to unplug

You will have more time to spend with your loved ones

I am not saying that real connections cannot be built online, but dedicating attention to your ‘in real life’ family and friends should never be neglected, especially as the holiday season – a time for gratitude – unravels. It’s important to be as present as possible, enjoying every moment with your friends and family, because frankly they will not be here forever. And, we can all agree on the difficulty of trying to communicate with someone who seems permanently distracted by technology. If you ever find yourself isolated from the people who are important to you, I would recommend unplugging and then re-introducing the online world into your life in such a way that doesn’t compromise the quality of your immediate relationships.

Internet break

Ultimately, I think that unplugging is all about proving to ourselves that the world doesn’t end when we are not connected to the web 24/7 – if anything, overcoming your fear of ‘missing out’ may open up new opportunities and shine a new light on the things around you which you may have previously neglected. You should search for your own balance between the Internet and the ‘real world’, which may involve extended breaks, or simply allocating ‘time slots’ to the former as I do, to ensure you spend your time online productively, in a way that benefits you. The world isn’t black and white: the Internet/social media is neither an evil that should be avoided nor the only thing worth caring about, but something that can benefit all of our lives when a mindful approach is taken.

Let me know – do you like to unplug from the Internet, and for what reasons? What are your favourite methods of ‘surviving’ a social media detox?

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Lots of love, Maria ♡

INSTAGRAM | TWITTER | PINTEREST | BLOGLOVIN’

 

63 thoughts on “Five Reasons to Take a Break From The Internet”

  1. I am so glad that you shared this post! We do need breaks from the online world and especially from Social Media from time to time. I have to say that I did the same very recently. I had not posted on my Instagram for over a month till last weekend. I also barely checked it and it felt amazing! xxx

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Totally agree with everything you wrote and I’ve been detoxing from social media and it def really helps me priortize my work and just feels so good! Thanks so much for sharing this post girl and you look great in those pics ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  3. This is such a well written post – and full of good points, particularly how cutting off for a while can help you refocus your priorities to other areas of your life!

    ps. totally with you on appreciating the mass of memes at our fingertips, haha

    aglassofice.com
    x

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ahh thank you so much for reading dear, I am happy to hear you agree with me because at times it is so easy to lose focus.. and memes have to be one of the best things about the internet tbh :’)

      Like

  4. This a great post, and so well written. I keep meaning to do a 24hr technology detox but haven’t found the time yet. Think I need to put on my big girl pants and just do it – I bet I’ll love it after adjusting to the absence of my phone and laptop.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. It’s true that the internet can definitely be a time sucker. I wind up one site, then all of a sudden it’s the end of the day and I’m still online haha. Taking a break in general is good. I like to stop and go outside to stop my ‘bingeing’ habits, whether it be the internet or watching shows I have stored up in my hard drive. It’s nice to look at other things than a screen every now and then 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Thoughtful points, Maria. I take breaks often for days and hey I love it when I am back. I just pick up the threads from where I left. Blogging can tend to overwhelm your life if you don’t step aside once in a while. Here’s to the occasional detoxes girl. xx

    Liked by 1 person

  7. You are so right! I can’t imagine my life without internet, and I’m aware I (and a lot of people of my age but also elder) have a big addition with Internet! I guess I should take a weekend off, but what if I miss an important e-mail? What if something be happens in the world and I don’t see it? But I know I totally have to do it, because I waste lot of time on Internet and because my already low-vision is becoming worse! By the way, thank you for shaing your interesting thoughts about this contemporary topic!

    xx Federica | https://federicasdreams.wordpress.com/blog/

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh yeah I totally forgot to mention that my eyesight definitely doesn’t benefit from staring at screens too much! Good luck with your break if you ever choose to take one – it definitely gets easier after a while 🙂 thank you very much for reading!

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Sometimes, I take internet breaks too just because I feel like what I’m seeing on the internet is mostly toxic and I just have to stay away from that. It’s true that you’ll get to be with your loved ones more and you’ll discover that there are a lot more other things that you can do that isn’t internet related. 🙂

    Like

  9. I absolutely agree with your points! But at the same time, if you use the internet carefully, you wouldn’t need to take a break from it. Unfortunately I’m super busy at the moment, and rarely have time to sit in front of the computer and I feel like I’m missing quite a lot 😦 How silly does this sound haha!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I definitely think that it’s important to find a balance with it and use it constructively! And I feel like that as well quite a lot when I am busy but I think it’s important to remember that there will always be time to catch up and keep up to date when we have more time on our hands:)

      Liked by 1 person

  10. i agree with every single point! i love the internet, but there has been many times i feel as if im wasting my time on here and i hate it. i feel like theres so much more to explore in the world, i just don’t know where to start …cues me going back online to find places lol

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Ahh I am so glad you can agree with what I am saying, and I can totally relate to the feeling of not quite knowing what to do with myself when I am offline, but the best that we can do is try as many options until we find ‘the thing’ 🙂

      Like

  11. When my phone broke last month, I was forced to take a mobile detox and it actually helped me cut back on the internet and using social-media. I can relate to the mental health side and improving wellbeing. I do feel much better about not missing out and I usually less stressed when I cut down. xx

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I think that taking time off my phone, whether intentional or unintentional, is always super beneficial because it seems to be my biggest source of time wastage. And the mental health side of social media detoxes is definitely one of my favourite things about them – I am so glad to hear you managed to benefit from it! xox

      Liked by 1 person

  12. im loving this outfit! and the i cudnt agree more with the post! once in a while i see to it that i have a vacation from the online world, most esp at times when i don’t like what’s trending lol. but eventho, it’s really hard to take a vacation from internet nowadays. first, it’s part of my job as a social media manager and a blogger. second, it’s the easiest place to go when we need something like what youve mentioned in this post. Always a good read from you! x

    mutzii • http://www.theshoenazi.com

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ahh I am so glad you like this post and the outfit:) I can totally understand that it may be very hard at times (even when I am preparing for exams I need to use it for research and it’s hard not to venture into twitter lol) but I think we just have to do our best to take little breaks here and there! Thank you so much for reading:)

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Such a well written post! I couldn’t agree with you more. This post just made me realize how much time I waste mindlessly scrolling on Instagram each day that could be spent doing something productive! I am definitely goung to try switching off my WiFi while working on blog posts or uni work! xx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Social media is definitely something that’s hard to get away from but it is definitely worth it and gets easier after a while – good luck with your break if you end up taking one! Thank you so much for reading xox

      Liked by 1 person

  14. Here am I catching up on a week of blogs, with the ironing board set up ready for me to get to work…..yes it is distracting, but as you say, also a, for me who lives miles from family and friends, a wonderful way to easily keep in touch with people. Great post!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes I can definitely agree that the internet can be an amazing way to keep in touch with loved ones (most of my family still lives in Russia so it’s the only way to communicate with them) but we have to keep a balance between constructive usage and stuff that simply wastes time. Thank you for reading!! ❤️

      Like

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