Social media is the newest addiction and the mainstream treatment is the digital detox. It’s kind of the same approach to drug or alcohol addiction which fails over 90% of the time. The way I approach any addiction (drugs, alcohol, food etc) is to forget the substance and look at the way it makes you feel. There is always something that we recognise as ‘right’ about an experience, this makes us want to repeat it and this is connected to the solution.
Plenty of research shows social media is addictive because it’s instant, effortless and designed to be like doing shots of dopamine, constantly activating the reward center of the brain, and so on. But how about the metaphysical aspect? We are spiritual beings in physical form. Our soul nature is limitlessness, instant union and connection. Maybe we never realised how strong this was until social media and the digital world came along and we could be limitless and connect whenever we wanted, and then immediately started overdoing it.
Being social all the time is bad for organ health
We are not supposed to be social all the time, it is bad for organ health. If you wake up and immediately reach for your phone check out Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat or whatever, as far as your organs are concerned it’s like you have dozens of people in bed with you yabbering away, showing you stuff, talking on top of each other, it’s toxic central. Meanwhile your large intestine is trying to get rid of the toxins from the previous day. It needs you to be getting up for yourself, and finding and strengthening yourself not sinking under gossip and starting the day weakened and unsettled. It just can’t deal with this tsunami of meaninglessness. We communicate with our organs through our actions and basically you are telling your organs that your health comes second, that gossip has priority over your soul.
We’ve never had the situation where we could be social all the time before, nobody ever woke up every morning to a bunch of people in their bedroom immediately talking non-stop, singing, dancing, throwing stuff around and partying, but social media changed this. If you’re constantly checking social media it’s like this troop of aggressive entertainers greets you in the morning, follows you to breakfast so you can’t eat calmly; crowd around you in the bus or in the car, and follow you to work distracting you so you are less productive. They interrupt your digestion, waste your afternoon and then jump around on the bed all night so you can’t sleep.
None of your organs can handle this, they can’t function properly. If they don’t get nutrients, sleep, rhythm and routine they can’t protect the heart and it suffers. It feels unprotected (we feel unsafe) and anxiety and depression rise. This is the connection between social media overload and anxiety in teenagers. Social media overload is a chi disruptor, it interrupts the flow of chi and creates stagnation and it can cause existential pain. The solution is reconnection with our soul nature as often as possible to keep feeding that inner longing, and only doing quality social media at social time when it can be beneficial.
How to get social media /life balance.
- Don’t check your phone or screen until after breakfast. Our organs don’t like us multi-tasking when something important is happening. Eat as if your life depended on it, focussed and mindful, because it literally does. If you text and scroll while eating you prevent nutrient absorption and create indigestion, acid reflux, bloating and weight gain. You are on the road to lifestyle disease.
- Turn your phone off while you are at work. Leave it in your bag. This is work time not social time. You wouldn’t bring all your friends to work every day and if you did you’d get nothing done, and you’d get fired. You need to be productive in the morning, being unproductive leaves you dissatisfied and heading to lifestyle disease.
- If you absolutely have to check social media during the day, give yourself 5 minutes after you’ve eaten lunch. Don’t watch disasters, porn or anything distressing because you’ll prevent nutrient absorption, create indigestion, acid reflux, bloating and weight gain.
- Only check social media between 5-7pm because this is social time!
- Turn your phone off and leave it outside the bedroom every night. This is not social time it’s sleep time. You wouldn’t have all your friends over for a pajama party every night because after a while it would get boring, but doing social media in bed has the same effect on your organs. If you wake up and check your phone at night you are upping your odds of getting cancer, type 2 diabetes, dementia, heart disease, depression and anxiety.
- Don’t put your phone on the table when you socialise with real people for coffee or meals, don’t even take it out of your bag. It’s like bringing along a pile of friends that the person you are meeting doesn’t know, and then only talking to them.
- Set an example for your kids and friends by controlling the scrolling. Be responsible for promoting their health, be part of the solution.