Digital Detox Day is happening this Saturday, 5 September, encouraging people to turn off their phones and focus on their mental wellbeing. The project is a joint effort between mental health campaign #IAMWHOLE, LUSH, and influencer Zoe Sugg. Its sole purpose is to bring awareness to the negative side effects of social media.
While apps like Instagram, TikTok, Facebook and Twitter mean we’ve never been more connected, we’re paradoxically more disassociated, too. Social media has been shown to cause feelings of isolation, depression, disconnect, FOMO, and cyberbullying, and Digital Detox Day wants to put an end to that.
If you want to develop a healthier relationship with your social media, Sugg and LUSH will be posting discussion panels on their IGTVs about body image, cyberbullying, anxiety and digital boundary setting throughout the month. And of course, remember to take 5 September off to digitally recharge.
For some added inspiration, read on to find out how five Hong Kong influencers keep their digital boundaries and mental wellness in check while navigating social media.
“Social media is an amazing source of free inspiration, to find places to eat, drink and discover, and it’s connected me to some of my now closest friends. But, it’s easy to get caught in the perfect projections of people’s lives. I’ve learned to appreciate the beautiful images at face value and follow accounts that personally interest me. Whenever I experience the negative side of social media, I turn it off for a little while and shift my focus to the present. I make it a rule to keep my phone down when I’m at dinners, or at home with my partner.”—Ellie Furuya
“I tend to use social media for work, it can be an engaging, entertaining and positive way to learn about what cool things people are making around the world. I don’t love how people use it to tout political views or share those memes that make fun of people. That’s a very cynical approach, with bad energy, and it can suck you in. People need to figure out if their social media content is part of the problem or part of the solution. When I’m not working, I have to do other things, like exercising, cooking, sketching, journaling or meditating, so I’m not stuck looking at the phone.”—J.J. Acuna
“I love being able to connect with people around the world, and I love the positive influence I can have on total strangers’ lives. But my ability to pay the bills is based solely on the opinion of others, which can become toxic when my content doesn’t get likes, or I get hateful comments. If someone is horrible, I will block them. Ain’t nobody got time for that. Recently, I’ve been trying to ignore the numbers and focus on creating content I love and relishing in meaningful interactions instead. It’s made a big difference. Create boundaries and remember that social media isn’t real life, so put down your phone and live a little!”—Jen Balisi
“I love how easy it is to keep up with friends, and get the latest on topics I love, especially during COVID. But you have to watch for the moment when it becomes an addiction, and you end up overwhelmed. I am very lucky that I do not experience much negativity from my followers, or get FOMO, but I still try my hardest to limit my screen time, and I’ve muted all my notifications, so I don’t get distracted. You’ve got to listen to your heart, whenever you feel any kind of negative feeling, it’s always good to slow down, take it easy and step away for a while to let yourself relax.”—Christoffer Cheng
“Social media is a place where people from all backgrounds and beliefs can connect and express themselves. It’s a space of infinite possibilities, and I love playing in it to share positivity, empowerment and tips. But it’s often used to spread fear, lies and destruction. Everything is energy, so the accounts you follow either give you energy or drain your energy. I’m a huge believer of digital cleansing. I unfollow accounts that make me feel bad and have a strict ‘love only’ policy. Put a time limit on your scrolling and check in with yourself before you engage with social media. Make sure you’re in a balanced energetic state, and if you’re feeling low energy, give yourself a digital-free day to recharge.”—Coco Alexandra