Social media platforms .. "digital toxins", how to get rid of them?

Social media platforms .. "digital toxins", how to get rid of them?


Tom Holland, the star of the "Spiderman" movies, announced his boycott of social media platforms, to join many other celebrities who have done the same. Research has revealed that detoxing "digital toxins" may help improve mental health but can lead to feelings of loneliness.

British actor Tom Holland's accounts on social media have been quiet for more than six weeks, after which the hero of the "Spiderman" films came out and announced his retirement from social networking sites.

In a video clip on the Instagram application, he said, "Hello, bye," before explaining the reasons behind his withdrawal from social networking sites, which he considered "exaggerated motivation and exhaustion."

Many suffer from the inability to stay away from social media platforms

"I feel trapped and in a whirlwind when I read things written about me on the internet and eventually it's hurting my mental health, " Holland, 26, said.

With this decision, Holland joined a long list of celebrities who have decided to stay away from social media platforms in recent years, especially Ed Sheeran, Britney Spears, Miley Cyrus and Justin Bieber, in what he called a "digital detox".

The opinions of these stars varied about the reason behind this, between the prevalence of violence and hate speech on the Internet, or the desire to reduce the use of communication platforms that used to take up a lot of their time, or that they could not overcome spending too much time looking at the screen of smartphones, or even their rejection of a culture. Self-obsession or narcissism.

And it seems that staying away from social media platforms did not stop at celebrities, but politicians joined the list as well.

In 2019, Robert Habeck, co-chair of the Green Party and current Economy Minister in Chancellor Olaf Scholz's government, decided to retire from Twitter, writing in his blog the sentence: "There is no other digital medium as aggressive as Twitter, which is full of hate and hate."

In an interview with German television channel ZDF last year, he described his decision as one of the "most correct and wise" decisions ever.

Not only celebrities and politicians

It is remarkable that the decision to take a break from social media platforms or even to retire was not limited to celebrities and politicians, but extended to ordinary users of these sites.

In this, a recent survey conducted by the German Digital Association "Bitcom" stated that 10 percent of the German population plan to take more time away from social media platforms and the Internet this year, while 43 percent said they have already taken a break from social media in the past to feel some improvement.

In view of this, questions have been raised about the impact of communication platforms on humans.

Although there are studies that tried to reveal the impact of these platforms, especially Twitter and Instagram, they did not come out with conclusive results.

Depression and the hypothetical world?

Other studies have monitored an association between the time an individual spends on the Internet and depression, but a number of experts have not been able to determine which of the two precedes the other. Because people with depressive symptoms may be more willing to use social media.

Other studies such as one conducted by Abu Dhabi University in 2019 revealed that detoxing “digital toxins” can lead to negative effects such as stress or loneliness while away from social media platforms.

In it, Christine Langer, a member of the German "See" initiative, which aims to provide advice to parents to help use the digital world harmlessly, said that it is important to make a decision "about the amount of time we spend browsing social media platforms. What is the reason for using these sites and how much time will we spend browsing them?

In an interview with DW, she said that the impact of social media on the lives of individuals always depends also on the personal aspects of each person, adding that while some people have benefited from the virtual world, others have felt nervous and envied their friends on social media platforms because of their enjoyment of life. Better, they think.

A French app that offers a helping hand

In an effort to help, a French app called "Be Real" has been launched. And the new app from France wants to give more credibility to the world of social media. Accordingly, you cannot modify anything in the images and you cannot post multiple times in a row. Therefore, the app is supposed to give real insight into users' lives, which is what "Be Real" promises.

The application asks users, via a message, to take a picture within two minutes, but it is not possible to know when this message will arrive in advance, as it can arrive in the morning or evening and be sent to all friends and followers.

It doesn't matter if the user is cleaning their apartment or otherwise, they have to take the photo as soon as they receive the message.

If the photo is sent after the specified time has passed, the application will comment on it with the word "Delayed Photo". However, See emphasizes that the app is not necessarily completely secure.

The initiative said that young users in particular should be careful not to post something that may turn out to be annoying too late, or to show, for example, someone else who may not want to appear in the photo. Moreover, the daily notification can cause users to wait for it all day and thus prolong the use of the site.

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