Reasons to disconnect from social media
Matt Haig, has a new book out, Notes on a Nervous Planet. Author of novels and nonfiction books for children and adults, including The Humans and How To Stop Time, Reasons to Stay Alive, one of the main themes in the author’s new book is how to stay sane in our fast-moving, anxiety-inducing world and why we need to disconnect more from the internet for the sake of our mental health.
Matt Haig acknowledges that most of us are addicted to social media but that it is still not a recognised condition, but is certain that one day soon it will be. He is taking his own small steps to ‘disconnect’ and not get distracted like not taking his phone to bed and instead leaving it to charge downstairs.
Other people in the media who are publicly sharing their own social media snub include Simon Cowell, who has reported not touching his phone for 10 months, revealing the positive benefits to his mental health. Simon is quoted “It has been so good for my mental health. It’s a very strange experience but it has absolutely made me happier”.
Whilst many of us may not class ourselves as addicted to social media, our use of social media is becoming habitual which starts to spill over into other areas of our lives. Some people are guilty of checking social media and are even tempted to check their smartphones while eating out with friends or instead of talking to their children. More importantly quality time with family and friends is being sidelined to check out social media on their smartphone instead.
Matt Haig recognises we need more funding to raise awareness and to combat mental illness. “For all the government’s lovely words about mental health, it’s the first part of the NHS that they’re willing to cut. I hear about waiting times and how ill you need to be to get help. No one would think you should only get treatment for a physical illness if you’re on the point of death, whereas with mental illness they’re literally assessing how likely you are to kill yourself”.