Lee Yu-gyung has been practicing a so-called 'social media detox,' taking a break from what used to be her favorite social media platform, for two weeks now.
"I wasted too much time on social media, even at work. I also started comparing my life to others I see on social media. It was unhealthy so I deactivated my account. Now I'm less distracted by unnecessary things so I feel more comfortable."
Although 'social media addiction' is not a clinical term yet, with almost 25-million users of social media in Korea, more people are feeling the need to take a break from the constant reminders and notifications that bombard their daily lives.
"With Facebook, I'd check posts even if I'm not interested because I'd get notifications. So I deleted the app for a while."
According to data analysis company Daumsoft, the online phrase usage frequency of 'smart phone addiction' has steadily increased from just over 29-thousand in 2015 to over 38-thousand last year, and it's already over 32-thousand mid-way through this year.
Along with this trend, the frequency of 'digital detox' and related terms such as 'digital fasting,' or 'online break' has grown from 25-thousand in the whole of 2015 to over 20-thousand so far this year.
"The positive function of social media is that it can bring people closer together. But if used too frequently it can have negative psychological effects. It can even distort how one perceives the world, as what is often shared on social media can differ from reality."
Experts add that this can also affect relationships between people as interactions through social media are different from those in real-life. They recommend a few tips to 'detox' from social media.
This includes consciously limiting time spent on social media, switching off alarms or notifications, or actually just taking a break from using the phone, to make time for more meaningful things.
Lee Jeong-yeon, Arirang News