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March 4, 2020

What is the Digital Detox and How Will it Affect Your Brand?

There are now over 3.4 billion social media users across the world. For the past decade, every year, the figure has increased exponentially. That’s finally starting to change. The digital landscape is in flux. People are stepping away from the screen and “detoxing” from the internet.6

What is Digital Detox?

The actual definition of detox is:

“A process or period of time in which one abstains from or rids the body of toxic or unhealthy substances; detoxification.”

The entire purpose of a detox is to support your health in a variety of ways. In the context of the internet and social media, a detox is being used to shut down the device and work on improving health.

During a digital detox, users severely reduce the use of all platforms, both hardware, and software. Like a diet, a detox has no predefined time limitations. People will detox for as long as they feel is necessary, whether it is a day, week, or year. This means, users almost never delete their social accounts, they simply step away.

Signs of Digital Detox

There are many signs that indicate people have had enough.

A decline in the number of individuals engaging with these platforms indicates a need to take a break and detox from the environment.

Reasons for Digital Detox

People are becoming much more aware of the impact overall health has on wellbeing. Meditation is one of the fastest-growing health trends, outperforming even diet and exercise. More then ever before, individuals are looking to claim their minds. Additionally, awareness campaigns have brought to light the dangers of not looking after your mental health.

Recent studies have not been kind to social media showing that it promotes narcissism, induces insomnia, and decreases empathy. In other words, it’s not great to be on it constantly. In fact, the same research shows that digital detox can have physiological responses. It improves sleep, increases memory, and induces more empathy for others.

That’s not to say that social media is evil. It’s just that everyone needs a break sometimes. A less dramatic reason people give for taking a break from social media is that it drains their time away from doing other things they love. It’s an effective thief of time, we all know this.

Is This the End?

Social media isn’t going anywhere, anytime soon. That’s why 30.6% of users surveyed only deleted their apps—not the accounts. This is highly indicative that people just really need some time away. It’s not really the end.

The big social companies are not blind to this trend. They are currently working hard to put preventative strategies in place that will keep people on the platforms and engaged without becoming addicted. This includes things like shifting engagement, changing algorithms, and removing features such as “likes.”

Your Brand

So, how will this affect your brand? It depends on your digital marketing strategies and industry. How often do you market on social channels? How reliant are your sales and conversions on social engagement? Does your industry need social? Start asking yourself questions like these. You may need to shift strategy to accommodate a digital detox.

Ultimately, however, it shouldn’t really affect business to the point where you are losing sales. And if this does happen, perhaps look into other avenues like email marketing, direct mail, or even cold calling. Understand that everyone needs a break, so just make sure your business is prepared to accommodate the shift.


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