NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Over the last decade, social media has only become more and more ingrained in people's everyday lives. Therapists say while it's a way to connect, social media is also very addictive.
So, let's be honest. Would you be able to just up and do away with your social media? For most of us, that wouldn't be so easy. One man believes it could be the change he needs.
Instagram. YouTube. Twitter. TikTok. Snapchat. Facebook. Actor and content creator Kyle Harris makes videos, getting likes, shares, friends and followers since his mid-teens.
"A lot of fun, goofy stuff," Harris smiled. "When I discovered these platforms, it was an outlet for me to be creative and get over that fear of being shy. It got me out of my comfort zone."
After so many posts and videos, Harris has decided to log out. He's quitting social media for one full year.
"This is gonna be super hard for me," he said. "I was truly addicted to social media. I just couldn't put it down. I really started to see my love of social media take over my life. It started messing with friendships and relationships. Enough was enough, and I just wanted to take back my time and my life."
Giving up social media for a year? Would this be an easy thing for most people to do?
"No. No. It wouldn't be an easy feat for anybody," said Lauren Ruth-Martin, LCP-MHSP, owner of Novel Counseling. "That's how we connect now."
Ruth-Martin sees a lot of the good in social media but said many people have trouble with the moderation of it.
"We have to figure out what makes sense for our lives," she said. "What's hard is that the algorithm is designed to hit these parts of our brain that can become addicted to it. If you're running at 100% every day on social media, and it's taking that much life, once you label it without shame as a problem, then you're more likely to change."
According to USwitch in 2020, Americans spent more than 1,300 hours on social media, in large part due to the pandemic. If you take all those hours and put them together, you're going to come up with 57 days.
"People were bored," said Harris. "People needed an outlet and that was it."
Harris is shooting a documentary about his year without social media. So, two weeks in, what's it like?
"I catch myself picking up my phone every 5 or 10 minutes," he laughed. "Nothing's there. Still want those dopamine hits."
Does he think this year will maybe make him a different person?
"I sure hope so, yeah," he said. "I think I will be. I think I'm going to have a lot better relationships with friends. I think it's going to keep my focused and intentional in things that I'm doing. I'll be very interested to see if I get back on at all."
This story was originally published by Forrest Sanders on newschannel5.com.