Is it time for a Social Media Detox?

Confessions of a social media addict

As any of my long-time readers will know – Instagram is my absolute social media platform of choice. I am seriously one bottle of wine away from making an ‘Insta’ account for my cat.

I am obsessed. I have a problem. I just checked my Instagram again.

However, despite my love affair with looking at carefully curated photos – if I see one more Kardashian trying to sell me Detox Tea and Sugar Bear Hair Gummies I think I may implode.

This just may be why I’m in desperate need of a social media detox.


A study published by Deloitte suggests that other Australians are also getting fatigued by social media. In particular, ‘social media pioneers’ or older millennials (such as myself) are increasingly looking to take a break from these digital platforms. For example, this report found that there have been dramatic drops in daily social media use among my age group from 84% last year to 73% in 2017.

This begs the question – what is causing this snowballing exodus from social media?

The approach-avoidance behavior theory may hold some answers as to why online media consumers like myself are considering moving on.

Essentially, this empirically tested theory argues that basic human instinct makes us gravitate towards things that cause us pleasure (a bulldog in a bowtie) and avoid those which cause us pain (sponsored Insta pic of Lindsay Lohan trying to sell me toothpaste).


Researchers found that this approach-avoidance motivation is a ‘spring to action’ that allows us to approach positive stimuli and avoid negative stimuli. It has also been contended by some researchers that there is a highly ‘affective’ or emotional aspect to this approach-avoidance theory.

For example, I get annoyed by the clutter of advertisements in my social media feeds (especially inauthentic celebrity endorsements) and due to this cacophony of negative emotions I try and avoid this type of content as much as possible e.g. unfollow most celebrity and branded accounts.

However, it is getting harder and harder to avoid this type of content on social media. For consumers like myself – it can be incredibly frustrating.

So how should marketers proceed in order to keep “social addicts” like myself on these digital platforms?

If they keep the approach-avoidance theory in mind, the solution for many marketers may be a redesign of the content itself. In a rapidly evolving and highly saturated online environment it is important that marketers don’t remain stagnant in their approach to digital strategy.

Research in this field has argued that the exact social media strategy used should be based on the specific qualities of the organisation and its’ consumers. For example, a 2016 Snapchat campaign ‘They see me Rollin’ by Honda went viral with 50 million views. This highly innovative and user-generated content driven campaign demonstrates the potential for marketers and brands to connect with consumers on social media by delivering authentic, engaging and interesting content that draws the attention of their target market.

So, what are you waiting for detox tea and bear shaped hair supplements?

Start producing some engaging content and this social media addict may just #followyou…

After the Instagram detox of course 😉

Do you think it’s time for your own social media detox? What type of content would make you want to follow a brand’s social pages?



I’d love to hear your thoughts – make sure to comment below!!

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