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How to Disconnect From Social Media | Men’s Journal

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How to Disconnect From Social Media | Men's Journal


What does social media have in common with cave drawings, the printing press, and the telephone?

They’re all part of an elite group of inventions we celebrate for having revolutionized the very nature of human communication. They were so instrumental in our civilization’s advancement that we think of history as divided into the periods before and after each. For social media, that distinction came in 2003 with the release of Myspace. Although we didn’t realize it at the time, our relationships, culture, and way of life were on the precipice of an extraordinary and irreversible transformation—one that history will judge as either a giant leap forward for mankind or a stumble into the abyss.

The best and worst of social media

At its best, social media leads to unlikely friendships, positive social movements, and connections that transcend physical distance. At its worst, social media amplifies the darkest instincts of human nature. It fuels jealousy and anger, provides a safe harbor for hatred, and feeds into a mob mentality.

Instead of using social media for good, advanced algorithms give bad actors the power to reinforce unconscious bias, sow distrust, and foster cultural balkanization by controlling the flow of information. While initially unassuming, social media has proven to be the most powerful weapon in human history.

Young people are at greater risk

Unfortunately, today’s hyper-connected world often portrays life as a competition, which is entirely the wrong mindset. It isn’t about winning or losing; it’s about being present in the moment. How can someone be happy and live a life of impact if they never feel good enough? Comparison is the thief of joy, and while promoting life as a zero-sum game is far from new, social media has lent credibility to this dangerous concept.

In 1954, psychologist Leon Festinger introduced Social Comparison Theory. His working hypothesis was that individuals unconsciously determine their level of self-worth by comparing themselves with others. Much of his research centered on social comparison bias and the causation between comparison and feelings of injustice, depression, and jealousy. Dr. Festinger found that this practice can impact a person’s mental health and result in substance abuse, self-harm, and eating disorders.

A recent study concluded that “social media use was associated with a greater likelihood of…depressive symptoms.” While the study focused on adults, younger people are at even greater risk. Many young people fail to realize that social media influencers manipulate their videos and are multi-million-dollar brands that only reveal what sponsors want you to see.

In the past, beauty magazines came under fire for promoting an unattainable standard. Social media companies are involved in these same disturbing practices—except they have unprecedented access into the minds of our children. Advertisers can reinforce harmful messages each time a young person checks their device, which, for many, is a lot! What chance does a teenager (or younger) have at defending themselves against sophisticated, scientifically developed marketing campaigns designed to reinforce social comparison bias? The answer: little chance at all.

Learn to detach

Even with these flaws, social media itself is not inherently evil. It can be a powerful tool if we rethink how we use it, become more aware of its dangers, and teach our children how to consume content responsibly (let’s be honest, adults need to work on that too). With its widespread adoption across society, eliminating social media from your life is unrealistic, but limiting it is not. Along with being healthy, setting limits can help you achieve your goals. Success requires focus, dedication, and time; the countless hours wasted scrolling through videos could be time spent bettering yourself.

I invite you to unplug each Saturday by turning off your screens and silencing distractions. While limiting your digital access won’t be easy, it’ll be well worth it. Here are two essential things to remember when you do:

1. Accountability: Tell a friend or family member what you’re doing, preferably someone who is with you a lot. They can be your support system and help you remain accountable.
2. Resiliency: Don’t be too hard on yourself for slipping up. Just be prepared to get back on track and keep moving forward. At the same time, that’s not an excuse to give it anything less than 100 percent.

We’ve all been convinced that life is about staying connected. After spending some time making memories with friends and being present with family, you’ll realize that life isn’t about staying connected; it’s about experiencing genuine connections.


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https://www.mensjournal.com/travel/best-adults-only-resorts/

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How to Explore the Best of West Virginia’s State Parks and Forests This Fall | Men’s Journal

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How to Explore the Best of West Virginia’s State Parks and Forests This Fall | Men's Journal


2. Cacapon Resort State Park

West Virginia’s Eastern Panhandle remains a popular escape thanks to its epic scenery, historic points of interest, and convenient proximity to hubs like Baltimore and Washington, D.C. This captivating region is also home to Cacapon Resort State Park. Tucked away in a folded mountain ridge, this park encompasses more than 6,000 acres and tends to lure lovebirds, history buffs, daredevils, and families. A visit here is like a choose-your-own-adventure getaway. Whether you’re chasing a wild, untamed experience or seeking a more laid-back, restorative vibe, you’re bound to find it here. Bonus: It’s only about an hour from the Beltway.

What to do: For a rugged retreat, take advantage of the park’s challenging single-track biking trails, marked by mountain switchbacks and varying terrain. Hikers can take off on nine different trails that wind over 23 miles. Trek up to the Cacapon Mountain observation deck (one of the state’s most Instagrammable spots) to get jaw-dropping overlooks of West Virginia, Virginia, Maryland, and Pennsylvania all at once. You can also explore the park on horseback. Triple-C Outfitters is a family-run riding stable that’s been offering guided tours in the region for more than two decades. Golfers flock to the park to play the 18-hole championship course, which features 73 sand bunkers and a commanding double green that’s over 100 yards wide. Designed by famed golf course architect Robert Trent Jones, Sr., it ranks among the top 130 best-designed courses in the country. You can also grab a few buddies for some friendly competition. Game courts for tennis, basketball, sand volleyball, and even wobble clay shooting are available.

Where to stay: Searching for a sophisticated stay? The recently renovated 124-room Cacapon Resort is the newest lodge in the West Virginia State Parks System. The luxury property offers indoor and outdoor dining plus the full-service Healing Waters Spa. Fun fact: The area is known for its rejuvenating mineral springs and the name “Cacapon” is derived from a Shawnee word meaning “medicine waters.” The park also has a collection of cabins in four different styles to customize your stay: Vacation, Legacy, Classic, and Economy. The advantages depend on which category you book, but they all offer the basics, like running water, electricity, fully equipped kitchens, and showers. There’s also The Old Inn, a palatial 12-room cabin that sleeps up to 32 people. Its impressive claim to fame is being the very first lodge in the West Virginia State Parks System.



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Best Adults-Only Resorts for a Kid-Free Getaway

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Chatham Inn, Relais & Châteaux in Chatham, MA


[from $2,750 per night; twinfarms.com]

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Chatham Inn

3. Chatham Inn, Relais & Châteaux in Chatham, MA

For another Relais & Châteaux jewel, head to Cape Cod. This 18-room, adults-only property is a postcard-perfect getaway. Spend relaxing afternoons strolling around the historic environs (the village of Chatham was established in 1712), scoping out lighthouses, hanging on the beach, and biking or boating the day away with your loved one. No trip to Chatham Inn is complete without a meal at Cuvée, run by 3 Michelin Star-awarded chef Isaac Olivo, for a tasting menu that melds together European technique with coastal flavor.

[from $349 per night; chathaminn.com]

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Triple Creek Ranch in Darby, Montana
Triple Creek Ranch

4. Triple Creek Ranch in Darby, Montana

Head to the majestic Bitterroot Valley outside Darby Montana, to this adults-only ranch amid towering pines below a 10,000-foot mountain. There, you’ll stay in a private cabin as you indulge in fine wines and high-mountain fare (think Montana huckleberries, fiddlehead ferns, and rattlesnake sausage). Partake in hiking, mountain biking, horseback riding, fly-fishing, panning for sapphires (yes, really), and other alpine adventures. Throughout the lodge and cabins, be sure to feast your eyes on the beautiful collection of Western paintings and sculptures. There are works by classic greats like Charles M. Russell and Frederic Remington, and contemporary standouts like William Matthews and Oleg Stavrowsky.

[from $1,300 per night; triplecreekranch.com]

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