„Touch grass“ is used online as a prompt to leave the virtual environment and return to the real world.
What does „touch grass“ mean? Meaning, definition, explanation
„Touch grass“ can be a friendly hint. In this case, a person is made aware of their excessive and therefore potentially harmful use of the Internet (or computer or smartphone). Meant in a kind and caring way, touch grass can then be understood as, „Before you stream any more episodes of the show, it might be quite good to get some fresh air.“
However, touch grass is also used to respond to offensive or inappropriate posts or comments. In this context, the expression means something like, „Your comment just now was totally out of line. Better to return to the real world first and factually reconsider what you said.“
However, the statement „touch gras „s also frequently occurs online to nip contradictions or other opinions in the bud. It is then comparable to saying, „I’m right anyway. I’m therefore not interested in your opinion.“
What does „touch grass“ mean? Explanation
„Touch grass“ is an English expression. „To touch“ means to touch. And „grass“ is the English word for grass. Literally translated, to touch grass means „to touch the grass“.
A saying comparable to „touch grass“ would be „Go get some fresh air.“
Background on the origin of „touch grass“
The expression appeared sporadically on the Internet as early as 2015.
However, it became common, often in connection with the image of a hand stroking fresh greenery, with the onset of the corona pandemic from 2020. Due to numerous lockdowns, many Internet users around the world sat in front of their devices longer than before. Spending time in the great outdoors was a thoroughly rare occurrence in some countries and regions during this period.
On the short message service Twitter in particular, users increasingly commented derogatorily on posts with „touch grass“. This also led to critical feedback. Some people considered it hurtful to dismiss comments made by others simply by saying that they should go outside again to clear their heads.
In addition, the term was all too often used to simply declare discussions over for lack of further arguments. Internet users also criticized this. However, this criticism did not slow down the popularity of touch grass.
At the end of 2020, the term was added to the Urban Dictionary. This online dictionary is filled by Internet users. It contains English slang terms and their explanations.
Due to the popularity of the term, numerous variations of touch grass are popping up around the world. Some evoke a smile, others have a serious political background and are quite thought-provoking.
Touch grass in the context of social media detox
No question. Social media connects people around the world in an uncomplicated and inexpensive way. Friendships can be made effortlessly and kept alive across great distances. News spreads at breakneck speed, and last but not least, digital networking made it possible for many to switch to the home office during the corona pandemic.
But the use of social media also brings disadvantages. Namely, when a lot of time is spent there.
What happened during the lockdown due to lack of opportunity has now become commonplace for many. Friendships are maintained only via text messages. Spending time in virtual worlds replaces walks in nature.
Too much on the Internet in combination with constant accessibility can lead to stress and the feeling of being controlled by others.
So-called doomscrolling, i.e. the popular Googling for scary news, permanently brings negative headlines to the fore.
But even positive things posted on social networks can be damaging. That is, when people forget that uploaded pictures and news do not always reflect reality. For example, they show the new parents with beaming baby on a meadow of flowers. However, all-nighters and full diapers usually don’t find their way onto the Internet. This creates a distorted reality that can quickly lead to dissatisfaction with one’s own life.
Social Media Detox, the mostly temporary renunciation of the use of social media, can counteract these negative aspects.
Gaining through renunciation
There is no right or wrong for the length of Social Media Detox. From a few hours to permanent abstinence, everything is possible. The only important thing is that the period fits in with your private and professional life and that important contacts are informed in advance.
It does not always have to be the full detox program. Leaving too many groups and deleting apps already create more free time.
Online acquaintances who predominantly arouse negative feelings such as envy or resentment should be reconsidered and, if necessary, terminated.
The time freed up by the social media detox is invested in hobbies previously cherished and forgotten. A phone call replaces the chat and the personal visit replaces the posted video.
Social Media Detox is no guarantee for more happiness in life, but it can help to reduce stress and increase satisfaction.