Over the past two decades, social media has not only changed the way we use the internet, but also the way we personally interact with each other. But too much of a good thing can lead to negative consequences. Here are some signs that you may need to part with social media.
You’re there all day
Overuse of anything suggests you may be over-reliant on what that thing is. This is especially true for social media. If you’re stuck at your screens all day, you’re probably missing out on real-world activities that could bring you more satisfaction than mindlessly scrolling through news feeds, comments, and cute cat pictures. Also, spending several hours a day on social media is likely to distract you from your work and negatively impact your performance. And then there’s the physical damage scrolling can do to your eyes from staring endlessly at your phone.
Likes are your source of personal affirmation
Everyone wants to know that their opinions, experiences, and thoughts mean something to others, and social media offers an almost instant opportunity to validate your life. However, chasing the dopamine rush that comes from dozens of interactions on your post can become addictive for some. When likes, comments, and followers become your source of personal validation, it can lead to self-esteem issues if you’re not getting the appropriate amount of interaction. Plus, it can also make you post more and try to get even more engagement by posting content that you might later regret. If you’re obsessing over how many engagements your posts are getting, you may need to take a break from social media.
Scrolling makes you feel inadequate about your life
One of the problems with social media is that what we see on screen often doesn’t reflect real life. People only want the best of their lives to be visible to the public. And with tons of features, you can enhance things like photos and videos, which can make your life appear more interesting and exciting than it is.
However, this has the unfortunate side effect of making some people feel inadequate or unwanted for comparing their own lives to what they think about other people’s lives on social media. It can also lead to people fibbing about their own lives to signal that they are just as interesting and exciting as their friends. If you’re scrolling through your news feeds and feeling inferior because your own experiences don’t reflect what your peers are posting on social media, and you’re making false or exaggerated claims about your life, you may need to step back and re-evaluate how you do use these services.
It makes you angry all the time
Our friends don’t always have the same opinions about things as we do. Whether that’s politics, religion, or even things like TV shows and movies. Also, the news cycle is an endless stream of bad news and terrible things happening around the world. Social media makes it easy to feed our internal outrage machines, and often we are unaware that we are being manipulated by algorithms and media companies to infuriate us and interact with their content online. If you’re constantly annoyed by world affairs or your friends and family’s opinions on sensitive issues, you might want to take a break from social media. It’s just not worth the stress and strain on your relationships.
You neglect your relationships in real life
Making new friends online is one of the best things to get out of social media. However, overusing the service can mean neglecting real-world relationships, leading to fading friendships, ignored spouses, and estranged children. If you prioritize what’s happening on social media over things at home, you may need to log off for a while to focus on reconnecting closely with the people who really matter – your personal friends and Your family.
You share too much
We’ve all experienced it when people reveal a little too much about their personal lives, problems, relationships, opinions and more. Often after a post we think, “Man, I wish I didn’t know that.” And over-sharing often leads to embarrassment, regret, and a sense of public humiliation. If you feel compelled to share every detail of your life, no matter how personal, you should step away from the keyboard and reconsider why you’re doing this and if there’s a healthier alternative to dumping all of your personal troubles on the internet.
You are doom scrolling
Doom scrolling involves spending hours reading negative news and posts on social media. The term gained popularity during the Covid-19 pandemic to refer to how many people consumed news about the deadly virus outbreak. Doomscrolling can produce many negative outcomes, such as fear, helplessness, and hopelessness. It also makes many situations appear worse than they actually are. If you have a habit of consuming nothing but bad news and feel like the world is collapsing and there is no hope for humanity, it might do you well to take a break from social media and get back to the good things to connect what is going on in the world around you.
It disturbs your sleep
Sleep is one of the most important things in our life. And overuse of social media can keep us awake by late scrolling posts, engaging in conversations, and checking notifications. Also, the light from your smartphone in bed can have a detrimental effect on the quality of your sleep. If you’re getting up well past your bedtime, have trouble falling asleep, or feel like you’re not recovering adequately from sleep, social media may be part of the problem, and a break may be in order.
Tips for taking a social media break
If you encounter one or more of the above circumstances, it’s probably a good idea to step away from your social media apps for a while. Here are some tips to help you make the most of your social media break.
Decide how long you want your break to last: You don’t have to leave social media forever, just long enough to get a more realistic perspective on your life and relationships. Social media breaks can last as little as a few hours or months or longer, depending on how badly you need the break.
Delete the apps from your phone: You may think that you have the willpower to stop using social media without uninstalling the apps from your smartphone. But why risk ruining your break? Removing social media from your phone can help you resist the temptation to only check your timeline once (which can end up having to repeat it throughout the day).
Deactivate your accounts: Temporarily shutting down your social media feeds might seem drastic. But it helps with the thought that someone has commented on your posts and you’re missing out. When your accounts are down, there’s nothing to interact with and nothing to miss. Don’t worry, social media companies will let you do this temporarily and come back when your hiatus is over and everything is exactly how it was when you disabled it.
Block access on your phone and computer: Sometimes the social media habit is hard to tame. And even if you disable your accounts and delete apps from your phone, it’s very easy to open the service in a web browser and go straight back to scrolling. Consider blocking access to social media sites on all devices you use. Admittedly, this is an extreme move and not as easy as hitting delete, but blocking access can help you through a weak moment during your break.
Make a plan for your newfound free time: You may not know exactly how much time you invest in these apps before you take your break. It’s probably quite a lot; You need to fill that time with something else. You could use this free time to take up a new hobby, reconnect with neglected loved ones, do some reading, or even exercise and get fit. Whatever you do with your free time is up to you, but it’s a good idea to have a plan so you don’t resort to social media out of boredom.
Let your family and friends know: Social media has become the primary form of communication for many people. If you take a break, let the people you interact with know before you log off. This will ward off any undue concern as to why you disappeared. It is also an opportunity to let them support you in your decision. And you can set up other means of communication like SMS, phone calls or even face-to-face meetings.
Let yourself come back when you want: A break is a break; It doesn’t mean leaving social media entirely. After your social media hiatus, give yourself permission to come back with a fresh perspective and better habits. There’s no shame in celebrating your success. But if during your break you decide social media isn’t for you anymore, that’s okay too. Enjoy the exclusive life in the real world.
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