Mental health has taken the center stage on social media as people are trying their best to cope with the pandemic. Many have started to realize the importance of prioritizing their mental health problems and seeking external help. There are various ways to help better a person’s overall mental and physical health. Outside help like psychotherapy or an alcohol addiction treatment plan to name a few.
Excessive, unhealthy social media usage can result in more problematic and damaging outcomes for both your physical and mental health. However, the intervention starts with you. Correcting this behavior starts by admitting to yourself that it’s taking a toll on you and it’s high time to take a social media detox.
What Is a Social Media Detox?
Digital detoxification or commonly known as social media detox is defined by refraining from using electronic devices or social media platforms for a period of time. Instead, a person will use this opportunity to spend some time in the physical world. This is essential for a person’s well-being, social relationships, professional productivity, and cognitive processes. This is a practice popularized to address the observed overuse of the internet.
Why is Taking a Break Important?
As much as the health of your social life and interpersonal relationships are important, so is your physical and mental health. Everything that’s good can stay good when taken in moderation and the same is for social media. Social media sites have made it possible to communicate with loved ones in real-time possible, dissemination of information easier, and helped make important information more accessible. But common malpractice is failing to set limits and boundaries between usage of social media and time away from it. Most often than not, people don’t give themselves enough time to be away from their online outlets.
One study found that limited use of social media significantly decreases feelings of loneliness and depression. Moreover, social media envy affects individuals’ levels of anxiety and depression. These are only a few reasons why taking a break and setting clear boundaries from social media is a must. Having a regular social media detox will encourage a positive mood change, reduced anxiety, and improved sleep, one study finds.
Signs You Need a Break From Your Feed
Again, too much of something good never stays good. Here are some easy signs to spot that indicate you need a break.
Comparing Yourself to Others
One of those toxic behaviors is lingering on your feed at 2 am and comparing yourself to other people instead of getting restful sleep. It can even contribute to low self-esteem and even depression.
Many people have the tendency to post everything online–from their holiday pictures taken in Italy to career achievements. It’s important to remember that people love to share the highs in their lives, and not often the lows. While it’s interesting to know what everyone else is doing, that doesn’t mean that your life is not as exciting or fulfilling as theirs. The truth is that what’s often seen online is cherry-picked and calculated. It’s not very often that people post about their failures, misfortunes, and rough patches.
It’s Not as Enjoyable as It Used to Be
Social media platforms are a great means of communication. Be it with family and friends, a funny meme stirred by the latest pop culture, or news about recent events. If you feel social media is no longer serving this function and instead is leaving you stressed, anxious, or disconnect, then maybe it’s time to take a step back.
You’ve Started to Doomscroll
Have you ever caught yourself mindlessly scrolling through your social media feed? You keep scrolling, spending hours online. And even when you’re in the know, it serves you no real purpose to know every single thing that’s happening. The act of doomscrolling may encourage negative thoughts and a negative mentality, which can have a significant influence on your mental health. It’s difficult and impossible to filter out what you see on your fee. Mindless scrolling can lead to the consumption of bad news, which has been related in studies to increased fear, tension, anxiety, and affliction.
FOMO or the fear of missing out refers to feeling like others are having more fun, achieving higher stakes, and getting better experiences than you. Although it’s good to want nice things for yourself, it’s important to remember that there is a time for everything. The truth is that most of everyone’s days are as mundane as yours. These big life updates are highlighted more than their normal days. Besides, a friend’s fortune is something worth celebrating. But while doing so, don’t undermine what you’re capable of accomplishing.
Forgetting to Be Present in the Moment
You can’t enjoy a vacation or a nice day out without itching to post about it. This nagging thought can sometimes take over the whole experience and can end up you making the situation as aesthetic of a backdrop as it can be instead of enjoying the experience. If this thought pattern is present whenever you’re out with friends or family, it’s something worth correcting.
While it’s normal to want to post about your fun family gathering, don’t let it get most of your attention. Practice setting healthy boundaries between your personal life and social media.