8 Alarming Signs You Need a Break from Social Media
I remember when the first social media networks became popular; it was by far the most interesting, dynamic thing for every teenager (as it still is today).
I just wonder how many of us imagined that things would go this far. Who would’ve thought that, only a few years later, we’d hear about children and teens being bullied on social networks and so many people suffering from depression and anxiety due to this habit?
Who would’ve thought that the first thing we do when we wake up in the morning is check out what some people we barely even know have been up to? Or even worse, stalk our exes or secretly following those we envy?
Social media might be a good thing, especially during a pandemic: we get to talk to our friends or see them more often, we can meet people who share our views and passions and, why not, we can even improve our financial situation by finding a new job.
But all of these things can become toxic in an instant.
According to behavioral health therapist Jane Pernotto Ehrman, having a healthy relationship with social media (because we are in a relationship) is more challenging than ever.
How can we not compare ourselves to our skinny friend from college or hate our lives because we didn’t get a vacation in two years like our neighbors have?
It all starts with how much time you invest in this potentially toxic tool…
How much time should we spend on social media?
When was the last time you did not scroll on social media for 24 hours?
These platforms have come to be a huge part of our daily routine and cutting them off seems impossible. However, we don’t need to eliminate them – just find the right balance.
This study published in the Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology has shown that using social media networks 30 minutes a day can increase your mental health and well-being. The majority of participants in this study reported feeling less depressed and even less lonely after reducing their social media time.
Loneliness has been a major problem for teens and young adults recently; if you or a loved one are often feeling lonely, in this post we debunked 4 myths which may help you feel better.
Now, one of the most significant causes for social media-induced depression is comparison. On social media, everybody looks happy, fun and flawless; even if we know it, we can’t help but start wondering what is wrong with our lives and why we aren’t like the rest of the virtual world.
As we strive to obtain the type of lifestyle exposed on social media, we fall into the trap of wanting to belong to a utopia. This is what leads to depression, anxiety and loneliness. This is what makes so many of us feel insecure about our bodies, our partners or our income.
And this is why we have to distance ourselves from this virtual environment as much as we can. Observing real people and simply being part of your real life helps you appreciate everything you have while increasing your self-confidence.
8 signs you need a social media break
Sure, there are many people who can spend extra time on social media and be perfectly fine. However, everybody has some weak spots and we all need a break occasionally – if not for good – from scrolling.
Here are 8 serious signs you need a break from social media too:
- You find yourself scrolling.
Scrolling is a habit so deeply rooted in our behavior that we’ve come to subconsciously see it as a refuge, a source of comfort. Specialists even compare it to a ‘smoke break’ as we often use social media when we want to take a break from whatever we’re doing. However, if you randomly find yourself scrolling without even realizing how you’ve ended up there, you might need a break.
- You compare yourself to everyone.
Your cousin is so well-dressed; that influencer has such a tidy home all the time; your neighbors seem to be so in love! Social media posts are like a bittersweet snack: their positivity can make you happier, but it can also get you to compare yourself to others. In time, this mindset can be self-destructive as you forget to appreciate what you This is a sign you’re just too absorbed by social media and you must get out.
- You go into withdrawal.
You open your Facebook app just to see the same posts you’ve already liked 30 minutes ago. If you just can’t help but scroll on your phone over and over again, you definitely need to take a break from this bad habit. Separation anxiety from social media is a real symptom that requires your attention in order to live a happy, balanced life.
- Everything annoys you.
Sure, we don’t like everything we see on social media and that’s perfectly normal. However, if every face and piece of news you see annoys you, it may be just your subconscious yelling that it needs a break from all this clutter of information.
- You’re a posting junkie.
You’re serving a delicious dinner to your family and everyone’s really hungry… but wait! Nobody can touch the food before you take a picture for your Instagram. We all want to capture special moments on camera, but if you can’t enjoy good times without posting about them first, you might need a social media detox.
- You’re scrolling A LOT.
If it feels like scrolling has turned into your full-time job, it’s a huge alarm. If you can’t enjoy a meal or a movie with your loved ones without touching your phone, it means you’re investing more into that utopia we talked about than in real life.
- It just isn’t fun anymore.
You don’t have to post three times a day or like your friends’ posts to have a life; in fact, you don’t even need a social media account at all if it doesn’t seem fun anymore! Social media is supposed to be fun, so if you’re just scrolling out of boredom or – worse – if it makes you angry, just quit it right now.
- It’s the first (and last) thing you do.
If you’re scrolling before even getting out of bed in the morning, you have a problem. And if you’re going to tell me you know many people who do the same, then they have a problem too. This study has found that 80% of smartphone users check their phone within the first 15 minutes after waking up, which increases anxiety and stress, as well as reducing your focus on what really matters (like saying good morning to your family or going to the bathroom).
Meanwhile, scrolling right before falling asleep can lead to insomnia while reducing sleep hours.
Social media may have started out as a game, but today it’s one of the most influential things in our daily lives – and we should treat it accordingly.
Looking for more useful posts to improve your mind and spirit? Check out our articles below:
- 6 Ways You Can Overcome Your Emotional Eating Struggle
- Scrolling Often? You Might Secretly Suffer from Doomscrolling
- 7 Habits That Will Change Your Life Forever