In this day and age, just about everyone has some form of social media. They may use it to post content, connect with others, or keep up with current events. Social media is a powerful thing and can be a useful tool to share information and stay in touch with friends and family who may live far away.
How much social media use is too much, and how can you be sure you're using it correctly? It is easy to develop unhealthy social media habits without even realizing it. In time, overuse can even begin to affect your mental health. This is why it is so important to be able to recognize the signs that it may be time to adjust your social media habits or take a break completely.
The following are some of the most common signs that you may need to re-evaluate your social media use.
Social media can be a fun way to relax and connect during downtime. However, when you start checking it regularly throughout the day it can become a major time waster. You may get on a social media platform with the intention of only spending a few minutes checking your feed to soon realize that it's been a half-hour or longer. When your social media usage habits start causing a distraction or cutting into your productivity, it can become a major problem. You may find yourself struggling to keep up with deadlines at work or school and frequently using social media as a way to procrastinate.
Do you ever find yourself scrolling and scrolling through social media simply out of habit? Maybe you're doing it as a distraction or escape but aren't really learning anything useful or getting any enjoyment out of it. You might be seeing the same things multiple times as you scroll through a feed you looked at only minutes ago. You may click your phone off to realize you can't even remember anything you saw or enjoyed.
Do you ever feel a compulsive need to check social media constantly so you can be sure to stay in the know? Maybe you're afraid that if you don't check it you'll miss out on something important. The compulsive need to check social media can make it hard to focus on the task at hand. You may even find yourself obsessively whipping out your phone during inappropriate situations such as work meetings, face-to-face conversations with loved ones, or in the middle of the night when you should be sleeping.
When you scroll through social media, do you find that you compare yourself to the people you're seeing? This comparison can involve all manner of things from outward appearances to the successes of others. If you finish scrolling through social media and feel worse about yourself, chances are that you need to rethink your social media usage.
There are many ways to help establish a healthier relationship with social media. If you feel that social media has become overwhelming or emotionally draining, you might consider taking a temporary social media detox. This means that you avoid all social media platforms completely for a time. To avoid temptation, delete your social media apps from your phone and re-download them after your detox is over. While going through this detox you may find that you're less stressed, more focused, and have a greater sense of energy. In fact, you may even consider taking a longer detox than you originally planned.
If taking a break from social media completely doesn't sound like something you can do, consider picking out set times throughout the day when you will allow yourself to check your social media apps. When this time window is up, exit the app completely. You can even set alarms on your phone to help remind yourself when this time window is over.
The following tips can also help you create healthy social media habits:
Turn off your phone's notifications, especially when you're trying to be productive. Constantly hearing beeps and pings can make you want to check your phone more and further distract you.
Use screentime apps. If you are an iPhone or Android user, you can simply go to “settings” and click “screen time” or “digital well-being” to view your daily average screentime, see what specific apps are taking up the most of your time, and set app timers that lock you out after a certain time.
Avoid using your phone before bed. The blue light can make it more difficult to sleep.
Social media is an amazing tool that can help us spread useful information and make valuable connections. However, if used improperly, it can also be quite damaging and lead to increased levels of stress, poor self-esteem, and mental health problems. This is why it is important to know how to recognize when it is time to take a break and adjust your social media habits accordingly. Do you find yourself comparing to others when using social media? Perhaps you often find yourself wasting time by scrolling mindlessly. If this is your situation, it may be time to rethink how you're using social media. Consider taking a social media detox or setting specific time frames throughout the day when you'll allow yourself to check your apps. If you are struggling with your mental health, our team at SokyaHealth is here to help. Call 866-932-1767 today.