For most people, myself included, social media is a huge part of our everyday lives. It connects us to friends and family, keeps us informed on news and world events, bring us humor via funny videos and memes, and serves as a healthy distraction from everyday stressors. But as you likely know, it can also be draining and isolating. Recent studies show that social media can lead to depression, anxiety, problems with body image, and loss of self-esteem…and also, despite the name “social” media…social isolation.
There are many reasons one might take a social media break. For me, doing so decreases my stress and helps me reconnect with my family. It can also improve your mood, help you stay focused on your goals, and help you set boundaries.
But how do you know when it’s time to take a break? Here are some questions to ask yourself.
- Do I take my phone everywhere and check social media multiple times a day?
- Do I have a hard time getting through a meal with friends or family without checking my phone?
- Do I check social media first thing in the morning?
- Does it feel like time gets away from me when I’m on social media?
- Does social media leave me feeling drained, anxious, or bad about myself?
Taking a social media break doesn’t necessarily mean you have to delete all of your accounts or spend a month away from it. I’ve found that making smaller more doable goals works best.
Here are a few things to try:
- Put your phone out of reach when you are with friends or family.
- Set limits on how much time you want to spend on social media per day or better yet, schedule social media—free days.
- Create social media/phone free zones for yourself (I recommend your bedroom be one of them!)
- Turn off notifications to decrease temptation and set a virtual boundary for yourself.
I’ll admit taking social media breaks is often difficult for me, but I’ve found when I do, I’m overall much happier. It may take a bit of practice and determination, but I believe it’s worth it!