Many people spend time looking through social media and frequently check their phones and other gadgets for notifications.
Sometimes it can be tough to cease these behaviors.
Social media abstinence can be a rejuvenating break and be good for your mental health.
A social media break, also known as a social media detox, is when a person uses social media less frequently.
The person specifies the length of the break and the social media channels it will cover.
This article examines the benefits of social media breaks and the indicators that it’s time to take a break.
It also provides advice on how to take a social media break.
Social media break vs. Social media detox.
A social media break is committing yourself to refrain from using sites such as Facebook, Twitter, TikTok, and Instagram for a long time.
A social media detox is a complete separation from social media platforms that may include dramatic measures such as handing your passwords to a trusted friend or deleting your accounts.
Negative effects of consuming too much social media.
Social media platforms such as Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Tumblr, Instagram, and Twitter have enabled communication with individuals worldwide.
But have you considered the negative consequences of social media?
When was the last time you put your phone down for 5 minutes and picked it up in less than a minute?
Did you idly scroll through the feed and post comparing your life to the lives of others?
After reading about some of the adverse effects of social media, you can make your own decision.
1. Intense FOMO
The feeling that you’re missing out on some things might lower your self-esteem, cause worry, and drive you to use social media even more.
While FOMO has existed far longer than social media, sites like Facebook and Instagram appear to amplify thoughts that others are having more fun or enjoying better lives than you.
FOMO might drive you to pick up your phone every few minutes to check for updates or to reply frantically to every alert—even if it means risking your life while driving, losing out on sleep, or putting social media involvement above real-world connections.
2. Endless scrolling
Social media and smartphones have only been around for almost 20 years, and their effects on humans are still being studied.
According to recent research, people can develop addictive behaviors with smartphones and social media, such as constantly thinking about the device or platform and craving its use, using their smartphone or social media apps to cope or modify their mood, and experiencing withdrawal symptoms when they are unable to access their phone or apps.
If these activities become disruptive to daily life, it is cause for concern.
3. Constant comparing yourself to others
It is now easier than ever to compare ourselves to others because of social media.
People we hung with years ago would slip into obscurity before apps such as Instagram and Facebook existed.
We are now continuously assaulted with the highlights and accomplishments of their life and those of strangers.
Study after study found that using social media leads to reduced self-esteem, despair, anxiety, and body shame.
With mental health issues on the rise, particularly among youth and Millennials, it is critical to discuss how to break free from comparison culture’s grip on your life.
4. Neglecting real-life relationships
Although social media has many advantages, it can cause many issues in a relationship.
People can use social media to stay in touch with long-distance friends and family members and improve communication with their spouses, children, and healthcare providers.
Social media use, on the other hand, might lead to less quality in-person time spent with loved ones and relationship discontent.
Reduced time with a partner, missed connections, jealousy, conflict stemming from disagreements or wounded sentiments, and unfavorable comparisons are some adverse effects of social media and relationships.
5. Everything annoys you
The design of social media platforms can significantly impact how individuals connect and feel about their online experiences.
We quickly lose track of time on social media.
When consumers come upon a platform where they can infinitely scroll for additional information, it can activate a similar neurocognitive reward mechanism as winning the lottery or acquiring food.
The “30-Minute Ick Factor” occurs when people want to check their social media short but discover that 30 minutes have passed, and when they realize how much time they have spent, they are disgusted and disappointed.
Perks of limiting social media time
Social media is ubiquitous and an integral part of our daily life. It’s also not going away.
But do the advantages of all this connectivity and continual talk outweigh the drawbacks?
Have you considered the potential costs of your life and career?
Here are a few reasons you should put down your phone and start engaging in that old-fashioned thing we call the real world.
1. Free time
Do you ever feel pressed for time to exercise, read, or clean your house?
Putting social media on hold will allow you to reclaim nearly two hours daily to improve your life.
Walking for 30 minutes daily has significant physical and mental health advantages, making it far superior to skimming through your Facebook news feed.
2. Decrease anxiousness
In their study of social media, Niall McCrae and Annmarie Grealish discovered that frequent social media habits, such as constantly checking for messages and addictive usage, are risk factors for anxiety, sadness, and psychological discomfort.
Social media use can lead to FOMO and feelings of inadequacy. This can lead to feelings of isolation, worry, and sadness.
Taking a break from social media may help to alleviate FOMO-induced anxiety and loneliness.
A 2018 study discovered that reducing social media use to 30 minutes daily dramatically reduced symptoms of loneliness and sadness in undergraduate students after 3 weeks.
3. Boost your mood
While you may feel unsatisfied after leaving social media, the truth is that “logging out” (or turning off) is essential to your mental health.
Indeed, multiple studies have found a link between depression and excessive social media use.
“Social media use has been related to heightened levels of anxiety and despair,” Dr. Oz tells Parade, “, particularly among teenagers.”
A 2019 study of almost 6,500 12- to 15-year-olds in the United States discovered that individuals who spend more than three hours a day on social media may be at a higher risk for mental health problems.”
4. Reconnect with those around you
People who spend a lot of time on social media sites report feeling lonely and isolated in real life, which is unfortunate.
They are also more prone to having a weaker immune system.
The good news is that even if you’re an introvert who dislikes a lot of in-person interaction, merely being out in public might improve your mood. If you prefer to be alone, go to your favorite park or restaurant.
5. Better sleep at night
Your bedtime has been shifted, and you’ve also lost some critical sleep time, so your overall sleep duration will be reduced.
Sleep disruption caused by social media is well-known among teens, and current research is beginning to demonstrate similar impacts across adult age groups.
Social media use before night can have a detrimental impact on how long and well you sleep.
Looking at social media in bed can make it difficult to sleep.
It can also shorten your sleep duration and make you groggy the next day.
Ways to take a break from social media
Even if you realize that you should avoid social media to improve your health, doing so can be challenging.
Scrolling through social media can be an intoxicating stimulant for many people, and breaking the habit will need a lot of willpower.
1. Place phone across the room
If you can’t sleep, this can help you avoid the temptation to scroll.
It’s also likely that it’ll help you sleep better, enhancing your health and preventing other harmful side effects of excessive social media use, such as loneliness or sadness.
2. Set time for app use
Chaudhary recommends identifying what content leaves you feeling better and which makes you feel worse.
“From there, you can create plans to limit the things that make you feel bad,” says Chaudhary.
“A lot of the time, it’s placing limits on how much you use based on the tipping point, from enjoyable to anxiety-provoking or some other negative feeling.
That tipping point is going to be different for everyone.
3. Turn off notifications
A “positive social stimulus and dopamine influx” occurs when you receive a notice for a “like” or “comment” on a post.
This stimulus, which is also linked to drug usage, will cause the release of dopamine. This dopamine rush can generate addictive sensations and make it difficult to ignore social media.
The incessant blaring and buzzing may also cause you to check your phone more frequently.
Turning off notifications can assist you in sticking to your social media break.
Being active on social media does not require you to lose touch with reality or feel alone.
It is nearly impossible to disconnect from snaps and tales, but you may acknowledge that there is a world outside the screen.
It is full of rainy and sunny days, adversity, and triumph; likes and comments do not define it.