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As much as we hate to admit it, social media takes up a lot of our time and energy as we scroll through endless tweets, pics and messages. For the millennial and younger generations, our main forms of entertainment are all in the palm of our hand. This all-consuming need to check social media may be occurring whether you know it or not – and there’s a chance it’s doing more harm than good.
If you find yourself at this point, taking a break from social media may be something to consider. Of course, we don’t mean quitting cold turkey, but cutting down is an ideal step to reclaiming your life outside of the virtual world. All things in moderation, right? Here are a few stand out reasons you should take a break from social media – and they are convincing enough to have persuaded us to limit our daily screen time.
Why you should take a break from social media
Check-in with yourself
Distancing your real-life presence and your virtual presence gives you a chance to check-in with yourself. Being online can be both mentally and physically exhausting, especially after scrolling for hours from app to app. It’s important to prioritize your well-being, which is easy to forget in an age where our virtual lives hold such significance. Try to identify and understand the parts of your life that are most negatively affected by social media, as this will help you get back on track with your objectives.
Give yourself time to focus on hobbies
One of the greatest things about spending less time on your phone is that you get to spend more time doing what you love (that doesn’t include posting or tweeting). We all have something we’ve always wanted to try, but keep telling ourselves that we don’t have enough time. Well, it’s time to ditch that excuse and actually start doing it. Once you cut back on social media, you will have more than enough time to pursue your passions. Whether you want to tick off a new book from your reading list or try out a new recipe, you’ll be pleased to find out that it’s all possible.
How can you cut down?
Surely by now, we’ve convinced you to take a break from social media. So, how exactly do you cut down on your phone use? Before you start shaking from withdrawal, don’t panic – we can take it slow. It’s harder than it seems, but by the end, you’re not going to miss that excess time away from your social media.
Starting small ensures that the absence of social media doesn’t overwhelm you and lead you to give up. One of the easiest ways to start is by simply switching your phone off at night. The constant dinging notifications and flashing light won’t give you any help when you’re trying to get some sleep.
Allocate your screen time
Setting times when you can go through social media will allow you to focus on other things during the times you’re not. For example, only allowing yourself to logon during your lunch breaks will assure that you remain focused during the rest of your day at work.
Leave your phone at home
When you leave your phone at home, you will be surprised at how much you don’t miss it. Next time you go grocery shopping or for a hike, try ditching your phone. Also consider leaving your phone alone during times you should be focusing on the moment – at dinner, at a concert, at the park. In the bathroom…
Prioritize your mental health
Social media is linked to negative side effects on our mental health. Although everyone is familiar with this concept, many of us don’t truly comprehend the scope of this problem. Subconsciously, our brain processes all the information we see online and we could unknowingly be comparing our lives with someone else’s.
You may assume someone has a better life than you because of their incredible Insta feed. However, our virtual presence doesn’t automatically translate our realities. Feelings of inadequacy, depression and low self-esteem can arise (especially among young people) when we focus too much on how life looks through social media filters. Plus, constantly interacting on social media rather than in the real world can lead to feelings of loneliness and isolation.
Technology is great, and social media has a ton of positives. However, anything that becomes obsessive can be detrimental to our health and well-being. Moderation is key. Sometimes, it’s better to stop and actually smell the roses rather than post them with a hashtag.
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