US Reporter

Social Media Breaks Can Be Good for our Mental Health and Social Life

Social Media Breaks Can Be Good for our Mental Health and Social Life

Everybody is into social media these days. It seems that we cannot live without it and it’s already part of our system. But too much social media is unhealthy and toxic. It is no secret that the social media savvy has become out of control and studies are now showing that social media use can lead to depression, low self-esteem, body image issues, anxiety, social isolation, insecurity, cyber-bullying, divisiveness,  and the list goes on. It can even trigger eating disorders and self-harm behaviors. On the other hand, social media can be destructive if used in bad way. 

On the brighter side, social media is a powerful tool for communication, bring communities together and can be an engaging platform to meet new friends however the balance can be easily skewed. Also, it can be an avenue to look for opportunities in searching for job, business marketing and advertisements, strengthening relationship, source of information and entertainment. Sometimes social media and happiness awhile back and how social media is basically a distraction from a distraction. 

There are times that social media can give us so much stress and toxicity in our lives. At times there are instances that we thought about deleting your own personal social media accounts, giving yourself a break from the distractions, spending more time engaging with people in real life and diving in deeper to our career.  Below are some tips and tricks (that actually work) you can use. 

Don’t use your phone when not necessary 

A starter-pack to begin with. Keeping your phone out of reach is a good start when you are around other people. Of course, nobody wants to hang out with you in person if you are constantly looking and checking on your phone. Sure sometimes we may have to answer a quick phone call or respond to a work email but when it becomes a habit, then others will become annoyed. When you’re with your friends why not try to have a pact where when we go out to dinner, put your phones face down in a pile on the table and whoever touches their phone first buys a round of drinks or pick up the dinner bill. If you are hanging out with the people you care about and respect then there is no reason why you would want to be on your phone in the first place. Out of sight, out of mind is a great way to detach from social media. More importantly, finish your business to avoid disturbances. 

Set limits by tracking your social media time

Average people spend almost half-day in scrolling their social media sites. Most of the time, people tend to sit on the couch and isolate their self and pool their attention social media. If you want to lessen the time you spend on social media, there are tons of apps out there that can track your social media time and help monitor and control how much time you spend on Facebook and Instagram. Set a goal for yourself, maybe one hour in the morning or one hour at night and if you find that you are not adhering to your goal then download an app that will help you set limits on your phone so you take healthy breaks from social media. Aside from that, do something productive that does not require internet such as cooking, have a walk or exercise. 

Turn off notifications and set virtual boundaries

When not necessary, turn off all social media notifications on your phone so you won’t check your Instagram or Snapchat whenever you receive a new notification from time to time. You can also organize your “iPhone desktop” so that your favorite apps are not the first thing you see. By making it so these applications are not front and center, you minimize the temptation. You can also set your phone in silent mode. 

Set “phone free zones”

Pick areas in your home where you are not allowed to be on your phone. This may be the dining room table during meals or in your bedroom before you go to bed as bright lights and technology can interrupt your sleep.

Schedule “social media free days”

Taking a break from social media even just for a day won’t hurt. Maybe it is every Sunday or maybe it is the entire weekend where you actively decided not to check or engage in your social media accounts. These social media free days can allow you to spend more time socializing with others, engaging in hobbies and being productive. Make sure you were able to finish your business so that you’ll be totally social media free. 

Delete social media apps from your smartphone

Many of my friends have deleted Facebook and Instagram off of their phone and therefore can only check their social media on their computer when they are at home. This allows them to live in the moment when they are out and about instead of constantly feeling the urge to check their phones and disengage in the present.

Respond offline

Did Facebook just tell you that it is your friend’s birthday? Skip the “Happy, birthday!” wall post and pick up the phone. If a friend just got engaged, resist the urge to send a tweet or a Facebook message and instead mail a card. Both these actions will be more meaningful to the recipient.

Opinions expressed by US Reporter contributors are their own.



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