We live in a world where virtually everyone has an account on at least one social media platform. Whether it’s a video or photo sharing app, a professional network, or a place to connect with friends and family, it’s challenging to stay away from these digital accounts.
But is social media affecting how you see yourself? It’s entirely possible, and it may be time to edit your feeds to protect your mental health. For many, going offline entirely simply isn’t an option. You may need your social platforms for your job, or it may be how you stay in touch with loved ones who are far away.
However, there are social media triggers to look out for that may signal it’s time to step away from the mobile device, laptop, or computer. Here’s what to be on the lookout for, and how to correct your course if you find yourself relating to any of the below.
1. Your Feed Is Full of Negativity
We live in a polarized world where people aren’t afraid to voice their opinions on social media, and voice them bluntly. Is your feed packed with people arguing, name calling, or excessive negative comments about the world?
If so, it might be time to leave those social media groups, unfollow that meme page, or unfollow toxic people. Even if you don’t realize it, the negativity can bring you down.
2. You Feel Anxiety When Reading Your Feed
Social media is more than a way to connect with others these days. Platforms are now condensed news feeds with information about the environment, politics, and more. Does seeing those headlines fill you with dread, uncertainty, anxiety, or fear? You may need a digital detox to get your mental health back on track.
3. You Find Yourself Checking Social Media Compulsively
Do you realize that you pick up your phone and begin scrolling without consciously making the choice? Many of us do. It may be out of habit or it may be out of boredom. If you realize you’re checking your feeds constantly, without meaning to, it may be a signal that you have a preoccupation with social media.
Reports state that every like and comment you get on a post sends a rush of “feel good chemicals” to your brain. Users may seek out that feeling compulsively as they chase that feeling.
4. You Feel Bad about Yourself Afterwards
Are you looking at pictures of acquaintances who seem to have the perfect family, the perfect career, or tons of fun? When you see these posts do you feel as if your life doesn’t stack up, that you should be doing better, and feel sad or discouraged?
It’s human nature to compare ourselves to others, but when it starts to have a negative impact on your mental health it may be time to cut the digital cord.
5. You Find Yourself Getting into Arguments
The same way you may see others going back and forth on social media with strong opinions, and sometimes derogatory remarks, do you find yourself being swept up in the conversations? Do you involve yourself in extensive debates with strangers where unfriendly words are exchanged, or with people you know who have differing opinions? These conversations can negatively impact your mood far after the exchange is complete. If you realize you’re doing this, it may be time to put the phone down.
How to Correct Your Course
If you relate to any of the statements above, you may need to take a break from social media, or cleanse your feed. Find ways to manage your time on social media so that it doesn’t consume your everyday life. You’ll find that when you take a break, your life becomes a little more GR8.