If you physically can’t put your phone down for an hour… honey, you have a problem.
Don’t you worry too much, because I do too. I’m a weird mix of socially aware about my engagement to social media, however in denial and stubborn and can’t seem to get enough.
It’s an addiction.
And with all addictions, you need a moment to just think, breathe and admit to yourself….
I’m addicted to social media.
I’ve got to that age now, that when I see someone on social media I cringe. At a family gathering, in the cinema, on the bus, I really don’t care what Sheila is up to at the moment, Karen, but why don’t you call her and find out instead?
Social media has stripped away a large majority of “catching up” between people. It’s hard to have sit down conversations, coffees and a drink or two, when someone has something cool to tell me and I have to reply, “oh yeah, I saw that all on your instagram story.”
What is it that grips us so much? Is it the fear of missing out, or do we genuinely care about these people’s lives? Because honestly, I don’t even think I really do.
As I said, I’m usually pretty aware of my mental health when I use social media. However, over the last few months, I’ve been catching myself slipping, I realised how I was just comparing myself, my image, my life, to every person I was mindlessly scrolling past. I decided to delete Instagram and Twitter for a few days as a break from my mind, and whenever I take a social media break, I truly feel the difference.
I’m just incredibly tired of watching people’s mental health deteriorate due to social media. It’s a difficult situation because you don’t realise the effect that it has on you, until you take that break for a few days, or for a few weeks. Once you actually take the time out and get off social media, is when you realise the effect it was having on you. It’s subconscious, but it’s there.
It’s not all about the comparisons and the instamodels, either. Social media is just a home to a lot of negative energy. Arguments, cancel culture, trolls – uncensored videos of violence, harassment – trigger warnings, the news, painful realities. Sometimes, theses stories are way too much for our brain to be taking in. Of course, hearing about this stuff is important, but it’s heavy. You’re allowed to say when these stories are just too much – I often find myself muting accounts and muting words, especially when all they do is create negative thoughts in my own mind.
It’s especially hard when your career and hobbies spend so much time revolving around social media. It’s just about finding the balance between posting and scrolling and who you actually need to follow on your newsfeed. Go through who you’re following and unfollow people that are irrelevant. Limit yourself to posting once or twice a day, so then you’re not tempted to mindlessly scroll.
After tackling those negative thoughts for a while, I’ve realised what is good and what’s not good for me. I’ve stopped scrolling on instagram and I’ll watch a couple stories from friend’s at the top. I’ve created a private twitter account for a limited group of people, where I share my actual dumb thoughts and leave my main twitter for my blogging and writing. We don’t talk about facebook.
A challenge to you. Get off social media. For a day this week, you’re going to delete your social media apps for 24 hours and if you can’t, you really need to ask yourself why that is.