Disconnecting from social media is something of the “It’s not you, it’s me” cliché. If you spend hours pondering over the perfect caption or attending events just for the perfect Insta picture, you may need to think about your use of social media and whether or not it will benefit you in the long run.
We urge you to remove your social media accounts from your phone for a few days, a week or even longer and see how your mood changes quickly. Your productivity will likely increase, your stress levels will likely decrease, and you’ll feel more focused. Replace the blue lighted backgrounds with real sunshine and nature and take a break from the world in your phone.
Even if you plan on adding the apps back to your phone by the end of the challenge, you’ll have a healthier relationship with social media than you did before the hiatus. Are you ready to see if you need to break up with social media? Use our checklist to see if it’s time for a procedure.
1. You check social media first thing when you wake up
If you grab your phone and open Instagram as soon as your alarm goes off, you probably need to ditch social media. Endlessly scrolling in the morning can start your day off on the wrong foot, especially when you should be reaching for something else.
Instead of checking social media when you wake up, try reading a chapter of a book, journaling, or taking a moment for yourself. Creating a peaceful morning routine is far more productive than scrolling through other people’s photos!
2. You unconsciously check it out when you’re bored
Technology has already ruined most of our boredom-fueled creativity, but unconsciously reaching out to social media at the first sign of boredom is a whole new level of bonding. If you instantly click Instagram or TikTok while standing in line at a store, at a red light, or between conversations, it’s time to take a break from social media. Boredom breeds creativity, and you deny yourself the energy boost of creativity when you subconsciously check your social connections instead.
3. You “accidentally” open social media
Our attention spans are already heavily influenced by how quickly social media throws information at us, but this “habit” is a telltale sign that you need some space from Instagram and TikTok. If you pick up your phone to text, check the weather, or delete an email only to accidentally click on a social media app, the problem is already there.
4. You feel anxious without it
Fear of social media is not new. But what about the fear of the lack of social media? Since we’ve relied on social media to keep us entertained, connected, and interested 24/7, we often feel anxious without it. Have you ever opened Instagram only to find that you have no cellular connection and nothing is loading? That irritable, heart-rate-raising feeling means you’re feeling anxious without your social networks being available. It’s time for a break!
5. You constantly feel jealousy and anger towards the people you follow
Women play the comparison game far too well. It’s built into our DNA to compare ourselves to our friends and family members or even random influencers and celebrities who only post highlight movies of their lives on social media. Marriage proposals, pregnancy announcements, college degrees and more can leave us feeling stuck in life and angry at home.
If opening a social media app evokes feelings of dissatisfaction, jealousy, and anger, then social media isn’t the most productive or healthy use of your time. You are where you should be and if you feel the need to grow professionally and improve yourself, don’t do it because you feel like you have to compete online.
6. Your depression is getting worse
If social media accelerates your downward spiral, then get off social media! The headlines keep going downhill because bad news sells. Influencers don’t look like it in person, and there’s nothing wrong with the shape of your nose. Social media, despite the ability to connect globally, is one of the most isolating environments humans have ever created. Whether you’re feeling left out, alone, or left behind in life, social media can amplify those feelings of sadness and depression without you even realizing why you’re feeling the way you are.
7. You feel less secure
Have you ever opened up social media and instantly lost less confidence in yourself, your looks, your job, or your stuff? It happens to all of us! Just viewing a highlight reel with friends, family, and casual acquaintances can have all sorts of negative consequences.
In reality, most of the photos and videos you see on social media have been heavily edited and adapted to suit the idealistic culture of social media. Filters work fast to change your appearance, eliminate your insecurities and sell you a bunch of unnecessary products. Social media is full of paid advertisements designed to dissatisfy you into clicking “add to cart”.
8. You struggle to separate reality from headlines
There’s a saying, “When you’ve been on social media, it feels like the end of the world. If not, it’s only Tuesday.” Yes, egg prices are going up. Yes, Congress passed another law. No, the world is not ending! While some things affect your life on a daily basis, not every headline is worth the stress it causes you because you probably wouldn’t notice it unless you were constantly online.
For the same reason, you shouldn’t spend hours following the news, you shouldn’t scroll through social media and fill your head and heart with disturbing and stress-inducing information. There are so many other ways to stay current without becoming a vessel for stress and anxiety. Reading a paper version of the news (without flashing lights and ads) is a great option. Or just limit the amount of messages you record each day.
9. You have no other hobbies
Social media (and technology in general!) can be a huge waste of time, especially when you spend every free moment scrolling, watching, and posting. If Instagram and TikTok are your only hobbies, you need to ditch social media.
Your nightly routine should include life-giving activities, and your weekends should be filled with activities and people you like. Journaling, climbing, talking to a friend – there are so many alternatives to endless, mindless scrolling that don’t sap your creativity and independence the way social media does. Better sleep also depends on how much blue light you see before bed, so replace your phone with a better choice and enjoy your sleep!
Social media has become a huge time waster in recent years and we just get too attached to its enticing but superficial ideas. Rethink Your Social Media Use and Ditch Instagram!
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