As we are in the digital age, it can be difficult to tell that how much social media is too much.
There are millions of tweets being posted each day and more than a billion people who are regularly using Facebook. Knowing that the society is obsessed with what’s happening in the online world makes it hard to know if there is a need to take a break from social media.
Technology expert and author of The Distraction Addiction Alex Soojung-Kim Pang shares few of the prevalent signs that you need to take a step back for a while.
Signs That You Need To Take A Break From Social Media
Feeling anxious for having no access to your phone
Pang says that the more time you’re spending online, the less time you have real conversations which are interesting and worth having.
Ask yourself how many conversations and events have you missed because you were too busy with your phone.
You may be one of those people who check their phones in between stop lights or those who refresh their newsfeeds as soon as they wake up and before they go to bed. Pang emphasized that the more time you spent liking, the less likable your real world becomes.
Being obsessed on knowing the status of your online friends
An alarming sign that you should be aware of is when you become obsessed on knowing about the status of your so-called ‘friends’ on your social media accounts.
Try to reevaluate how much time you are spending online when you read that a random person you’ve met once (or never have) has bought this and that.
Pang added that social media’s irony is that it can be great to be updated with our friend’s lives but being too engaged on it can ruin its real purpose and lessen our ability to focus on our personal lives.
Feeling less successful in comparison to your friends
Clicking the thumbs up button all through your newsfeed could surely make you gain good news but, most of the time, it encourages envy.
Having to witness the job promotions, engagements and vacations of your friends can make you feel jealous and inadequate.
Spending plenty of time online adds negativity to what people feel on themselves, especially women, increases anxiety and often leads to broken friendships and relationships.
Pang said that if keeping up with the lives of your friends becomes a hindrance for you to happily lead your own life then you should really give it a break.
Spending too much time crafting Instagram-worthy meals and projects
Have you spent too much time in preparing meals which would look picture perfect or on recreating a Pinterest DIYs for you to appear creative?
If your answer is yes, you should give yourself a break.
According to Pang, you need to step back once you’ve began living a Twitter or Instagram-friendly life. Planning where to go and what to do while imagining how it will be on social media affects your one’s ability to be true to themselves.
Having the need to tweet about every activity you do
All of us have that friend on social media who couldn’t stop themself from sharing every detail of their life.
But, you might also be that person.
Among the signs that social media has taken over your life is when you regularly tweet about what you’re doing while doing it or having the need to talk about your thoughts. Pang explained that there are only 24 hours each day and the more time you spend sharing to your friends what you’re doing, the less time you realize why you enjoy doing these activities and what each day means.
What Can You Do About It?
Set a specific time every day to catch up with what’s happening on social media.
People set a schedule to exercise, go to work, eat and sleep.
If the same hour each day would be enough for your meals then it would also be good enough for your social media account.
When posting status updates, limit it to discussions about life stories rather than irrelevant topics and photos of your food or pets regardless of how cute it looks.
Agree to set times for social media with your partner
It is not fair when you are sitting at the dinner table, and one person is on the phone and your not. It is rude, and it is inconsiderate.
Instead, talk to your partner about a time that both of you can go on your phone.
This will help your relationship because both of you will be on your phone at the same time, so the other person will not feel offended that you are checking your Social Media accounts whilst the other one is trying to have a conversation.
Try to limit your access.
Pang suggests that we challenge ourselves to abstain from social media for a whole week. If you’re not OK with that then delete your accounts from your phone for a week.
This will help you evaluate if your life becomes better or worse. If you continue to do this, you will find that you will still feel satisfied even with not using social media.
Realise that Social Media is a warped view of a person’s life
The thing about social media is that people show you, what they want you to see about their life. They put the best things of their life on social media.
What you don’t see, is the regular, everyday life that they live. You don’t see when they are feeling upset, or feeling down. This is not something that we put on our Facebook post, because who wants to see someone that is always upset and broadcasting it on Social Media?
If you feel envy or jealousy when you read about something great that happened to a friend on your social media account – you shouldn’t.
You should look into your own life, and appreciate what you have. Instead of looking at other people’s lives, and looking at what you don’t have. Everyone has their own story, and the picture that you see is only a fraction of what happens in real life.
Appreciate the people around you in your life.
Spend more time with your friends and family in real life – with no phones or distractions. Your relationships will be better for it.
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