Can you imagine going a day without checking in on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter? Lots of people rely on social media to stay connected every day and the thought of not scrolling through their feeds seems impossible. Actor Tom Holland just announced that he’s stepping away from social media to focus on his mental health and experts say that kind of break could be beneficial to many of us.
While social media can be great for networking and keeping in contact with friends and loved ones, Dr. Shahla Modir, medical director at addiction treatment center All Points North Lodge Malibu, says spending too much time on these platforms is linked to depression, anxiety and stress. So how do you know if it’s time to take a break? Experts share the signs to look for and how to form healthier habits with social media.
- If you’re comparing yourself to others online - “FOMO can trigger feelings of anxiety,” Modir explains. “The highlights people present are interpreted as their real life and not their ‘reel life.’”
- If you’re compulsively checking your phone - Constantly checking your phone for notifications and likes is another red flag.
- If your real-life interactions are suffering - This can include people in your life complaining about how much you use social media or skipping out on social interactions with friends and family so you can spend more time on social media.
- If you start viewing yourself negatively - If social media is causing you to view yourself in a negative light, causes feelings of worthlessness, hopelessness or depression, counselor Jermaine Graves says it’s time to take a break.
To find healthy balance with social media:
- Create boundaries, like limiting how much time you spend on social media in a day.
- Try turning off notifications so they don’t distract you throughout the day.
- Take a digital fast, start by stepping away from your screens for an hour a day.
- Get outside for fresh air and sunshine when you’re not sitting and scrolling.
- Have a plan for your break so you replace social media time with something meaningful, like a hobby, reading, exercise or quality time with family.
Source: USA Today