Social media user numbers continue to increase. The average person spends almost two hours a day looking at their favorite social media apps and sites, an astounding amount of time you could spend in other ways. Still, it’s indicative of the current business and social culture.
However, this doesn’t mean spending that much time on social media benefits you. Your job may require you to stay social online during business hours, but detoxing during a vacation or over the weekend can be helpful. Here are some benefits of taking a social media break.
Break the comparison cycle.
Scientists believe that most social media users compare their lives to those they know. The issue with this is that it can seriously affect your self-esteem. For example, if everyone you know is having babies or getting married, but you’re still single, you might feel lonely and isolated, leading to severe depression for some people. Taking a break from social media can break this cycle and allow you to reconnect with all the good things in your life.
Safeguard your privacy.
You won’t feel so competitive.
You may not realize it, but social media tends to bring out your competitive side. The basis of social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram is to bring attention to your posts. Each comment and reaction measures a specific post’s popularity, making you strive to outdo yourself and others. However, this kind of competitiveness isn’t healthy because it causes depression and anxiety. Taking a break from social media will do wonders for your mental health.
Improve your general mood.
Studies have shown that the more time you spend on social media, the more likely you will develop depression. Additionally, the extent of time you spend on social media correlates to whether you feel happy or stressed. In simple terms, if you’ve been feeling stressed, anxious, or depressed, this is an excellent time to take a break from social media. It might feel strange initially, but your mood will improve as you avoid Twitter, Facebook, and other social media platforms.
Defeat your fear of missing out.
One study found that social media is made to be as addictive as crack cocaine. It’s not an exaggeration. When you first cut out social media, you might feel withdrawal symptoms. Scientists believe this is due to the natural fear of missing out or FOMO. You could miss something important or entertaining if you take a step back from your smartphone or laptop. The number of notifications makes it even harder to step away. Still, those who become addicted to social media can destroy their professional and personal relationships.
You can minimize this effect after your social media break by scheduling a once-a-day visit to your most visited social media platforms. After that visit, avoid social media for the rest of the day.
Rejoin the real world.
Do you connect well with people online but feel like you’re struggling to communicate with people in person? This lifestyle may be ideal for introverts, but everyone needs in-person human contact. Unfortunately, people who spend most of their time on social media say they feel isolated or lonely in real life. They’re also more likely to suffer from a weakened immune system. Fortunately, even if you’re uncomfortable with in-person interaction, going out in public will boost your mood. For example, you could take yourself to your favorite restaurant or park if you like being alone. You could also go to a concert or movie. However, if you want to make new friends, you could try using apps like MeetUp to find people with similar interests.
Start living in the moment.
Are you one of those people who post everything you do to Facebook while the event or activity is happening? One couple updated their Twitter or Facebook accounts immediately after getting married at the altar. It’s a great way to document your life, but it can also be a burden that takes you away from the moment. If you’re living everything through social media instead of through direct interactions, your experiences will become less memorable and of lower quality.
Quit obsessing over the past.
Are you one of those people who spend time on Facebook stalking your ex or looking through old tweets? These actions can keep you in a negative headspace, making it harder to recover from heartbreak. Taking a break from social media for a while can give you space to stop obsessing and move on. If you decide to return to social media, make sure you take the extra step of blocking your exes or anyone who it pains you to see online. You can also adjust your Facebook memories to remove items so you’ll stop being reminded of them.
Gain some free time.
Do you feel you never have enough time to read, clean your house, or exercise? Taking a break from social media will help you get almost two hours, giving you time to devote your energy to improving your life. For example, going for a 30-minute walk daily offers mental and physical health benefits, making it a better use of your time than scrolling through social media. You’ll also feel less stressed if you take some time to organize your house.
Social media is a big part of our lives. Despite the benefits of social media, there are still some downsides to using it, especially if you use it too much. If you have a hard time taking a social media break, try investing your time into something educational, like learning a new language or a business course. Listening to podcasts on a topic of interest can also take your mind off social media.