Whether you want to keep up with friends, celebrate your accomplishments and life events, or follow the latest news, social media is the way to stay in touch with the world.
Lately, I have noticed that I have been on my phone way too much. It first hit me when my iPhone gave me a report of my usage over the previous week. It said that I had spent multiple hours each day on social media. Reflecting on the time spent, I know that I wasn’t doing anything productive. It was just mindless scrolling.
This was when I realized that I needed to limit my time on my phone and take a social media detox. However, there are many other reasons that may clue you in to take one as well. Here are five dangerous behaviors that indicate you need a social media detox.
Your mental health is impacted
Studies have shown that heavy social media use is linked to depression, anxiety, and isolation in people of all ages.
This is due to the pressure that people feel to keep up with expectations. For the most part, social media portrays the best part of everyone’s life.
Feeling the need to keep up with someone else’s success and appearance can tear you down and affect your mental health. If you’re feeling this way, it’s time to take a break from social media.
Your relationships are suffering
We all feel the need to act ‘different’ on social media, right? It’s that feeling that you need others to think your life is perfect when it’s not.
If you only put up the highlight reel, it’s like telling your loved ones that you don’t love your relationships. Or what about the pictures that resurface of what felt like innocent fun but now put a wedge between you and your significant others?
If you continuously feel the need to post a picture of every detail of your life, it can quickly take the place of your real-life relationships, causing them to suffer.
Feeling like you always have to prove yourself to your ‘friends’ on social media is a sign, it’s time to dial back and focus on the relationships in front of your face.
You’re participating in dangerous behaviors
Studies show that people are more likely to choose dangerous or impulsive behaviors when they know they’ll get likes or comments.
If you don’t think before you act, or you find yourself doing things you’d never even consider before, social media could be the culprit. If you measure your ‘popularity’ on the number of likes and comments you get, it’s time to take a break.
Reevaluate your choices and how you measure your ‘excitement’ in life. Focus on the people in front of you and the relationships you’re creating, not the ‘phony’ friendships online.
You can’t sleep
You might not be sleeping for a few reasons. One is the notorious blue light. Experts say to stop using all electronics two hours before bedtime to avoid ruining your sleep partners.
Social media poses another issue, too, though. That darn Fear of Missing Out. Teens especially, but adults are guilty too, find themselves waking in the middle of the night to check their social media. Whether you posted something and want to see what others think or you want to know what others are up to – it’s a problem if you can’t go without checking your social media for 8 hours while you sleep.
Your productivity is going down
If you can’t focus anymore or find yourself so distracted by social media that simple tasks take three times as long as they used to, it’s time to take a break from social media.
Letting other people’s lives and statuses affect your productivity is a sign of a serious problem. If it’s affecting your schoolwork, paying job tasks, or even housework, it’s too much. You’ll also know it’s a problem if you can’t focus on one page for more than a few seconds, or reading a book is something you’d never be able to do anymore.
It all comes down to one thing – quit social media. Delete the apps, set a time limit on your phone, or change your passwords to make it harder to access so you can get your life back.