6 Reasons To Take A Social Media Break
We’ve all been there. You can’t stop looking at your phone. After posting a brunch selfie, you can’t help but check to see how many likes you have. You want to stop, but you’re just not sure how or why it needs to happen.
Maybe you’ve discussed it with friends and some have paused their use for a few days. Others have quit for weeks or even months. All of them rave about the benefits of taking a break from social media. But you’re still not convinced. What is it going to take?
My personal experience
Research shows an undeniable link between poor mental health and the overuse of social media. Social media addiction is affecting young adults at alarmingly growing rates. As a licensed massage therapist and writer, I’ve felt the pull to unplug on more than one occasion. A few years back, I managed to take a complete social media break and deleted both my Facebook and Instagram accounts. As I stayed off all social media for a full year, I watched my business grow and my personal relationships flourish! When business started to slow, I thought Instagram was the answer.
I was wrong. Months later, my business was failing and my romantic relationship was falling apart. I was anxious and depressed and using Instagram as a distraction from the real problems in my life. The boyfriend broke up with me and I nursed a broken heart for months, still escaping into Instagram, spending hours watching other people’s stories, and posting embarrassing monologues about heartache.
I had to close my business and only months later did I realize I was addicted to social media.
I almost quit cold turkey. I deleted my Facebook account first, then Instagram shortly after. I continue to do the real inner healing work that I was avoiding by getting lost in social media. I’m determined to maintain a successful professional life without relying on social media for marketing. It’s been clear as day that I don’t need it at all to live a happy and healthy personal life. Life is so much more vivid and real without social media dependency. Limiting your daily use might be all you need to see changes. Recognizing an addiction may take a deeper look at your life. Need inspiration?
Check out these 6 life-changing benefits of stepping away from social media.
1. More time
Imagine taking back hours in your day to enjoy life. When we scroll mindlessly through social media feeds, we are robbing ourselves of precious hours and minutes that could be spent living life. Choose activities that add meaning and value to your existence. Make those inspirational quotes actionable items and intentionally set goals for yourself. Choose what information is allowed to affect your thinking and emotions. Be mindful about who you see, where you get your news, and how you spend this one life you have here on earth. Life is meant to be experienced with all 5 senses. Nothing can replace face to face conversation in person.
2. Increased productivity and concentration
Artificial blue light from devices has been shown to interfere with your body’s production of melatonin which helps regulate sleep. Less screen time equals improved quality of sleep. Your body repairs itself through rest. Sleep has been shown to be as essential as eating and exercise. Get better sleep and brain function improves. When one area of self-care changes, it creates a ripple effect into other parts of your life. The positive outcomes are endless. Get motivated to achieve your personal goals. Live the life of you’ve always wanted.
3. Less stress and anxiety
Mental health takes a hit when we spend too much time on social media. One study showed a decrease in loneliness and depression when college students limited their social media use. We’re less vulnerable to the trap of social comparison when we stay off our devices. We forget that social media is not an accurate representation of someone’s life. It’s the highlight reel. When social media is used as an escape or a way to numb feelings, it causes stress and anxiety. Explore proven stress management techniques. Get off your phone and head to yoga instead. Pass on posting the after class selfie. Seek out professional help if anxiety is interfering with your daily functioning.
4. Increased confidence and self-esteem
Feel better about yourself when you stop the endless comparing that happens when you see perfect photos on Instagram. Disordered eating is another mental health concern for both men and women. Societal pressure to look a certain way is amplified on social media. Diet culture thrives on your social media addiction, pushing thin bodies as the ideal.
Focus on your unique beauty and gifts. You’re more than just a pretty face or a fit body. What hobbies have you forgotten since Instagram took over your life? Remember what brings you joy and peace. Do more of what makes you feel good about yourself.
5. Better quality relationships
When you’re off accounts, you find out who genuinely cares about you. The people who really want to see you will make the effort. Everyone else drops off. Pay attention to who shows up for you. Don’t settle for less than you deserve when it comes to friendships and romantic relationships. Curate your life to include the humans who treat you with the love and respect you are worthy of receiving.
Connections deepen because they are happening in real-time. There’s nothing like hearing someone’s voice over the phone. You can have an actual conversation about what you’re up to, now that you have more time. No one’s assuming they know what you’re doing because they don’t have access to it. It’s not broadcasted all the time. Be the keeper of your story. Monitor who knows your business. Determine who is worth your time. Feel empowered in all areas of your life.
6. Life opens up
Your life is even more interesting now that you aren’t wasting time on your phone. You’re living life on purpose and intentionally choosing everything you encounter. FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out) becomes an afterthought because you are truly doing all of the things you’ve been wanting to do now that you’re spending less time scrolling and more time living authentically.
For the first time in a long time, you are letting yourself feel your emotions.
The present moment isn’t holding back. Remember how awesome it is to get real hugs in person? Reading a good book never sounded better. Listening to music, even dancing (like nobody’s watching because now they’re not) makes a comeback. You can eat your food hot because you’re not trying to get that perfect shot of your meal. You’re soaking it all in, enjoying the ambiance of a restaurant because you’re fully present and aware.
You’re mindful of what’s happening. You’ve taken back your life. You feel more alive than ever. What took you so long?
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