Should You Take A Break From Social Media?

Most of us are guilty social media scrollers. Not really looking at anything but spending hours on our phones scrolling through update after update – it’s addictive.

Social media has become an integral part of our daily lives, whether it’s for connecting with friends and family or wanting to see what your favourite brands or services are up to – platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and TikTok offer endless opportunities for interaction and entertainment. 

However, there is also a constant pressure of feeling like you need to do a lot, and always living your best life because of social media. The 24/7 presence of social media in our lives, although seemingly enjoyable, can also have negative impacts on our mental health, productivity, and overall well-being. 

This raises the question: should you take a break from social media and, what affects does social media have on us?

Numerous studies have highlighted the potential negative effects of excessive social media use on mental health. Constant exposure to often unrealistic portrayals of other people’s lives can lead to feelings of doubt and feelings of jealousy, as well as giving us a low self-esteem. The pressure to present a perfect image online can contribute to anxiety, depression, and stress, especially among younger users.

The addictive nature of social media, or as many know it ‘endless scrolling’, can disrupt sleep and detract from real-life interactions. Excessive screen time has been linked to decreased attention span, reduced concentration, and diminished cognitive abilities, affecting both academic and professional performance.

Taking a break from social media can offer a host of benefits for both mental and physical well-being, a Bath University study found Disconnecting from 24/7 information and notifications allows individuals to gain back time, allowing more attention on other things and helping to feel more engaged in hobbies, and real-world, offline, relationships.

A detox from social media can also help to gain a better perspective of what’s going on in the world, allowing a focus on real life values, priorities, and goals. Taking a step away from social media can also give more time for other hobbies and creativity.

Our Top Tips For Taking A Break

If you’re considering taking a break from social media, here are some tips to help you start your social media detox:

Set Boundaries

Whether that’s a duration or a social media platform you’re avoiding, working out the extent of your social media break is a good place to start. Whether it’s a weekend staying off Facebook, a month-long hiatus from TikTok, or a day off social media all together, establish boundaries and stick to them.

Inform Your Social And Real World Network

Let your friends, family, and colleagues know that you’ll be taking a break from social media. Make sure to provide alternative ways to stay in touch, such as phone calls, text messages, or meeting up in person to maintain communication during your absence.

Delete Or Disable Apps

We’ve all heard the expression ‘out of sight, out of mind’ so consider deleting the offending social media apps from your phone or hiding them in a folder off your home screen so you’re less tempted to go on. You can also disable notifications to reduce temptation and minimise distractions if using your phone for something else.

Find New Activities

If you’d normally fill two hours of an evening scrolling social media, you’ll probably be shocked at what else you can do it just time. Fill the time you would have spent on social media with other enjoyable activities such as reading, walking, playing a game, trying out a new hobby, exercising spending quality time with family and friends or pets.

Practice Self-Care

Use your social media break as an opportunity to prioritise yourself. Get plenty of rest, cook up your favourite nutritious meals, partake in exercises you enjoy and do more activities which make you feel good.

To sum up, while social media offers many benefits, it’s essential to recognise when it’s time to take a step back and reassess your relationship with scrolling.

So if you’re asking the question, ‘do I need a break from social media?’, whether this is down to you feeling overwhelmed, stressed, or simply in need of a social media detox, taking a break can be a valuable opportunity to prioritise your well-being, reconnect with yourself and others, and reset, so you can form a healthier balance between online and offline.

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