Many of us are guilty of it. The first thing we see when we wake up is a social media app. The last thing we see before we close our eyes, is a social media app. 2020 has not been the year to reach out and physically interact so more than ever, these social experiments gone wrong are our contact with much of the outside world. While that is not always a bad thing, much of social media has turned into a toxic wasteland of hate, anger, depression and resentment. Let’s take a look at some reasons why taking a break this holiday season may be the right move.
- You are wasting your time. You pick up your phone to just “take a quick look” at the Gram. 45 minutes later, your thumb is still scrolling. Have you ever taken a step back and truly reviewed how much time you spend on social media? Liking photos, talking trash, stalking exes or just randomly poking around. There is a good chance hours of your day are spent doing this. Track time spent for a few days and when you make the choice to give social media a break, devote that time to something specific and see what could come of it. Learn a language, play an instrument, work out…whatever. It adds up…
- You disconnect from reality. If you are following 2000 influencers, your grasp on reality can become loosened very quickly. Reality is not what you see online. Their bodies are not perfect. They all do not make 6 figures by “career coaching” and they sure as hell are not always traveling in the most beautiful places on private jets and rare sportscars. Looking at images like that for hours a day can make you feel pretty shitty about yourself and your situation. Thing is, it is all a mirage.
- You are distracted from your own life. For some, maybe that is the point of logging on. To get away from their everyday life and see how others are living (or pretending to live). But, the lack of focus you may have on the world around you is a problem. Your job, your spouse, your kids and ultimately, probably your health. If you spend hours staring into the abyss of pictures and comments, what about your own goals? Your own life? The people who need you and depend on you? Do not get caught up to the point you forget about your own life.
- It is a negative realm for you. Posted a picture and some stranger called you fat? Decided to join in on a political conversation and you got so intoxicated with a point of a view that you refuse to communicate with a loved one who feels differently? Jumped on a fighter’s post about his recent loss to call him pathetic and a loser? These are all very real and all very unhealthy realities of social media. Social media exists to mine you for information and to influence your feelings and decisions. Everything else is just an unintended consequence. Anonymity and freedom of speech are complementary aspects to people who just want to hurt, hate and talk tough. If any of this resonates with you, put the phone down.
- You are losing your identity. So inundated with negativity and bullshit that you forget who you are, what you stand for and what you believe. It happens. Maybe you decided to be a part of something bigger than yourself online but in doing so, you have completely forgot about all the other aspects of yourself. Maybe you ARE the influencer. Pictures of lattes, plaid, palm trees and the like. You cannot even allow yourself to feel anymore or draw the line between your online persona and yourself. Do not lose yourself in the fantasy.
That was only 5 reasons to give social media a break. Likely, you have several that were not even on the list. We will follow up this post with some strategies to help put the phone down and take the break. But, we highly recommend you give it a shot now. Baby steps are acceptable…limit your time, limit the time of day etc. Whatever you choose, we hope you will look at your online habits with honesty and make the right decision.