by Diana Chin
I have a love-hate relationship with social media. Perhaps the consensus can agree; it’s quite beneficial when promoting your services to a larger demographic. On the other hand, having anxiety in checking up on the latest news proves to be a hassle. Since the introduction of social media, it has made an impact on all walks of life. Celebrities reach out to their fans at a much quicker and more tangible rate. Companies rely on influencers to promote their products in an authentic fashion. Even friends and family find it easily accessible when checking up on the latest news regarding reunions, family events, and some gossip.
But, what happens when the influence of social media becomes too much for our own lives? What happens when we are in a constant habitual motion where the need to see every update, likes and comments becomes a chore? Is it possible to keep up the pace within the unlimited supply of news that permeates through our profiles?
My topic is not about avoiding social media altogether. However, I feel it’s important that for many of us, seeking social media breaks can help prevent burnout, maintain our mental health and reclaim our offline time to do things that matter to us. I am no stranger to having social media breaks. I found it to be helpful and keep my life in balance, especially when it comes to running my small business while taking care of my family.
If you’re at a point where the consumption of social media becomes too unbearable, here are two major tips that you can try to adopt when you feel the social media pressure building up:
Quitting cold turkey wasn’t a logical solution when I first started taking a break from social media. I remember saying to myself, okay, I’ll stop checking and move on forward because I’m too tired of watching someone else’s drama unfold before my eyes. Ten minutes later, I found myself with a bag of popcorn and hopping on the social media bandwagon back again after feeling regretful of my decision (and very curious about the aftermath of someone’s life). So much for having strong willpower!
I find that the easiest way to start moving into the transitional period of taking a social media break is when I limit my activity during the weekends and evenings. I like to use this time for rest, relaxation, and refocusing my efforts on offline activities (i.e., meditating, spending time with family, reading, and playing video games). I usually like to set reminders on my phone, in case I forget when I should stop checking my social media profiles before I revert back to my old habits. If you’re concerned that some folks may question your absence, let them know politely that you’ll need to use the time for self-care. No need for a lengthy response; keep it short and simple. They’ll get the message.
Turn Off Notifications Or Delete Apps?
Need some peace and quiet without constant interruption on your smartphone/tablet? Try muting them on your device. Depending on which operating system your smartphone/tablet uses, it’s a good idea to be familiar with the settings if you choose to silence your alerts from your social media apps.
If turning off notifications isn’t your thing, you have the option of removing them on your device. Honestly, this was the solution that worked out for me when I needed to focus on getting some projects done on a tight schedule. In my mind, the idea of seeing the social media icons glaring in front of me increases the temptation to access the accounts. By having the apps deleted from my device, I’m able to save my sanity (and some hard drive space) without feeling the guilt that I would be missing out on social media.
Remember – you are in control of what you share and what type of exposure you want on your newsfeeds. Set realistic goals that aim towards a better sense of wellness, not isolationism. Your mind and body will thank you.
Do you have any tips you want to share when taking a break from social media? I would love to hear your thoughts!