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Should You Reevaluate Your Relationship With Social Media?

Research shows that people spend, on average, about 4 hours per day engaging in social media platforms. At the same time, we’re also facing an incredible loneliness epidemic with 36% of people reporting that they feel seriously lonely. In today’s world, it’s easier than ever to lose entire hours or days online.

Social media can be beneficial, but it certainly has its downsides. No matter where you stand on your usage, it may be time to reconsider your relationship and even think about taking a social media break.

Should You Try a Social Media Detox?

Social media detoxes refer to taking designated breaks from social media altogether. The goal of a detox is to reset and see how it feels to distance yourself from all that online activity. People take breaks at varying lengths, but if you try a detox, you should at least try it for one week.

You may find your separation from social media to feel uncomfortable, especially during that first week. If you’re used to scrolling mindlessly, all that downtime can seem unnerving. You might also start experiencing heightened FOMO, especially when it comes to knowing what your friends are doing.

That said, many people find that stopping social media cold turkey is important for reevaluating their baseline social media usage. You may realize that you need to set better boundaries for yourself when it comes to social media. Or you might realize just how much you’ve been neglecting other relationships or hobbies due to your scrolling habits.

Over the long term, people who take regular breaks from social media often report less anxiety, more time for family and other connections, and higher self-esteem.

6 Social Media Boundaries to Consider

Instead of staying away from social media altogether, it may be helpful to consider establishing reasonable limits for yourself. These boundaries can help you keep your intentions in check, and they can also help you build a healthier relationship with your current social media habits.

Having Social Media-Free Places

It may be helpful to designate certain locations in your home or out in public as “social media-free places.” This is a simple way to physically distance yourself from being online. Some people, for example, choose to designate their kitchen or bedroom. Others will choose when they’re out at specific restaurants or a particular friend’s house.

Committing to Not Using Social Media When Spending Time With People

It can be tempting to mindlessly scroll, even when you’re in the company of loved ones. But when you're with people you care about, they deserve to have your mental energy. You also want to be in the right mental space to enjoy your connections and attune to others. Committing to staying off your phone allows you to focus on what truly matters.

Only Choosing to Use Certain Apps

We aren't designed to be accessible 24/7. Some people find that it’s easier to cut down on social media when they limit which apps they use. For example, you might decide to only use one source to check local news. Or you might decide to only use your favorite social media app instead of wasting time on ones that don't really appeal to you.

Setting Daily Time Limits with Social Media

You might want to experiment with setting specific time limits for how often you use social media each day. This allows you to be more intentional with your use, and it also encourages you to spend your time engaging in other relationships, hobbies, or self-care. If the limits feel too challenging to follow, it may be a sign that you’re struggling with more of a behavioral addiction.

Turning Notifications Off

You may be able to cut down on mindlessly scrolling if you simply block social media apps or turn off notifications on your phone. Those notifications release a hit of dopamine, which is associated with pleasure, and that reinforces you to continue to check social media. At the very least, this simple switch cuts down the constant need to be online.

Committing to Other Passions

What could you be doing in your downtime if you weren't spending time mindlessly scrolling? By saying yes to Facebook, Instagram, or TikTok, what are you inadvertently saying no to? Now may be the time to explore your values and consider which activities you've put on the back burner due to your social media habits.

Final Thoughts

Social media isn’t inherently bad. In fact, these platforms offer tremendous opportunities for connectivity and creative expression. But it’s important to recognize their addictive potential. Research shows that people who use social media excessively experience higher rates of depression, anxiety, and low self-esteem.

At Resurface Group, we are here to support individuals and their families to optimize their mental health and live more fulfilling lives. We understand the nuances of living in the modern world, and we are here to help people navigate their stress more adaptively.

Contact us today to learn more!

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