Do you check your social media accounts several times a day, even when you have more important things you need to be doing?
Do you find the first thing you do when you wake up in the morning is check your Facebook or Instagram?
Are you guilty of uploading a picture of your meal every time you eat out?
Are you constantly checking Twitter updates or checking out other people’s Facebook pages?
When you have to wait for someone or something, even if it’s just for a couple of minutes, do you automatically open your Facebook app to avoid having to look like you’re doing nothing?
If this sounds like it could be you, then it might be time to cut down on your social media usage.
What’s wrong with using social media all the time? Why might you need to cut back?
Well as great as social media is to keep connected with family and friends (as well as being an excellent time-waster), there are plenty of other ways it can actually negatively affect your life, even without you realising it.
Spending too much time online can interfere with what’s going on in your life – it can interrupt meaningful conversations, inhibit connection with people who are present and reduce engagement with work or other activities. Some people even check their accounts while driving – which is just plain dangerous!
Social media also provides a platform to compare yourself to other people, which can lead to negative thoughts and feelings. Some people also use social media as a way to measure their self-worth, where ‘likes’ = approval. Both of these behaviours can be really unhealthy, especially for people who already struggle with their self-esteem.
So how do you cut back on your usage?
- Try setting limits – when and where are you going to use it? How long are you going to use it for at any one time? Or in a day? Decide on some appropriate and inappropriate rules for your social media usage and make sure you stick to them!
- Monitor your time online – it will help you stick to your rules.
- Consider deleting the apps of your phone so you can only check-in when you can make time in your schedule to sit in front of your computer.
If you feel like you may need some additional support or strategies to reduce your social media use and reconnect with those around you, Mindstar might be able to help.