Social Media is a great tool of communication that bring new waves of content to you in seconds. Even with the advantages of social media, there are negative sides to social media that affect people’s mental health. A 2016 study in the ‘Computers in Human Behavior Journal’ found that three times more of the amount risk of anxiety and depression are among people who use the most social media platforms in a test group of 1,700 people. From my personal experience, social media affects my emotions on a deeper level. As a content creator, I found myself constantly checking my social media from Instagram to Twitter to Facebook. There is so much information that I felt like I needed to keep up. I found myself battling with anxiety and exhaustion of creating new content to the point of being burnt out.
How I did it
I had enough of this feeling. I needed a break from my social media, my content creation, and my full-time day job. ASAP. In light of that, I took a full week off to head down to one of my favorite places, Savannah, GA. Was the break worth it? 100% worth it.
For a week, I deleted all the social media apps off of my phone. I put on my vacation responder to all of my emails. I downloaded an app called Moment to help me realize how much I was picking up my phone every day. Wow, it was a wakeup call. The app showed me how much I spent time on my phone every day, every week, and every month. Including which apps that take up most of my time.
|Cathedral of St. John the Baptist
Taken by me
Taken by Me
|Cheese Ravioli at Bella Napoli’s Italian Food
Taken and Eaten by Me
I challenged myself not to use my phone while exploring Savannah. I wanted to take in the city’s beautiful atmosphere and relax. I also challenged myself not to use my phone while I am eating. I bought books from my reading list to challenge my mind a little. I went to different museums, many restaurants, enjoying seeing my family and just being by myself. I enjoyed being me without the worry of my next post or editing the next photo for the blog. I took some photos for myself to remember the small memories and others I wrote down in my journal.
|Journaling and Having Tea at Fox & Fig Cafe|
|Tybee Island Beach|
Taking a social media break was one of the best decisions I have made in a while. It taught me a few things: take a break, enjoy loving what you do, and take everything as a blessing. From my own experience, I hope it inspires you to take a break from social media. Even if you aren’t in a creative rut, take a moment to realize how much you are on your phone every day. Social media can be a place of comfort but, also be a place of negativity & hardship.
I would love to hear your thoughts on how social media affects your daily life. Then, go & take a break.
Brian A. Primack, Ariel Shensa, César G. Escobar-Viera, Erica L. Barrett, Jaime E. Sidani, Jason B. Colditz, A. Everette James,
Use of multiple social media platforms and symptoms of depression and anxiety: A nationally-representative study among U.S. young adults,
Computers in Human Behavior,
Keywords: Depression; Anxiety; Social media; Facebook; Twitter; Multitasking
Brown, Jessica. “Future – Is Social Media Bad for You? The Evidence and the Unknowns.” BBC News, BBC, 5 Jan. 2018, www.bbc.com/future/story/20180104-is-social-media-bad-for-you-the-evidence-and-the-unknowns.