Imagine a world without social media. No, really! Okay, that’s long enough. It’s like imagining life without a TV or a phone, or a car, or well, anything modern. But can we have too much of it?
Social media has its place in our modern world as it can be a useful thing. It’s a great way to stay connected with friends and family, provides entertainment, and it’s helpful if you’re trying to keep others up-to-date with what’s going on in your life. However, social media comes with its drawbacks, too. Here’s a few listed below.
- Sleep deprivation. Yeah, we all need our sleep. To get there we need a routine that helps us prepare for it and that we get enough of it in order to function well.
- Distraction from living life. Some might call this “adulting” while others say this is just life. Like getting up, eating good food, laundry, working, paying bills, having meaningful relationships, caring for others or animals, and other responsibilities.
- Lack of time to pause and think. We all need time to reflect on life, determine what decisions we need to make, what direction we are taking, and the meaning of life. Clearing our heads from worry, sadness, stress is well needed.
- Not being yourself. Social media easily can take you away from who you are to who you feel others want you to be Perhaps you want others to like you or you may have a “mad at the world” approach. .Also, it may push you into the “follow the herd” mindset and thus you may not think for yourself.
- No real social in person interactions. There’s nothing like the real thing when it comes to relationships. Sure, they can be awkward, scary yet very fun, interactive and rewarding.
Then, there’s time when using social media goes too far. Unfortunately, social media addiction is very real and can end up causing issues in your life if it’s not taken care of. For example, fear of rejection or not being “liked”, increased anxiety with what others post, and other issues. Further, it often only reveals the highlight reels of people’s lives, leading to comparison issues. It can also end up being highly addictive for a variety of reasons. You might feel the need to always be connected. Or, you might worry about “missing” something if you’re not constantly checking your feeds.
Thankfully, there are things you can do to break social media addiction and find freedom. Let’s cover a few tips that can help.
Determine Your Motivations
If you feel like you have a problem with social media, ask yourself why. Getting to the root cause of your addiction needs to be the first step towards changing it.
Is it taking you away from your life or relationship needs or goals? How do you feel when you scroll through your feeds or posts? Why are you really doing it? What do you get out of it? These are questions that often require some deeper thought, so don’t be afraid to sit with them for a while. If you are seeking acceptance, approval, attention, or encouragement realize many people are not generally clear, honest or safe with sharing their thoughts and feelings. Unless you have a positive in person relationship with them, it will be difficult to understand their motives.
Delete Your Apps
This might seem like an extreme suggestion, but one of the best things you can do to fight your addiction is to keep all social media platforms out of sight. That might not immediately cause them to go “out of mind,” but it will help.
If you’re not ready to completely delete your social media apps yet, consider adding blockers that will keep you from using them during certain times of the day. Or, put your phone away completely until you can gradually get rid of those platforms.
Do a Digital Detox
In addition to getting rid of social media apps, you might want to consider going offline for a while and removing digital devices from your life. This is called a “digital detox.” It can help reset your brain and give you a baseline to start from so you don’t feel so overwhelmed by your addiction.
A digital detox isn’t easy and requires a lot of discipline and dedication. However, if you’re willing to let go of technology for the sake of your health for a few days, it can make a big difference.
Rely On Extra Accountability
If you’re concerned you won’t be able to break your addiction on your own, get people you love involved. Those closest to you want to see you succeed. Consider reaching out to friends and family members to hold you accountable for trying to break your addiction. If they see you on a social media platform, let them call you out on it. Let them see your phone every time you’re with them to make sure those troublesome apps are gone.
However you feel you need to be held accountable for your decisions, don’t be afraid to get people you trust involved.
Change Your Habits / Find Ways to Fill the Void
No matter the reason for your social media addiction, it’s important to find things you can do to occupy yourself instead of filling your time with scrolling and posting. This is about making simple changes to your habits. Set a timer on your phone for 7 minutes for scrolling then stop. Shift your focus immediately. Consider new healthy habits you can adopt to “fill the void” and avoid going back to social media. Doing things like exercising, reading, cooking, doing a puzzle, meeting friends in person, or journaling. These are all great ways to cope and can curb your desire to get back on those platforms.
If you’ve tried some of these tips and you’re still struggling to break your social media addiction, don’t give up. Contact us here with Pathways Counseling Services at 520-292-9750 or email@example.com to learn more about counseling or to set up an appointment. We’ll work on more strategies with you to use so you can find freedom from these digital chains.
For more information on addictions…Go to our Addiction page