“Social media is no longer that peaceful, playful raft we can lie on. It’s rapid-fire in its succession of anger and bad news,” says Peter Turco, LCSW-R, a psychotherapist practicing in New York City.
Especially this last year and a half, I’ve found that social media feeds are filled with so much negativity and nasty, judgemental comments. I got tired of seeing it, so I made a deliberate choice to stay away from it.
Social media (for the most part) is an inauthentic and unhealthy place for a lot of people. Yet, many are constantly on their phones or computers scrolling through Facebook, swiping on Instagram, or immersed in their Twitter feed. Before they know it, they’re wondering where the time has gone, and why they feel anxious and inadequate.
I have always encouraged my clients to go on a “Social Media Diet” for at least a week because of how social media creates so much anxiety, fear and stress. It also leads to comparing, feeling left out and self-consciousness, all of which create a lot of insecurity. It’s impossible to build confidence when you’re suffering from all of that. For anyone who is already struggling with depression and anxiety, they feel even more isolated and different –it becomes all consuming and mentally draining.
“Social media can contribute to feelings of depression, especially when content on social media is used to compare yourself with others or used as a tool to examine and judge your past,” says Maria Mouratidis, Psy.D., a licensed clinical psychologist with The Retreat at Sheppard Pratt.
And sadly, there’s been a massive increase in depression, anxiety and suicide in young people. In girls ages 10-14 suicide rates have TRIPLED over the past 15 years, and girls engage in social media 40% more than boys.
If you haven’t already, watch this powerful talk by the awesome Simon Sinek. He talks about the massive negative effects of Social Media & Cell Phones
So, for me, it’s been almost 2 months since I deleted all my social media apps, and I don’t miss social media AT ALL! I am still informed about what’s going on in the world and stay connected with others while still taking a break. The people in your life that you love and care about, will support your decision and will be happy to connect in person, or via video chat or a phone call.
Taking a social media break not only feels awesome and soothes your brain, it also gives you more time to relax, recharge, and refocus. So I challenge you to go for it! You’ll be SO happy you did! 😀
Want more inspiration? Here’s 25 Reasons to Take a Break from Social Media