Social media is something that is consistently evolving and growing. It is rare these days not to be able to find someone somewhere on Instagram or Twitter. We create profiles of ourselves to keep in contact and grow our circle. Constantly checking our phones has easily become a part of our everyday lives and daily activities. This form of social media influence, however, can have a big influence on mental health. Experts say that social media breaks can be beneficial, but the range of benefit varies from person to person and what social media means to them and how much they use it.
Psychotherapist Dr. Lisa Larsen, PsyD, told Bustle, “Like anything, social media are not inherently good or bad, as that is up to the user. Some people use them to stalk ex-lovers or promulgate troubling beliefs, while others use it how it was probably intended — to keep in touch with loved ones and friends.” Further going on to state that moderate social media engagement is okay, however, if the majority of your day is spent on the web, then it may be time to consider turning off your apps for a bit. Listed below are five benefits, according to experts, of a social media cleanse.
1. Improvements to Overall Wellness
It is no secret that the consistent use of social media can lead to feelings of uneasiness and anxiety. Studies such as that conducted by researcher Sarah Eichmeyer of Stanford’s Economics Department showed that those who stopped using Facebook led to users feeling less anxious and an overall better feeling of happiness. However, it doesn’t reverse the psychological response that we have towards social media in general. So while it may feel better, it doesn’t necessarily take the overall impact away. The researcher even goes on to state that these breaks aren’t meant to dismiss social media entirely, but merely see the impact it has on your mental health on a more personal level and how the amount of time spent on each platform can affect overall health.
2. Reduction of Negative Self Talk
When your feed is filled with nothing but influencers, models, and your peers, it is easy to feel overwhelmed with the comparison. It is easy for social media to just become a game of who can get the most likes. This then leads to a vicious cycle of checking social media more and more out of envy for “fomo.” The reason the comparison is heavier than in person is that social media has the ability to have people present the very best version of themselves, only showing what we want people to see rather than always what is the reality.
3. Discover What Social Media Really Means To You
Most people have started on social media because everyone else had social media. But to what extent does one have the control of really putting their phone down. A social media cleanse can lead to the realization of how often we actually check our phones when all of a sudden we aren’t supposed to. The amount of times one mechanically checks social media is a lot more than it may seem. Activity trying to avoid social media can help one realize just how much you check it on a regular basis.
4. Time To Focus on Yourself
Hours and hours a day can be spent on social media. Not only will this lead to more anxiousness, but it doesnt supply a lot of time for oneself and rather forces you to exert your energy towards others that can lead to all the things previously stated. Not only does a social media cleanse help in the sense of focusing on other things that may bring you happiness but also strengthen your one on one interactions on a more regular basis.
5. Reassess Online Behavior
Sinking into the online world can be mechanic and done subconsciously. Because of this, our online behavior may be different than how we would interact with people face to face. Taking a break can help us evaluate if the way we interact online is that same of how we would with those same people had it been in person. Because it is an online interaction, people are more likely to be harsher and say things they wouldn’t usually and be quick to “unfriend.” However, these online interactions can reflect in real-life, interpersonal relationships as well.