Social media is ingrained in how many live their everyday lives. It’s how they connect with family and friends, advertise business ventures, meet new people, sell products, and share the highlights of life. The sky is really the limit with some social media platforms, but have you ever found yourself caught in the perpetual cycle scrolling? What about comparing yourself to others? Have you ever seen a picture of the “perfect family” and think, “wow, they really have it all together?” What about the number or hearts or likes you get for a post? Take a minute and really think about these questions.
Just like other habit forming or addictive things in this world, social media can fall into that category. Often when we think of the word addiction, our mind ventures to alcohol or drugs, but addiction is so much more than that. One way to challenge yourself in this area is to see if you can take a break from social media by setting a goal with the number of days you want to take a break for. Try a week, two weeks, maybe even a month. What would it feel like to take a break from checking your phone everyday to see what the latest posts are? I think many people find a reprieve in social media breaks. I’m sure I’m not the only one who has seen a post from a friend stating they are taking a break and won’t be on for a while. I just saw a similar one on Instagram from Drew Barrymore stating she was taking a break, and then she proceeds to tell her followers to go have the summer of their lives! (1)
Taking a break from anything that has become a habit or an addiction is important. It allows you some time to breathe, and sometimes lessens the pressures of the world. The images that are thrown out to us, the ads, the comparison, the striving, the pressure, the aimless scrolling. Maybe this is your time to go out and live.
If you decide to take a break from social media, what’s the next step? That’s the fun part! You get to discover the things you love again. Below are some examples of things you can do with your time, depending on how long you usually spend on social media (or a game on your phone, or looking at your phone, or a multitude of other things).
· Taking more walks
· Trying out a new gym
· Signing up for that Zumba class you told yourself you didn’t have time for
· Exploring your creative side
· Reading a book
· Pushing yourself to try something you normally wouldn’t do
· Asking a friend to lunch or coffee
· Cooking something new
· Going to a park
You may find that you are more easily able to connect with those around you, your sleep cycle may improve, and you may even discover something you love!