Do you use social media often, and how often is too often? Although social media can be great in many ways, in this article I am going to discuss social media negative effects, and what you can do to reverse bad social media habits.
I don’t know about you but I find that social media can be a time-waster at the best of times, let alone during this current health pandemic. If you want to lose anything from ten minutes to a few hours in an instant, then go and do some aimless scrolling on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram. It can become a bad habit really quickly, unfortunately.
Granted that these channels can provide a great way to socialize, relax or have a good laugh or even feel less lonely, especially if you are on your own. Social media platforms are not always a bad thing, as these platforms can also help you to grow your business, as well as keep in touch with friends, acquaintances, and colleagues.
Social Media Negative Effects
Like anything, there is, unfortunately, a darker side to social media and during quarantine it is important to be mindful of the amount of time that you are spending on social media or you too could develop social media negative effects.
When it starts to replace the time you set aside for reading, meditation, exercise, growing your business or even quality time with your family, this is when it starts to become an invasive and unwelcome bad habit.
Overuse of social media has also been known to cause anxiety and depression and it is obvious why. Social media lets you see the carefully selected positives of everyone else’s lives, which you compare to the negatives in your own life. Comparing yourself to other people is a sure path to anxiety, and social media has only made this easier to do.
Cyberbullying is a new thing that has become a problem with social media. In the past, people could only do this face to face, but it is easier to do online as you can do it anonymously.
Fear of Missing Out (FOMO) is a phenomenon that was born around the same time as the rise of social media. Unsurprisingly, it’s one of the most widespread negative effects of social media on society.
So How Do I Know I Am Addicted?
If you wake up in the morning and the first thing you need to do is check what is happening on social media, this should be your first warning call.
Or do you go through your day just itching to get back to your device so you can visit your favorite social media platform?
At first, it will seem like you are just taking a quick minute or two to do this, but before you know it you have been on social media for hours and you haven’t even started with your important tasks for the day.
Even if you workout in the afternoon, or meditate later in the day, you risk your mood being negatively impacted, instead of starting your day with good vibrational activities like journaling, planning your day or even some meditation.
Beginning your day on social media once in a while isn’t a big thing, but if it becomes a habit, you can watch your precious morning time disappearing way too quickly.
The problem with habits is that they are very hard to break, as you have to be conscious about your actions and really be mindful about how you start your day.
Ask yourself if you want to wake up and scroll mindlessly through social media, or wake up and consciously create your day. Which one is more empowering and which one makes you feel better about yourself? Be honest here.
Questions To Ask Yourself About Social Media Negative Effects
- What kind of emotions does social media evoke within you?
- Does social media enhance your life or distract you from being a better version of yourself?
- Does social media make you feel the need to keep up with others and what they are doing?
- Does social media force you to compare yourself to others?
- Does social media ever make you confused or scared, especially when there is a lot of negativity floating about?
- Does using social media make you feel bad or better about yourself?
If you have given yourself an honest assessment here and answered yes to most of the questions above it may be telling you that social media is affecting your life in a negative way, and it is time to start becoming more conscious and mindful about how you use social media.
Here are some tips on how to become more mindful regarding social media.
1. Decide to set your intention before you log into your accounts.
So why are you going into the platform, is it to connect with others or distract yourself. What do you hope to get out of the experience?
You may just be thinking that you want to have a quick look to see what others are up to, but by stopping yourself before you enter the platform, you create a sense of mindfulness that you will carry with you as you start to scroll.
2. Never follow groups or companies that create fear or negativity.
If a group makes you feel bad, ask yourself if it’s necessary to keep it in your life. Rather follow and share things that lift you up and empower you instead.
3. Only share what makes you feel good and relates to how you are feeling.
Don’t just share stuff or write stuff to get likes, share to make others feel less alone. Spread love and positivity, not fear and stress.
4. Focus on the positives of social media, like connecting with your friends and family.
Use these platforms to create happiness and love.
5. If you find yourself being affected by things that others post, ask yourself why and try to work through your emotions.
Try not to judge others on what they decide to post.
6. If you start feeling negative about yourself or you compare your life to others, rather consciously shift your focus to something else.
Remind yourself about all you have to be grateful for.
7. Try to stay away from social media first thing in the morning.
It is best to set aside a designated time where you can look at accounts later in the day.
8. Turn off those notifications.
This stops all the distractions and then you won’t be tempted to log into your accounts every time something happens, because most notifications are not urgent.
9. Consciously choose to replace your usual social media time with something that moves you forward in life
Even a ten-minute meditation, reading a book, writing in your journal, or doing something creative like learning a new language or making something can go a long way.
Now don’t get me wrong, I am not saying that you have to ban social media from your life for good, but one should be a bit more mindful of how you allow yourself to use it. Try not to spend more than half an hour a day on social media as with everything, it is all about moderation.
Never measure your self worth by how many clicks or likes you get, because your self worth starts with how you feel about yourself.
I hope this article has helped you to decide how you can better use the time you have and how you spend your energy and attention. Empower yourself and get control of your life and you will feel better for it.