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5 Signs You Need a Social Media Break

Last updated June 8, 2021

Do you ever get tired of endlessly scrolling through your phone? Do you close Instagram or Twitter feeling overwhelmed, frustrated, or even a little jealous?

It might be time to take a social media break.

Don’t get us wrong- social media can be a powerful tool to find community, share memories, and learn about important issues. But it can also drain your mental and emotional energy, leaving you to compare yourself to other people and feel insecure about the things you have or the way you look.

These are unfortunate yet normal feelings, and it’s important to start recognizing when you need to take a step back. Even signing off for a few hours at a time can do wonders for your mental health, self esteem, and productivity.

Here are a few signs you may be overdue for a social media break:

You worry about missing out.

As COVID-19 cases continue to drop and things slowly return to normal, our good friend FOMO (fear of missing out) is making a huge return. Just remember that not everyone is out having fun 24/7 - people just curate their social media to make it seem that way. When you find yourself feeling left out, it may be time to stop scrolling.

You compare yourself to other people, even ones you don’t know.

While jealousy is a totally normal feeling, social media has the potential to heighten the feeling until it leaves us feeling terrible about ourselves- what we feel we’re lacking, what we wish we had, or even the way we look. Taking a step back after recognizing these feelings is a great way to practice some self-care and honor your unique path. There will never be anyone like you- don’t spend valuable time comparing yourself to others!

You have a hard time forming your own opinions.

It’s easy to form opinions about current events trending on social media, even if we don’t have all the facts. Taking some time away from your screen will give you more time and space to think for yourself and form your own opinions, instead of being bombarded with other people's opinions online. (Having trouble making sense of what you see online? Check out our 5 tips to spot fake news!)

Prioritizing other things feels difficult.

Social media is literally designed to capture as much of our attention as possible. This makes doing more important things- like working, exercising, painting, or reading- feel so much harder than usual. Step away for an hour at a time to focus on other things that make you happy, and when you’re done, you can return to social media to share what you’ve made or learned with your friends and family!

You feel disconnected from your loved ones.

Social media is a world of its own, but it’s not the one you live in. Staying glued to your phone can create a divide between you and your loved ones- and may leave you feeling out of touch with what’s really going on around you. Check in with your loved ones more often outside of social media to connect in a more personal way.

It’s okay to take a break! Social media will always be there when you’re ready to come back, but it’s important to know when to step back to protect your mental health. Looking for new activities to replace spending time on social media? Why not journal, volunteer online, or start a new side hustle?

Know any other benefits of taking a social media break? Leave us a comment on Instagram @getschooled or text #Hello to 33-55-77 and let us know!

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