How Excessive Social Media Activity Can Affect Your Health In 2016, social media captured 30% of all time spent online. Let’s dive into how spending too much time on social media can start to affect your health. If you find yourself staying up late at night checking your feeds, or you’re feeling stressed out by FOMO, taking a short break could be beneficial. How to Detox From Social Media Without Deleting Your Account If you think you want a break from your personal social media, here’s our advice: 1) Designate technology-free times. “Unplugging by itself probably won’t work some magic in your life,” Swartzberg notes. “But if you spend that digital-free time focusing on your relationships and activities you enjoy, now that can make your life better.” 2) Set social media time limits for yourself. Along the same lines as technology-free times, try setting time limits on your personal social media use. What activities or hobbies would you have more time for if you re-dedicated the time you spend social networking? Instead of framing it as a social media break, you’re more likely to stick to a resolution if you’re working toward something you want, versus taking something away. Because the vast majority of social media networking now takes place on mobile devices, a simple way to discourage checking your feeds over and over might be turning off mobile notifications.
If you’re a digital marketer, it’s hard to imagine a day spent without social media, even before you arrive at your desk for work.
Think about it. We wake up and immediately check our social media accounts before even getting out of bed, read headlines and trending topics during our commute, and tweet our latest blog posts by the time we arrive at the office.
We schedule posts for the week ahead, film a Facebook Live interview, and report on our engagement analytics, all while keeping an eye on comments and direct messages coming in on Twitter and Facebook. We take an Instagram of our coffee art, record a Snapchat Story of our commute home, and finally sit down at home to catch up on what’s going on on our personal feeds while we eat dinner and watch television.
Sound familiar? The average user spends almost two hours per day on social media, and it’s safe to assume digital marketers spend even more time than that. This raises an important question: Is there ever a good time to take a break from social media?
We get it, this is your job. And we’re not going to suggest that you abandon your brand’s social media content calendar. In fact, please don’t. But in light of the new year, some of our readers might be considering taking a break from their personal social media profiles as part of their resolutions. We’ll dive into reasons you might take a break from social media and how to cut back on some of your social networking to strike a healthier balance.
How Excessive Social Media Activity Can Affect Your Health
In 2016, social media captured 30% of all time spent online. What’s more, a staggering 80% of social media time is spent on mobile devices. Let’s dive into how spending too much time on social media can start to affect your health.
It messes with your sleep.
Excessive exposure to screens can adversely impact the quality and duration of our sleep, especially if screens are used before bed. More specifically, exposure to short-wavelength blue light that’s emitted from tablets, computers, phones, LED lights, and the sun before bed can reduce REM sleep, lessen morning alertness, and increase the time it takes to fall asleep. In the long term, these effects can lead to insomnia and chronic sleep deficiency, which can increase the risk of persistent health issues and some cancers.
Taking a hiatus from social media would reduce time spent looking at screens on mobile devices, which could help alleviate any of the symptoms and health conditions above.
It impacts your mental and emotional wellness.
A break from social media could improve mental wellness, too. SELF Magazine asked the experts if quitting social media had any health benefits. Their answers were varied, but many agreed: Excessive social media use is sometimes linked to loneliness, social anxiety, mood disorders, and depression.
A study from the University of Houston recently linked excessive social media use with depression as a result of social comparison — you know, the feeling when you see what your friends are up to on social media and immediately start comparing yourself to them? As it turns out, feeling jealous or competitive about a former classmate’s promotion or wedding can negatively impact your mood.
It gives you FOMO.
Fear of missing out (FOMO) can be exacerbated if you’re spending a lot of time seeing what other people are doing on social media. But taking a social media break could force you to rely on other modes of communicating with…