Worldwide internet users spend an average of 145 minutes per day on social media. That is almost close to three hours of social media usage. Constant strolling on your mobile or web browser can tire the brain. You may not realize it but all that scrolling overloads the brain with information.
If you find yourself constantly checking your phone, talking to someone but eyeing your phone for updates, making comparisons with friends and family, and generally feeling low about your own life, you may be overdosing on social media usage. All of these are signs of excessive social media use and a social media hiatus is the answer to snap out of it.
On the one hand, social media is great to help keep you connected but too much use of anything can have a negative effect on health. Social comparisons, cyberbullying and other phenomena can be detrimental to wellbeing in the long run. If you’re a social media manager and it’s part of your job to stay abreast of social media trends, it’s still imperative to draw a line.
5 Signs You Need a Social Media Hiatus
If you wonder if your social media use is getting out of hand, here are 5 signs to look out for to go on a social media hiatus:
1. You’re On Your Phone Even After Work-Hours
Your job depends on staying on top of social media trends for your brands or clients and you keep a close eye on stats while at work. However, after hours you should be able to break free from social media even for a few hours.
Constantly checking for updates is not a healthy sign and it is not good for the mind and body. Too much exposure to social media news and entertainment can overtire your brain. Check yourself if you’re still constantly on your phone after work and if you are it’s time to take a social media hiatus.
2. You Can’t Stop Doomscrolling
Doomscrolling or doomsurfing is a new term that refers to the inability to stop scrolling even after watching the news that makes you sad, angry, or anxious. This happens because you want to be updated about everything that’s happening in the world. You’re mindlessly scrolling through all kinds of news and trending topics in an attempt to stay aware. So much so that you can end up spending a few hours without realizing you’ve been in the same place and position.
3. You Find Yourself Making Comparisons
Social media can get the best of us. When we see the picture-perfect lives of others on our feeds we’re bound to make comparisons unconsciously. Social media comparisons can make you feel less of yourself and your achievements and lead to negative thoughts about your life. If being on social media is leaving you feeling worse off, it’s time to hit a pause on all your socials and take a break.
4. It’s The Last Thing You Check At Night
Most of us find ourselves glued to our phone screens when we lie down to sleep. We find it difficult to fall asleep because we’re keeping our mind awake by feeding it information. The blue light from the phone suppresses melatonin, which is responsible for our sleep.
When we keep scrolling through our phone the blue light imitates daylight signaling our brain to think it should be energized and awake because it’s daytime. This is why you can end up spending hours on the phone before actually falling asleep and waking up groggy the next morning.
5. It Has Turned Into a Need
If you find yourself reaching for your phone first thing in the morning in addition to making it the last thing you check before sleeping, there is a problem. Using social media to check in with your loved ones is fine but the constant need to check your phone for messages or updates is not fine. If you find yourself using social media in an unhealthy way, ignoring other areas of your life or health issues, it’s time for a break.
How to Go On a Social Media Hiatus
Social media is designed in a way to gain attention by feeding the brain dopamine. If you realize you need to break out of excessive social media usage and go on a social media hiatus it can take a lot of willpower and do it consciously. However, here are some clever and effective tips to break the habit:
Keep Notifications Off
Notifications from all your social media apps can be very distracting and are designed to gain your attention. You don’t need to be updated about every tweet and Facebook post and like. Notifications can make it difficult to stay away from social platforms. If you’re serious about a social media break, turn off all notifications on your phone.
To stop mindlessly scrolling on your phone you need to prioritize yourself and give yourself the care your mind and body needs. Replace doomscrolling with other healthy activities that don’t require using your phone and instead bring you joy. It could be going for a run, reading a book, meeting your friends in person, or cooking your favorite meal.
Place limits on Phone Usage
Using social media can be part of your work but you can at least limit the phone use out of office hours. There are apps that let you track the time you’re spending on your phone. You can find out ways to limit that usage. You should also set limits to the kind of content you’re viewing and if it’s something inducing stress or anxiety, it needs to be limited from your feed.
Avoid Putting Your Phone on the Bedside
When you put your phone on your bedside at night, you’re more likely to reach for it and spend hours scrolling. To break this habit, keep your phone across the room before getting into bed to fight the urge of scrolling. As you get better sleep you’ll realize the positive effects of not using social media before sleep on your health.
Everything has its benefits and disadvantages and ultimately how you use it determines its effectiveness. If you’re worried about tracking mentions of your brand across social media, you can do so even during sleep through social media tools like Notifier.
Whether you’re on a social media hiatus or have notifications off on your phone, Notifier can do the job for you. You can check the results at a time that’s convenient for you and not have to worry about anything.