Social media has vastly changed the way people communicate and get information. How many times have you seen social media trends make headlines? But sadly, the digital space has its cons, too, like social media burnout. Some people spend too much time online to the point that it already affects their physical and mental health. Sounds familiar? Here are some warning signs you’re in dire need of a social media break.
1. You spend too much time scrolling
Doomscrolling is a term that refers to individuals who spend too much time browsing their social media. According to psychologist Susan Albers, PsyD, if you’re prone to anxiety, depression, or sadness, doomscrolling can be like stepping into quicksand. She adds it might affect how your mind deals with the information you see, causing confusion. Dr. Albers suggests downloading apps that limit your screentime or unfollowing accounts that make you feel anxious.
2. You experience phone separation anxiety
Let’s face it, many of us can’t last a day without looking at our phones. It’s understandable, though, since phones are now used to do even the most basic errands like paying bills. However, this dependency on our phones can get too far. Some people get anxiety from being away from their devices — something experts call nomophobia. To combat nomophobia, consider practicing turning off or leaving your phone at home to reduce dependency.
3. You feel disconnected from everyone around you
It’s ironic how social media was made to connect, but it also detaches many from reality. Spend time with your loved ones IRL to combat this feeling so you can remember how it really feels to interact with people.
4. You lack focus
If you find it hard to concentrate on your everyday tasks because of social media, downloading digital wellness apps like Digitox and ActionDash helps to stay on track. You can also turn off alerts and notifications. Your favorite apps can wait, but deadlines can’t.
5. You deal with low self-esteem
Multiple studies have found that Instagram had made body image issues worse for young people, going as far as causing anxiety. Even though social media is a space for self-expression, we can’t dismiss its adverse impacts on an individual’s self-confidence. Remember, not everything you see online is real.
6. Your sleeping pattern has changed
For many people, checking their phones before bed is already a habit. It’s proven that excessive blue light exposure affects your melatonin level responsible for signaling your body to rest. Lack of sleep may lead to loss of motivation, shortened attention span, and the likelihood of mentally ‘stalling,’ among others.
7. You frequently feel FOMO (fear of missing out)
FOMO involves a deep sense of jealousy, creating an impression that you’re living a regular life compared to your online friends. After all, social media is where some people do humblebrags. Constantly comparing yourself to others is unhealthy and influences your perception of normalcy in the long run.
8. Everything you see online affects you
Do you feel like every notification appearing on your phone is bothering you? Are you at the point where it’s all becoming too much? Chances are, social media is starting to affect your everyday life. Changing your unhealthy online habits isn’t easy, but limiting yourself to one or two apps is a good start. It’s also best to avoid disrespectful or rude people online for your peace of mind.