We are certainly living in the digital age and it is more important than ever tat we are calming the noise of social media.
To begin I wanted to say I am not against social media, quite the opposite.
I do however believe from experience the importance of calming the noise, especially when you are feeling overwhelmed.
We are constantly bombarded with voices from all social media apps these days, some good and some not so good.
Obviously in the past year or so social media has brought about some wonderful things that should be mentioned as well.
As always I like to begin with the positives in all situations. So let’s start there.
The Good Things About Social Media
Over the past few years social media usage has been on a steady incline with more people at home.
With the pandemic it has risen even more as families and friends use it to connect in new and creative ways.
People have been able to use social media to begin new careers or pivot a previous career.
Social media gives creative people a new outlet and platforms to share their gifts.
With the social awareness it gives everyone the opportunity to do good in the world.
Not only that but it also gives people the opportunity to develop a support network of like minded individuals to help empower one another.
The thing that I have loved the most with social media especially in the last few years, is the sense of community.
While all of these are some great positives of social media, there is also the fact that social media can be seen as something tumult and needs some calming.
Negative Affects of Social Media Usage
Another positive we have seen over the last year or so is the growth of empathy and social awareness.
Along with the positives of social media use there is the other side, the negative affects.
Over the last few years there has been quite a bit of research done, with some varying results according to the American journal of health nehavior.
“Research suggest that with increased social media consumption may lead to increased depression, anxiety and developing fewer in person interactions.”
Reality can become askew when you are constantly seeing perfectly curated lives.
It has also been noted that all the tumult chatter we have a decreased ability to maintain our attention.
According to research our attention span is about 8 seconds.
Other research suggest that depression and anxiety may be indicators of personal experiences rather than just social media use.
For myself and my children I have noticed more anxiety with increased social media usage as well as shorter attention spans.
Even if you are not suffering from anxiety, depression or burn out, everyone should take social media breaks to calming the noise.
Ways to Increase Your Attention Span
First thing I wanted to go over are some tips to increase your attention space.
As adults or students who may or may not be working from home on a computer all day, it is important to try our best to increase our attention span.
With shorter attention spans comes other issues such as: poor work or school performance, inability to complete task, missing details and possibly poor health due to the inability to maintain healthy habits.
It is important to try to increase our attention spans as much as possible.
Here are just a few things that you can do:
- set small goals for yourself
- make a daily to do list to keep you accountable
- practice self discipline by setting goals
- learn something new
- practice active listening
- be mindful of your time
- try memory games or memorize scripture
These are just a few ways to work on increasing your attention span.
How to know when it is time for a social media break.
There are a few clues that it is time for a break from social media.
- when checking your feed makes you feel down
- you realize you’re using social media to escape
- obsessing over your number of likes or followers
- feeling uninspired
- comparing yourself to everyone else on social media
- feeling burned out or overwhelmed
These are just a few things that let you know it is time to step away or set up some limits for yourself.
Ways to step back from social media.
So you have discovered that you are in need of a social media break, there are some ways to help you do that.
Calming the noise of social media is important in maintaining a healthy perspective of it all.
You can use a combination or all of these, whatever works in giving you the break you need.
- turn off the notifications on your phone
- delete the particular app off your phone
- if you do not delete the app, set limits for yourself
- put your phone away at a particular time each day
- do not check your phone first thing in the morning or last thing before bed
- listen to music to relax your mind
Doing these things will give you a break from the tumult of social media and give you back some head space.
Social media has many wonderful benefits but also has a downside like many things in today’s world.
As long as you are giving yourself breaks and setting limits to your usage so you keep the experience as positive as possible.
If you find you are not able to set limits then you may need to consider something else that will work for you.
Looking for some other ways to take care of your mental and physical health, read here.
Till next time,