At its best, social media is entertaining and communal. It makes us laugh, inspires bursts of creativity, and motivates us to keep in contact with family or friends that we don’t regularly see. Sounds pretty good, right?
At its worst, however, social media is anything but good—it’s distracting, draining, and addicting. It constantly beckons us back with its flashing lights and outwardly-perfect aesthetic, encouraging us to shirk responsibilities and real-world relationships in favor of aimless scrolling. That’s why Troomi phones eliminate social media!
I’m no stranger to social media addiction, and have found that social media apps are pretty detrimental to my productivity. So, I decided to do an experiment a few weeks ago. When I sat down to get work done, I took a cerulean marker and wrote a tally mark on a blank page every time I stopped working to check my social media. I was expecting to see a few tally marks, but by the end, the paper was drenched in them. This experiment may sound silly, but it helped me realize that it was time for me to take a break from social media.
When Should I Take a Break?
The hardest part about social media is knowing when to take a break. If any of the following apply to you, it’s probably time to put down the phone and tune back into the real world:
- Your phone is the first and last thing you see every day. You’re not alone if you spend eons scrolling on your phone right after you wake up and again before you go to bed. This is a pretty obvious sign that you need to take a break from social media. Not only is starting and ending your day with social media detrimental to mental health, it’s pretty bad for your physical health too. Did you know that the blue light that emanates from your phone actually makes it harder to sleep?
- You’re constantly comparing. People are notorious for posting pictures that make their reality seem glamorous and appetizing. Followers then compare their own lives to these photos, which usually makes them feel worse about their own situation. However, these pictures never reflect what reality is actually like! If you find yourself comparing yourself to influencers and friends, take a break from social media and reevaluate what reality you’re looking for.
- You’re scrolling without realizing it. Do you ever find yourself reaching for your phone when you have a spare second, without even planning it? If scrolling through your social media has become second nature, you probably need to take a break. We tend to fill our free time with taps and likes, but human beings are meant to use free time to rest, relax, and tune into the world around us.
- You spend a ton of time scrolling. Next time you feel like you’re on social media too much, take a second to check how much time you’re spending—it might surprise you! If you’re spending more time than you’d like, delete that app and spend your time trying out a new hobby.
- You take pictures to post before experiencing memories. I love to take pictures. They’re fun and exciting, and pictures ensure that memories don’t disappear. However, if you find yourself taking pictures for reasons other than preserving memories or creating art (maybe because you want to show off on social media), and taking those pictures gets in the way of experiencing things, you may need to step back and reevaluate your relationship with your phone.
Why Is a Social Media Break Important?
When left unchecked, social media clouds our minds and encourages us to look at life through a screen. In large doses, it encourages surface level relationships, threatens productivity, and devastates your natural circadian rhythm. The culture of comparison inherent to social media cultivates low self-esteem and takes you out of the present moment.
Our world is so beautiful. Massive trees grow from miniscule seeds, fresh water pours from the sky, and people connect on every street corner. In a world of technology, we often get so sucked into our devices that we forget to appreciate just how cool life is!
Technology breaks are absolutely necessary to help us deepen our relationships with the people we love and the world around us. Taking a short break from social media gives your brain the chance to breathe, which leads to:
- Greater self-worth
- Less comparison and competition
- Improved mood and mental health
- A greater appreciation of the present
- More free time
How Can I Keep My Social Media Habits in Check?
Not everyone is able to take a break from social media. Some people use it for work or to communicate with family. If this is the case, you can take these steps to keep your social media habits in check:
- Set a time limit and stick to it. Most cell phones have an option that lets you set a time limit for certain apps and websites. Troomi phones certainly do! Once you’ve reached the allotted amount of time, you’re done with the app. Take advantage of this function—and hold yourself to it! Self-discipline is hard, but holding yourself accountable is the best way to build healthy habits.
- Track your usage. Take note of how much time you spend on social media apps. Many phones have built-in features that tell you how much time you spend on certain apps, but if yours doesn’t, you can always use old-fashioned pen and paper to keep track. As you do, you’ll begin to be more mindful of how much time you spend scrolling.
- Choose a new lockscreen. Your lockscreen is the first thing you see when you open your phone. As such, changing your lockscreen to a quote or picture that reminds you to be mindful in your phone practice is a great way to keep your social media habits in check. It may not be as aesthetically pleasing as a picture of your family, but it is useful! It’s easy to change the wallpaper of your Troomi phone; click here to learn more.
- Practice mindfulness. Using mindfulness strategies brings your attention to the present. This helps reevaluate your relationship with social media by encouraging you to consider how you interact with technology. What will scrolling accomplish? Will it really make today that much better? Next time you feel the urge to check social media, take a second to slow down and sit in the current moment. You’ll thank me later.
Say “Not Today” to Social Media Addiction
Social media has become an inescapable part of society, but that doesn’t mean we have to use it constantly. If you feel like you’re becoming a bit too dependent on social media, try deleting some apps and taking a break for a few days! You might be surprised by how much your mood improves and by what you notice when you’re not scrolling.