Research has shown that 81% of parents report their kids start using Facebook between 8 and 13 years of age. When we take a look around, we realize why this might be a problem. The vast majority of people that we know are more interested in taking photos of the tasty-looking food at a restaurant and sharing it on Instagram than actually tasting the delicious meal.
Social media has its benefits, such as connecting people, facilitating networking, or spreading information much quicker than ever. However, used in excess, it can negatively influence our lives and turn us into life-lasting robots. Here are seven reasons why taking a break from social media is a smart move.
When You Compare Yourself to Others
One of the most bothersome issues with social media is that it determines you to compare yourself to others. When your friend posts a picture of her new car or haircut, you subconsciously compare your current situation to hers – “I have no new car, and my haircut looks the same as it did two years ago. I am not as good as her.”
Unfortunately, this is how a vast majority of people think when scrolling down Facebook or Instagram. Researchers have found that using social media obsessively causes more than just anxiety. In fact, testing has found that using too much Internet can cause depression, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), impulsive disorder, problems with mental functioning, paranoia, and loneliness.
This Is Not How Things Happen
Social media ruin our perception of reality. No, you should not be blonde, blue-eyed, and thin. No, you should not have a six-pack. Social media promotes stereotypes that influence our behavior and thinking. We are massively manipulated without even realizing it. When was the last time you thought, “I must lose 10 pounds,” or “I must hit the gym more often?” More than one week ago? I don’t think so.
We are constantly being influenced to become something that we are not. We are constantly told what we must do. “You should,” “you must,” “you ought to,” is what we always hear. How about being yourself and stop caring what other people think?
When You Become Dependent
The worst thing with social media is that it makes you dependent. According to the experts, almost 20% of people with social media accounts cannot go more than three hours without checking them. This is worrying in many ways. When posting your achievements on social media, you seek validation from other people. It’s become a bad habit that you must get rid of if you want to live a happy life.
“Living is not about achieving goals and bragging about it. Living is about feeling good with yourself and taking the right actions for your long-time well-being,” shares Dana Johnson, freelancer at Write for Life assignment writing service.
You don’t need likes for that! You only need yourself. Receiving the online-type of attention, such as likes, hearts, retweets, etc., is a method of increasing your ego. Suddenly, your self-absorbed person becomes egocentric, vain, and self-centered. Do you really want that?
When Being Present Vanishes
As Osho once said, “When you are here and now, sitting totally, not jumping ahead, the miracle has happened. To be in the moment is the miracle.” So, ask yourself – are you living in the moment or for the moment you can post about?
When you go out for dinner, put your phone away and focus on the substantial conversations you and your friends have. When attending a football game, focus on it, not on posting about it on Instagram. When playing with a puppy, don’t pull out your phone to take a picture. Play with the puppy. Let go of social media to see how great it feels.
When There’s Too Much Exposure
When you post too often, and your interest starts being an obsession, your life becomes too public. So, think twice if you really want that. Should all of your 3,000 Facebook friends know that you’ll attend that meeting on Friday? Should all of your 700 followers know that you’re eating an ice-cream in Venice? Aren’t these things that should be kept private?
Ask yourself these questions next time you are on the verge of posting something. Be curious about your own thoughts and feelings. Explore yourself and understand your actions. Don’t let social media’s wicked authority influence you. Think for yourself.
When Real Interaction Is Lost
We all have that friend who checks his or her social media every two minutes, then takes a quick selfie and posts it on Instagram. When this behavior is continuously repeated, it becomes a bad habit.
These people are not interacting with the offline world anymore. Their minds are always concentrated and absorbed by the fascinating social media. They live online – when they go hiking, they stop to take a selfie. When they go to a concert, they film the entire show. But how about enjoying nature’s beauty or the actual performance of the leading singer? Real interaction and connections are lost when we focus on impressing others.
When You Become Depressed
Studies at the American National Institute for Mental Health have found that levels of depression increased with the total amount of time spent using social media and number of visits to social media sites per week. When we spend an awfully long time scrolling down Facebook and realize that right now, other people’s lives look more interesting than ours, we become envious of their success.
We think, “why can’t I live like that?” and we start blaming ourselves. We become less confident in our ability to live life and more interested in how others live theirs. And that’s how frustrations make their way into our lives. “Frustration can quickly lead to depression,” admits Dr. Lola French Lou, psychologist at Mayo Clinic.
If you want to live a mindful, healthy life, stop using social media for a while. Take a quick break and see how you feel. Are you less stressed? Less frustrated? Are you enjoying life more? Start interacting with your friends more, leave aside the selfies and quick Snaps, be present and enjoy life at its maximum.