Social media has been a huge part of the 21st century. It’s ever-evolving and allows us to be connected with our friends and family. I always thought of it as a good tool to have, especially in college where the professors are always talking about networking. What better way to network than on LinkedIn?
I’ve been spending a lot of time on LinkedIn trying to network and find a job. I periodically take breaks from this app because of the success and achievements lined down my timeline. While I’m happy for my network, it makes me feel as though I haven’t achieved as much as I should have by now. Some people have graduated, have kids, six-figure jobs, you name it and I haven’t.
As I’ve grown from a teenager into an adult, I’m now realizing that social media has been a bit detrimental to my social development, the way I perceive others and my well-being overall. It’s easy to fall into a trap of seeing how great other people’s lives are when that’s all they portray online. People aren’t just what we see on their social media most of the time though. They’re multifaceted within their lives. What we portray online is often only what we want others to see and perceive us as.
Here are five signs you may need to take a break from social media:
If you find yourself becoming obsessed with a particular app, content creator, or influencer, it’s probably time to take a break. Obsession is rarely ever healthy for mental health. That’s not to say liking these things isn’t good, but they shouldn’t consume your thoughts 24/7.
It’s easy to become jealous of others on social media. Maybe on your timeline you see those who have a significant other, and you don’t. Or seeing someone go on vacation every month while you only have one vacation week allotted to you by your job. Sadness and anger can accompany jealousy which can lead to depression.
This is serious. As I mentioned before, emotions like jealousy can lead to depression. This can stem from feeling sad about your current situation versus others, feeling like you don’t look like Instagram models, feeling anxiety about your followers and more.
If you find you’re spending almost all your time on social media (and you’re not being paid to do so)…it’s probably time to take a break. Take that time to explore other hobbies that don’t involve being engrossed in others’ lives 24/7.
If you find you’re not getting important things done during the day like you’re supposed to and it’s tied to the amount of time you spend on social media, take a break!
These breaks can be anything from 2 days to 2 years, there is no limit on time for what you consider a break. The most important thing to remember while navigating social media is that everyone’s lives are different. Happiness and success will happen at different stages in life for everyone but almost no one online wants to portray the bad until they get to the good.