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Signs You Should Take a Break From Social Media

We are now living in unprecedented times, where we are exposed to many different forms of media whilst living in the midst of a pandemic. These last couple of months have been hard for so many people. Going from in person interactions with friends and loved ones, to virtual ones can be overwhelming from time to time. Social Media is a great tool that has allowed so many of us to connect with our friends and to be well informed on important information during quarantine, but it can also have its disadvantages. 


Growing up in the social media era, we have seen it evolve into a world of its own. Many of us had phones in middle school and had even created accounts to certain media platforms as early as age ten. Being exposed to platforms such as Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, etc. has allowed certain unhealthy behaviors to form for many young users. There is no doubt that social media is indeed a wonderful resource we are able to access to have a greater understanding of the world around us, but knowing when to take a break is crucial to your mental health. Here are some signs to know when you should step back from social media:


It Brings You More Anxiety than Happiness...

Because many of us grew up checking our social media, we learned to turn to these platforms when we felt uncomfortable, awkward, or any feeling that felt unpleasant. By doing so, obsessing over statistics was more than normal. If you find yourself in a situation where you get anxious about Instagram statistics, for instance, stressing about the amount of likes and comments on a post, then you more than likely need to take a break. Constantly obsessing over these statistics can cause a great amount of stress and lead to negative mindsets about oneself. At the end of the day, if posting and looking at your social media accounts causes you to feel more anxious than happy, then it is time to take a break.


If You Are Comparing Yourself to Others…

Social media allows you to keep up to date with your friends, loved ones, and even a sneak peek into several celebrities day-to-day lives. If you find yourself going through your feed and begin to compare yourself to other people then that is when social media becomes toxic. The way most of us conduct our social media accounts shows that we use it to put our best foot forward. This means that we post our happy moments, celebrations, good news, outings with friends, and anything else that we may be up to. However, that also means that we are only showing one side of our lives, the part we are willing to share with the world. And sometimes we forget that. We forget that the human experience is made of all the moments: both the devastating and the joyous ones. Yet it is far too easy to compare oneself to others because of what is displayed in social media. Whether it is an emotional or physical comparison to another person, it can be detrimental to your mental health all the same. If you resonate with this one specifically, then chances are you are most likely hurting yourself by looking at social media and would benefit from a break.


Takes Control Over Your Day...

Lastly, if your social media accounts begin to take over your daily life, then you may be a bit too addicted to social media and need to press pause. Without a doubt, social media is an amazing tool to learn about what is going on in the world but at times we as a society have become a bit too obsessed with our phones and those accounts. Given the pandemic, this phenomenon has gotten even worse. Many of us aren’t essential workers and are working in the confines of our home, and with that we turn to our phones for entertainment. But because of this, we as a society would rather turn to our phones for a virtual, often fake connection rather than a real, in-person connection. Despite being quarantined, we are still able to make real, authentic connections with people apart from commenting and liking a post through social media. If you are someone who has a hard time not looking at their phone during meals and day-to-day conversations, then it has more than likely taken over your daily life. 


Not only can social media exposure be damaging to one's mental health, it fosters a lack of authentic communication and connection especially with young users. It teaches future generations that the amount of likes and followers you have is far more important than the real friendships you make throughout your life. Social media is both a blessing and a curse with its real advantages and disadvantages. In order to stay healthy especially given this pandemic, a social media detox may be incredibly beneficial whether it's two weeks or even two days. If you find yourself relating to any of the descriptions above, chances are you would benefit from taking a break from social media. This will allow you to reflect on the role social media has in your life and possibly rediscover yourself in the process.

Hi!! I'm Christina Fazio and I'm a psychology major and double minor in Women and Gender Studies & Journalism at LMU and am originally from the Hollywood area. I typically love to talk about social justice issues, mental health issues and I enjoy the simple things in life including journalism, binge-watching shows on Netflix, and looking out at the Bluff at LMU. Constantly learning new ways to be informed and educated and sharing that through my writing.
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