Is it healthy to take breaks from social media?
From remembering to unplug to taking a dopamine detox, here are answers to the question, “Is it healthy to take breaks from social media?”
- Absolutely, Yes
- It is Good for Physical and Mental Health
- Extremely Healthy, but There’s a Better Solution
- Social Media is a High-carb Snack You Dare Not Binge On
- The Power of Dopamine Detox
- Yes: We Need to Remember to Unplug Periodically
- It’s Not Just Healthy, It’s Essential
People can only handle rudeness and combativeness for so long before they get tired and decide to take a break. Sometimes those breaks become permanent. If your spouse is constantly challenging you on everything or worse, is rude and insulting to you, there’s only so much of that you’ll deal with before you file for divorce.
Social media is much the same way. I know a lot of people who used to frequent Twitter and don’t anymore. I know others who take one or two long breaks per year from Twitter because they sometimes don’t have the strength to constantly deal with the grandstanding and meanness of it. For the sake of your mental well-being, take as many breaks from social media as you need. That’s the advice I would offer anyone.
It is Good for Physical and Mental Health
In 2021, studies have found that limiting social media usage improves our physical health by allowing us to get better sleep quality. In addition, taking a break from social media has been proven to be beneficial for mental health, as people are less anxious and have better moods in general right after pausing its use. I have personally done a social media detox before and felt that it has helped me reclaim control of my time and mood, as I can use my time for more productive activities instead of using social media. I also felt that it has brought calm and peacefulness to my daily life, as I am not constantly bombarded by information and visual images.
Extremely Healthy, but There’s a Better Solution
The way social media is set up encourages rage-baiting and outrageous hot takes that drive clicks while also ruining your mental health if you engage with it too much over time. We’re just not wired to be in that kind of mental space for such long periods of time and stay healthy. Taking a break for a few weeks to reset is a great idea, but my recommendation would be to take a more permanent viewpoint.
What I recommend is spending some time up front to curate your online experience a bit more – find the sources of stress in your social media experience and group those together into one feed. You can either then choose not to engage with that grouping at all, though you have to be careful not to create a complete echo chamber for yourself, or spend only a very limited amount of time there to get information but hopefully not be sucked into a rage spiral.
Social Media is a High-carb Snack You Dare Not Binge On
Social media is a high-carb snack that must be modestly consumed. If you want to watch the mental weight you heap on yourself, then intermittent social media fasts are necessary. The “therapeutic” effects of social media are best enjoyed when you consciously moderate the time you spend there. Yes, build a robust community on social media, but know that excessive preoccupation with that community comes with the risk of binging on the approval of that community, mortgaging your happiness for social credits of Instagram likes and TikTok shares.
For aspiring entrepreneurs, I strongly recommend intermittent social media fasts to reduce your exposure to the ocean of make-it-fast success vendors (and I-made-it-in-a-second influencers) flooding social media today. This way, you are better synced with the realities of the real world, reducing the pressure to abandon your plans for immediate gratification.
The Power of Dopamine Detox
I think the main reason why social media is so addictive is because of the amount of new and useless information we can gather every minute. Every minute is new. This is the reason we lose patience and dedication to working harder and longer hours during work. Added to that, there’s also people’s obsession with the “reel” world, which makes social media an even scarier place to be in.
I personally have significantly reduced the time I spend every day on social media with the well-known technique called dopamine detoxing. I basically challenge myself to not use social media for a set time. The results are immense, in my opinion. Within hours, I felt my brain flooding with new ideas and I could see the creativity oozing in that had been left dormant for a long time. I would definitely suggest taking frequent breaks from the reel world.
Yes: We Need to Remember to Unplug Periodically
It’s no secret that too much time spent on social media can have a negative impact on our mental health, but did you know that taking regular breaks from it can be beneficial? Taking regular breaks from social media can help us reconnect with our physical and emotional surroundings, reduce feelings of anxiety and depression, improve relationships with family and friends, avoid feeling overwhelmed by the news cycle, become more productive in our daily lives, and promote self-care.
So yes, it is healthy to take breaks from social media! We need to remember to unplug periodically so we don’t forget how to live without always being connected. Set yourself some guidelines for when you should step away from your phone or laptop – whether it’s switching off notifications during work hours, limiting the amount of time you spend on social media each day, or taking a break from it altogether.
It’s Not Just Healthy, It’s Essential
Switching off from social media gives me time to process my own thoughts and feelings. Nowadays, we all know the health benefits of taking a break for our brains, eyes, and sleep. But it’s also essential for processing emotions and giving yourself time alone to think. Social media can incite negative feelings like stress, anxiety, jealousy, and feeling inadequate. Taking regular breaks helps put things into perspective: no one’s life is picture-perfect 24/7.
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