Even if you think you have a handle on your social media use, you might still notice that it affects your mood.
For many, social media can act as a highlight reel. It is where they post their best moments, their best photos, their greater achievements.
Constantly watching others living their “best” lives when you do not feel like your life is similarly adequate can have an effect on your temperament, behavior, and mood.
If you resonate with the ideas discussed below, consider reaching out to the professionals at BetterHelp, who are ready to help you navigate your relationship with social media and your own self-esteem.
Should I Get Off Social Media?
People use social media for different things. If you choose to use it sparingly to share photos from your day, thoughts that cross your mind, or to connect with others casually, you’re probably using it appropriately.
Social media can be a great tool to communicate with friends and family from near and far and to share in their lives. But if you notice your mood shifting because of social media, you might consider limiting your social media usage.
Limiting doesn’t mean cutting off, either. Sometimes gradual changes can be most effective and easy to maintain. You might want to try:
- Setting notifications to alert you when you have spent 30 minutes-1 hour on a particular app
- Turning off notifications for social media apps entirely
- Putting your accounts on private and unfollow accounts that do not bring you joy
If you are using social media to find validation in general, you might want to take a break from it. Social media can become toxic quickly; it can become a slippery slope leading toward unrealistic expectations and constant self-criticism.
Also, if you are posting photos or videos with the specific intention of getting one person’s attention, that’s a risky choice to make. When the outcome overweighs the product itself, you are potentially setting yourself up for disappointment.
If you can enjoy social media without feeling like it is making or breaking your day, you’re probably okay to stay on it.
Can You Be Addicted to Social Media?
You can be addicted to social media in a unique way. Perhaps you do not crave it, but your brain is wired to look at your smartphone whenever you get a notification.
Just like Pavlov’s dogs, modern humans are now practically trained to respond when they hear the notification bell or vibration, or when they see their phone light up.
You can combat this by putting your phone on “Do Not Disturb” and by limiting your screen time throughout the day. If you’re worried about your time on social media, that can be reason enough to consider making some changes.