When to walk away from social media
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04-08-15 Category: Mental Health


Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google+, Goodreads, Tumblr, AboutMe, Flickr, Pinterest, Etsy and more: these are just a few of the social media websites that people access on a daily basis. They provide users with the ability to share photos, ideas, books, recipes, videos, keep in contact with friends and family, advertise, sell arts and crafts, connect with other people of like-minds, connect with people for the purpose of dating or even connecting with other people who play the same games.

Whatever the site being used is, social media is a valuable tool for staying connected, giving voice to a multitude of personalities and promoting one’s business. However, social media should be enjoyed in moderation. Too much social media can have the same addictive properties as drugs, an issue known as social media addiction.

To avoid this, users should be able to know when to walk away from social media for a period of time. Here are the indications that social media should be put to rest for a brief time:

  • Social networking sites are a main platform for communication

Social media makes it much easier to stay in contact with friends, family and work connections, but it becomes a problem when this is someone’s main form of communication and stops making an effort to actually spend time with those who are important to them

  • Social media is hindering productivity

Obviously social media is distracting. Many individuals have found themselves idly scrolling through Facebook or Pinterest and are actually surprised when two hours have passed instead of just twenty minutes. This activity can and will cut into one’s productivity and will diminish how much gets done, hindering grades or a job

  • Too much of one’s personal life is posted on social media

If users are letting people know way too much, ranging from a graphic picture of their broken foot or a too-detailed account of their doctor’s appointment and are receiving more “TMI” responses than anything else, it may be time to share less

  • Social media is one’s main outlet

If ranting or complaining on social media has become a person’s only outlet then it is time to re-evaluate how to de-stress, especially if what someone is ranting about could get him or her in trouble with someone if they saw it (i.e. complaining about a boss)

  • Everything a person does goes on social media

Basic things like raking leaves, painting one’s nails or making a meal are always posted online because a person feels like they need to share things big and small

  • Doing specific things for the sake of sharing it on social media sites

A person makes elaborate meals or sets up their laptop, coffee mug and cat in a certain way for the perfect picture to post online in an effort to garner likes and comments.  Danger! If actions are dictated by social media, he or she is showing signs of compulsive, addictive behavior

  • Feeling inferior to social media contacts

Most posts and pictures from others on social media are showing how happy they are or how great they are doing. This can cause feelings of inferiority as it may create the impression of not being as happy or having accomplished less than others online. This may lead to emotional problems such as depression

  • Feeling anxious or cut off from the world without access to social media

If one is without a tool that grants access to social media and begins to feel anxious and separated, this may be a symptom of social media withdrawal. Withdrawal is a result of social media addiction, which is a serious signal that it is time to log off for a while

  • One’s self-esteem revolves around social media

Everything a user posts is weighed by how many likes or comments people give it and if there isn’t enough, they feel as if their self-esteem is taking a hit. This should not be happening. Self-esteem should be a result of how comfortable one is with himself or herself and is proud of his or her accomplishments. If receiving attention on social media is the basis for one’s self-esteem, it is definitely time to log off and get a better understanding and acceptance of oneself

If you or someone you love is showing signs of social media addiction, you should look into finding help. To learn more about social media addiction and treatment, you can call 866-692-0442 or visit prod.sovcal.com for more information.

Written by Brianna Gibbons, Sovereign Health Group writer

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