Is Social Media Driving You Mad?

One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest

A recent Fox News article reported that social media causes people stress and researchers have actually developed the term “social media anxiety.” Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Youtube, and Reddit all are great social media sites if used properly, but are people too dependent on them?

Finding a balance between the online world and the real world is the most important thing.  Cell phones support social media apps and people feel the urge to check them every few minutes.  Do you ever feel that mini heart attack you get when you misplace your cell phone?

People can share pictures, music, videos, and other content with their friends on social media.  Face to face interaction is becoming a thing of the past.  Why visit your grandparents when you can talk to them via Skype?  There’s not much reason to enter the real world when you have 24-hour access to your friends on your computer.

Do you find yourself up late at night browsing Pinterest looking for the perfect piece of fashion to share with your friends?  Are you browsing the dozens of pictures of delicious food on Instagram?  Doesn’t it suck that you are stuck at home in your pajamas browsing through pictures of your friends on vacation and you feel as if you’re missing out? These are some of the telltale signs that you could be suffering from social media anxiety.

Social media sites have caused me a bit of anxiety in the past. I spent too much time on Facebook comparing myself to others.  Using Facebook to keep up with others is tiring and does not help you with you social media anxiety.  Now, I rarely spend time on Facebook, but when I do, I use it to connect to friends or check out important events.  Reducing the amount of time I spent on these social media sites relieved me of anxiety.

I think we all need a break from social media sometimes. Here are some ways to prevent social media anxiety:

  • Fox News suggests limiting use to only a few sites, instead of all of them. “Step back and consider which sites are most satisfying. You don’t have to use them all,” the article says.
  • Integrate your social media sites.  Twitter and Instagram can be connected to Facebook. You will still be able to update your profiles, without spending time scanning though separate newsfeeds.
  • Limit the amount of friends on your social media sites. Only add your close friends.
  • You can use time blockers such as StayFocused to increase your productivity online.
  • Keep the details of your love life off social media!
  • Take time to do things in the physical world. Be active!
  • Decrease the frequency of your updates
  • Steer clear of arguing on social media and share positive updates instead
  • Use Facebook to connect with friends, don’t use it to compare yourself with others

Social media is great tool if used in a productive manner, if you spend too much time on social media, you will isolate yourself.  Give yourself time to unplug and stop worrying about what is going on in the social media world!

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