You’ve heard of the city that never sleeps, right? New York City. The subway runs 24/7 all 365 days of the year. The lights don’t go out. At least not all at once. And while you can’t peruse the clothing racks of Bloomingdale’s past 9pm, you can shop their website at any time and on any day you please. That’s because much like New York City, the internet never sleeps. We awaken each morning to a slew of new images. New products. New launches. Grand Openings. An inbox full of new messages, and the list goes on. If there’s a social event happening, we know about it. Before we buy anything, we price shop online. The first thing we do at work each day is check our emails. In fact, we’re so connected to the internet that many claim we’ve forgotten how to live in reality. While we’re busy curating the perfect social media presence, we’re more anti-social than any generation before us. Ask yourself: is that really how you want to be remembered?
Here are 9 signs it’s high time you took a social media break:
Sign #1 You should Take a Break from Social Media: You can’t quit comparing.
We all suffer when we play the comparison game. Comparison is the thief of joy, if you haven’t heard. Yet we do it so often we hardly recognize it in ourselves. Imagine this: you’ve been scrolling Instagram for the past half hour. When you put your phone down, you announce, “That’s it, diet starts tomorrow!” Only to pick it back up five minutes later and double tap a pint of edible cookie dough being consumed by none other than Kim Kardashian. How can she eat that and look like THAT, you wonder. Listen. No matter how hard we try, we weren’t all born with the hips to waist ratio of Kim Kardashian. Heck, are we even certain that Kim was? Celebrities have a lot of help. And the rest of us have a lot of help from Facetune. But if you’ve forgotten that 100% of what you see online has been modified. If you actually believe Instagram is reality, then it’s time to log out. Delete the app and feast your eyes on real bodies in 3D until you see social media for what it is: pretty but mostly fake.
Sign #2 You should Take a Break from Social Media: You’re depressed.
I’m not so daft to say that social media is the sole cause of your depression. Depression is complex and is a result of many factors. However, is social media making your depression worse? Social media fools us into believing that we’re making real connections 24/7. We send memes to our friends, but we don’t see their eyes light up when they read it. We don’t hear their laughter. They reply with a boring “lol” or the crying-laughing emoji. In reality, we’re short on actual experiences with other humans and long on isolation. And this isolation coupled with pseudo-connections isn’t making us less depressed. It’s making us more depressed.
Sign #3 You should Take a Break from Social Media: You can scroll for hours without noticing the time.
You know the phrase time is money? It means your time is valuable. It implores you not to waste this precious resource. If you haven’t peeled your eyes away from the screen even to turn on a light while the sun went down around you, you’re probably addicted to your phone. So ask yourself: are you spending more time on social media than you’re willing to admit to your closest friend? Do you feel a twinge of guilt when the Screen Time Report appears on your iPhone? Did you play along and tease your coworker whose daily average was 3 hours, yet failed to admit yours is 6.5 hours? McDonalds would’ve paid you $47 minimum for that! That’s 10 Starbucks frappuccinos you could’ve bought for you and 5 different friends while you swapped stories over coffee.
Sign #4 You should Take a Break from Social Media: Your daily Screen Time average is greater than your time spent with actual humans (outside of work).
A Daily Screen Time Average of 5+ hours is only humorous until the tears set in. Because you suddenly feel all alone. Been there! And friend, you’ve been neglecting your friends and family. How to remedy this? Quit waiting around for an invite. Extend one instead, even if your mom is the only taker. She’ll appreciate it, promise.
Sign #5 You should Take a Break from Social Media: You think everyone else has their sh!% together while you don’t.
Take a quick inventory of your social media friends. Besides that one chick from high school who airs all her dirty laundry for the world to see, who’s riding shotgun on the struggle bus? None of them, apparently. You’re driving this bus alone. But are you? Remember: social media really is a highlight reel. It isn’t real. So while Brenda from 3rd grade appears to be living the perfect suburban life with her Louis Vuitton Neverfull and 2.5 blonde children, know that her 2 year old smeared his poopy diaper all over the wall at nap time and her husband is between jobs right now. She just didn’t mention that in her caption.
Sign #6 You should Take a Break from Social Media: You want to be someone else.
You want the life of an Instagram Influencer, and you’re willing to go into great debt trying. People are doing it, after all, and that means it’s possible. Maybe you’ll get there one day. But do you know the hard work that goes into becoming an online influencer in the first place? You’re focused on the end result only, not the part that actually involves posting up behind a computer screen for hours on end while you sort out website malfunctions, or banging your head against the keyboard because the algorithm has changed yet again, taking 4,000 of your monthly website views with it. Besides, will that work truly satisfy you? What if your true gift lies in working with the elderly? Or in sales? What if your greatest life is the mundane day-in day-out of raising your children and loving your husband? You’re valuable no matter what your career-or lock thereof. You’re unique. You have gifts and talents specific to YOU. Embrace them, Use them well. Because a life of leisure is not always what it appears to be, and even if it was something to aspire to – it still wouldn’t be as rewarding as the love of your family and friends.
Sign #7 You should Take a Break from Social Media: You’re jealous.
You see everyone on Instagram with their Louis Vuitton Neverfull, and you want it, too. The problem is you can never afford it. Still, you’re so fixated on it that every thought in your head has become negative, and every word out of your mouth is negative, too. You can’t think of a single nice thing to say about Heather from your book club because she has the Neverfull in multiple colors and sizes, but you’re happy to spread the rumor about how she sold her soul to afford them. In fact, you’ve become downright toxic. You steal the joy from others, not wanting them to be happier than you. You hate everyone because they have what you want, and you hate yourself because you don’t have what they do. If social media is causing you to have these thought patterns, then it’s time to cut the cord. And count your blessings.
Sign #8 You should Take a Break from Social Media: You feel burnt out on life.
How do you know when you’re burnt out on life?
- You’re Exhausted
- You’re Unmotivated
- You can’t see the good in anything
- You can’t concentrate
- Your work performance is suffering
- Conflict at home
- Your physical health is declining
- You don’t have boundaries with work
- You’re generally dissatisfied
Add social media to that mix, and it’s only going to highlight your unhappiness and dissatisfaction even more.
Sign #9 You should Take a Break from Social Media: You don’t have any hobbies anymore.
When was the last time you baked from scratch or rode your bike? If a date asked you what your hobbies are, do you even have an answer besides “scrolling Instagram and tagging my friends in memes, lol”? So date yourself! Ask yourself, What are my hobbies? If you don’t have any, it isn’t too late to get some. Just imagine how cool your date will think you are when you can answer, “I’ve been brewing my own craft beer. Want to try it?” Have you ever had to take a break from social media? Leave me a comment or send me an email about how you benefited. And remember: social media is a highlight reel. It isn’t always real. So if it’s causing you to be someone you don’t like, don’t hesitate to delete it altogether! It will still be there if and when you decide to come back. And in the meantime, soak up all the face-to-face, complex, emotional, messy, fun human connections you can get. What’s next? Read my Best Tips for Choosing a Blog Topic and Download my FREE Worksheet: Find Your Niche.
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