Social media is such a hot topic. A lot of people judge others for using it a lot, but the truth is, it can be a great thing. I’m all for having a healthy relationship with social media, but I will say that it’s incredibly easy to get too obsessed to the point where you need to take a break. It doesn’t have to be a dramatic delete-your-account moment, but taking a week off or even setting some parameters about how often you can check it could change your life. I know that sounds crazy, but hear me out! I take periodic week-long breaks from social media, and it works. It resets my brain, frees up my time, and makes me much more productive.
I get it: some people have successful careers as a result of being great at using social media. I’m looking at you, YouTubers and Vine stars! The ways in which we can be creative and share content is more varied and accessible than ever before. There are new and different ways to stay in contact with people and different ways to express yourself – I’m pretty sure half the Vine stars out there put themselves through their own version of film school, and a great one at that. So, why would you want to take a break from one of your key sources of entertainment? Maybe because it’s taking up too much of your life, as well as your brain space, to the point where it’s effecting your life in a negative way. Social media won’t ruin your life, but having less of it could make you reevaluate some unhealthy obsessions and practices of yours. With that said, here are 17 signs you need a break from social media:
1) You check social media when you’re hanging out with your friends… a lot.
If you go to a restaurant with your friend group and it’s pretty much you guys sitting around a table checking your phones with food in front of you, you’ve got a problem. You wouldn’t check your phone during a date, so why do you check your phone with you’re supposed to be present with your friends?
2) You open your social media accounts automatically, not on purpose.
You do it without thinking. There’s no thought behind opening your Instagram while you’re waiting in a bathroom line, you just do it like a habit.
3) It’s really cutting in to your productivity.
You can get sucked in to checking your social media accounts in a more intense way than any other activity you do. You could be finishing that paper, in theory, but you have to turn on everybody’s Instagram push notifications! Cutting down on other activities to favor your online life? No bueno.
4) You peek at it when you’re driving.
No! Just, no. Never do this. Stop doing it, if you’re doing it already. None of your notifications are that important that they need to be cleared right now.
5) Your charger is always on you because having a dead battery is a fate worse than death.
What do you mean I can’t check my Twitter because my phone’s dead?! Why can’t I be constantly connected all the time?!
6) You judge anyone who isn’t on your favorite apps.
What do you mean you’re not on Snapchat? Everyone has a Facebook, are you too good for it? Look, everyone has their own preferences. Your taste in apps may be different than your friends. Just chill.
7) You have push notifications on everything.
Oh, please. You already carefully curated push notifications on your faves before Instagram blew up with their algorithm changes.
8) You make trips to the bathroom just to check it.
I’m pretty sure everyone’s faked having to go to the bathroom to refresh Twitter.
9) You “did it for the vine” a little too much.
It doesn’t have to be Vine, but you’ve ordered a fancy dessert just for the Instagram, you’ve worn an outfit just for the #ootd then immediately took it off. A lot of your daily life choices are governed by how well they’d do on social media.
10) You get stressed when you don’t get enough likes.
I have met people who delete posts if they don’t get 11+ likes on Instagram. If you’re refreshing and reviewing who liked what in the name of making sure that *everyone* knows how awesome you are? Maybe it’s time to step away from your newsfeed.
11) Seeing the wrong post could wreck your whole day.
The wrong political post, a TV spoiler, if someone posts the wrong thing at the wrong time it can really set you off. Never mind that it’s online and not in real life, you’re still super offended and your mood is wrecked.
12) You get in to losing arguments over a tweet or Facebook post.
It matters if you get the last word in because there’s this paper trail of receipts all over the internet of who’s winning this argument and you HAVE TO win.
13) It makes you depressed when you check it.
Posts about parties you missed or comparing yourself to others on social media really takes a toll on your mood. It triggers a lot of self loathing, FOMO, and loneliness.
14) You can’t tell if you know something because your friend told you, or you read about it online.
Did my friend tell me about her new boyfriend, Kyle? Or did I just like their couples’ selfie?
15) You forgot how to interact with people in person, instead of online.
This is… not good.
16) You check social media while you do other activities.
It’s like putting salt on your food. Your life is the base and checking your social media is the sprinkles that go on top of everything.
17) It’s the first thing you do in the morning and the last thing you do at night.
More than anything else, if you have a bad social media habit, the best thing you can do is to not start and end your day with a check-in. Social media as a bookend in your day sets a weird precedent that it’s one of the more important things in your life and if that’s the case, you’re way overdue for a social media break.
Do you think you need a break from social media? Would you ever take one? Let me know in the comments.