There are so many uses for social media. Businesses use it for communication, collaboration and reviews and opinions of products and services. Consumers use it for entertainment, news, and connection.
However, with easy access, 24-hour availability and new programs being introduced every few months, it is easy to get drawn into the black hole of being over-informed, comparison and negativity.
2020 was quite the year with the corona virus pandemic, a highly charged presidential election, polarization of the United States with the death of George Floyd, devastating fires in the US and Australia, and the Dow Jones experienced its largest one-day decline in history.
Personally, you may have lost a job, lost your home, or experienced the loss of a loved one. The list goes on and on and on.
It is quite likely that in these times, you turned to social media. According to statista.com, 48% of Americans use social media as a source of news. The number of first-time social media users is on the rise at 14 per second, according to datareportal.com. The average number of hours spent daily on social media is 3 per day, whatagraph.com.
It is easy to get caught up in the play-by-play information of disturbing news. It can overtake your thoughts, mood and change your attitude.
Are you feeling more stressed than normal? Has your anxiety risen? Are you feeling lonely in spite of being “connected” to others through social media? Have your relationships suffered? Are you feeling burned out?
It is possible you need to unplug from social media!
Think about how you handled stress and anxiety before the introduction of social media. Maybe you called someone who would empathetically listen, hearing the tension in your voice and telling you would be okay. Through conversation, you possibly came up with a solution to your problem.
Did you used have family dinners together where you could look someone in the eyes and ask how their day was? Dinner is a time to connect over food, be grateful and rejoice. Instead I hear far too many times from clients that they feel alone in their own home even though surrounded by others.
We used to get our news in the evening and when the hour was over, the news was over. Now news, most of it bad, is available 24-7, on multiple devices and numerous sources. This is terrible for our mental health.
Do not get me wrong, social media has its good points. In grief, social media can be a platform to receive support from a larger group from those experiencing the same loss, albeit child loss, parent loss, sibling loss, job loss, relationship, or pet loss.
It is the overuse, addiction and life altering consequences that are so wrong.
What I am suggesting for your mental health, relationships and reducing anxiety and stress is to unplug from social media. I have been making it a practice to unplug from 5pm Saturday to 5pm Sunday.
I know I am okay without it and the world will do just fine without me commenting on other peoples lives. If I miss something that is super important in those 24 hours, I am counting on a friend or family member to pick up the phone and call me.
You are invited join me in this weekly unplugging. Like my Facebook page. Everyone who comments “I unplugged” between 5 pm Sunday night and 9 am Monday morning, will be entered in a drawing for a 50-minute private complimentary coaching call.
Unplug with me.