As a therapist, I hear a lot about problems caused by social media. Cyberbullying, Interpersonal conflicts that have come up over something that was posted, feeling left out or isolated, or comparing oneself to others unfavorably. Let’s be honest we’ve probably all gotten to the point of “I’m going to lose it if I see one more (insert life event here…engagement, new home, baby announcement, etc.)” Don’t get me wrong, sometimes it’s lovely to keep in touch with old friends, gain support by being in a group, or have an online presence for your business, but there’s a time and place for it and it can be easy to get sucked in. So maybe we don’t have to go to the extreme and detox from social media, but think about what limits you might be willing to set and how that would feel?
In my love hate relationship with social media, I’ve often thought about getting off all together, but never took the leap. I recently deleted the Facebook app from my phone and what a change it has made for me! That nagging red number of notifications in the corner was constantly calling to me, distracting me from work that needs to be done, pulling me away from being engaged in quality time with my husband or friends, or just creating a time-suck. Did I NEED to check it? Probably not. But did I? Almost every time! I can still check Facebook on my computer or phone when I want to login, the difference is now I check in when I actually have time. I feel like I have less wasted time and I'm able to be present in my everyday life.
What are some other ways to set limits? Turn off notifications for Facebook, set limits with how frequently you check your Snapchat, enjoy a meal with your partner instead of posting it on Instagram, or when you feel strongly about something take the opportunity to talk about it and connect with a friend instead of tweeting it. I’ve heard of people incorporating this into the idea of "dry January" or giving up their favorite social media for lent. Feel free to comment below with other ideas you may have. I challenge you to think about what limits you are willing to set?