Taking a Social Media Break: A Guide for Teens
Social media is a great space for adults and teens alike in terms of sharing interests and staying connected with friends online. However, social media can come with a lot of downsides, too, especially for teens who already have a lot of pressure on them. While using social media from time to time can be a great benefit for pastimes and friendships, using social media too much can easily turn into a negative, or even an addiction.
What are the Benefits of Taking a Social Media Break?
- Improved rest. You may find that you sleep better when taking time away from a screen and endless scrolling, especially in bed.
- More time for other things. Social media can easily take up a significant amount of time out of the day if you use it too much. By freeing up your time, you’re able to concentrate on other things, like hobbies or exercise.
- Improved mental health. It may be that a break from social media sees your anxiety or low mood decreased, as pressures of social media and seeing other people’s lives can easily spark feelings of low self-esteem or resentment.
How to Take a Social Media Break
Turn Off Notifications
If you do find the willpower to not actually click on to social media icons, notifications and messaging can easily disrupt that plan, and the need to open, read and reply can easily take over. By turning off notifications, you’re ensuring that you’re in control of when you want to log on to social media.
Notifications can also make you feel pressure about needing to reply, so making sure that you don’t get notifications will eliminate that pressure.
Pay Attention to Any Warning Signs
When social media stops being enjoyable and becomes a problem, it’s important to take a step back. If social media is only bringing you doubt, anxiety or even depression, and if you find yourself addicted to it, it’s time to change your situation and seek support. Support for social anxiety and any anxiety in relation to social media is out there, like with Ignite teen treatment, so know that recovery is possible.
Keep Technology Away from You
If you’ve set time aside to relax or pursue a pastime, then keeping technology out of sight can help you to avoid reaching for it. If you’re planning to watch a movie or try another hobby, it’s still easy to pick up your phone and get distracted if it’s sitting next to you.
Try putting it on silent across the room, or even keep it in another room if you need to, while you dedicate a few hours to something else.
Make a Plan
A social media break doesn’t have to mean eliminating it altogether if you don’t need to. Setting goals will help you to have more structure around it.
For example, decide how long you want to spend a day online, or if you’re finding that you’re putting too much pressure on posting something every day, decide how many posts you would like to make at a more casual schedule.
It’s possible to have a healthy relationship with social media without it taking over your life, so try these key steps first to set your goals.