Social media addiction has been much in the news lately. While experts agree that calling obsessive social media use an addiction is hyperbolic, especially considering the damage that substance addictions can do to your life, excessive social media use is still a cause for concern. Many studies have now found associations between social media use and depression and anxiety. Facebook itself has said that passively scrolling through the news feed can caused depressed mood. Social media has been found to be especially bad for people who use it in certain ways. For example, people who use eight or more social media platforms are far more likely to be anxious or depressed than people who use four or fewer. People who habitually compare themselves to others via social media are also more likely to be depressed. And people who are bullied on social media are at a much greater risk of depression. If you are recovering from addiction or mental illness, limiting your social media use might be good for you. Here’s how to break your social media addiction.
Turn off notifications.
The first thing to do, no matter what, is turn off notifications. You don’t need to know the very instant someone likes your picture on Instagram. Notifications are how social media companies train you to reflexively use their platforms. At the very least, you want to use social media on your own terms.
Get rid of some apps.
As noted, people who use eight or more apps are more prone to anxiety and depression. Unless you are the social media manager for some company, there’s no need to juggle that many apps. Researchers suspect that splitting your attention between that many apps makes you feel depressed and unable to concentrate. Pick two or three you use the most and delete the rest.
Set aside time for social media.
One way to tame your social media use is to put aside one hour a day just for social media. This way, it doesn’t take over all your time. This may take a bit of self-discipline. There are apps available that block certain sites during whatever hours you choose. If you set aside an hour in the evening for Facebook and Twitter, your engagement is more deliberate, rather than just infinite scrolling, which will make you feel depressed.
Humans lived for 100,000 years without Facebook; surely, you can do without it for a weekend. Spending some time away from from social media and the internet in general is a helpful reset. You may find you feel more relaxed and more able to concentrate after a break.
Focus on other things.
Instead of trying to limit your use of social media, increase your time spent doing more productive things. Instead of scrolling through your news feed, pick up a newspaper, magazine, or book. Make plans to see friends instead of chatting over Facebook. Enjoy your dinner instead of eating mindlessly while scrolling through your Twitter feed.
If you or someone you love is struggling with addiction or mental illness, we can help. Recovery Ways is a premier drug and alcohol addiction treatment facility located in Salt Lake City, Utah. We have the resources to effectively treat a dual diagnosis. Our mission is to provide the most cost-effective, accessible substance abuse treatment to as many people as possible. Request information online or call us today at 1-888-986-7848.