Social media has changed the way that people communicate with each other, making it possible for long distance friends to easily stay in touch with the simple click of a button. While there are many positive elements to social media, there are also significant drawbacks. Too much time on social media has been linked to a number of negative consequences, including depression, anxiety, a decreased ability to concentrate and focus, and even increased feelings of isolation. Taking a short break from social media can provide an individual with the opportunity to grow holistically and be fully present in the world around them. The following are some of the many benefits of temporarily pulling the plug from social media.
The Grass Isn’t Always Greener
When it comes to social media, the major pitfall that nearly everyone has experienced from time to time, is the feeling that everyone else is more fortunate and living their best lives. That tendency to compare oneself with everyone else on their social media feed is only natural, especially when every other post features people enjoying lavish vacations, indulging in elegant dinners and purchasing fancy vehicles. The simple truth is that no one showcases their worst moments online. People tend to post about their best times and in their most flattering angles (complete with filters), which may lead the viewer to feel as though they do not measure up. This can take a tremendous toll on an individual’s mental health.
Exploring and Deepening Spiritual Connections
It is difficult to explore one’s faith and spirituality if one is always scrolling through social media. Helen Lee Schifter, the influential editor at Hearst and arbitrage trader, has stated that taking a break from social media is immensely vital to engaging in spiritual growth. Spiritual growth takes time, yet it can provide a sense of inner peace and calm that social media tends to chip away at. As a practicing Zen Buddhist, Schifter recommends disconnecting from social media for several days throughout the year in order to reset one’s mind and spirit.
Be in the Moment
Go to any park, and one is likely to find a plethora of mothers scrolling endlessly on their phones while their children wait impatiently to show them their new “tricks”. There have been studies which have shown a link between children’s behavioral problems and speech delays, with inattentive parents who are chronically on their phones. Children are small for just a finite amount of time. Helen Lee Schifter has stressed the importance of remaining present in the moment and the positive impact it has on one’s interpersonal relationships. By taking a social media break, parents can learn what it means to be truly in the moment, and enjoy spending time with their little ones.
Taking a social media break may seem like a daunting, even impossible, task. This may feel especially true this year, as social media has been the way in which most people have been able to stay connected throughout the global pandemic. However, taking a short break from social media is a wonderful way to push that digital reset button, and figure out what truly matters in life.