Since social media came along and took over the world, there have been countless books, apps, and initiatives to help people switch off. Social media has been shown to be detrimental to mental health and self image. It is no secret that social media is an unhealthy obsession.
However, it is becoming ever harder to distance yourself from it. A lot of community information is shared over social media. And if you run a business or your own branding, social media is a massive part of marketing strategy. In other words, switching off is no longer as easy as deactivating your personal Facebook profile.
Instead of leaving social media altogether, there is a new idea to schedule social media vacations. This means that every month you take a weekend off from any social media. These are the mental health reasons you need social media vacations.
Put things in perspective
There is a saying that has become popular that goes: “If you’re not angry, you’re not paying attention.”
While this is a good rallying call, it does pinpoint one of the reasons social media is bad for your mental health. On social media, you constantly see everything wrong with the world, ranging in importance from international politics to petty celebrity squabbles. It is almost impossible to go through the day without getting angry at one thing or another.
Anger can be a useful emotion when motivating you to do something. However, the anger caused by social media rarely does anything but stress you out.
Taking a few days off from social media, you see things in perspective again. You recognize that you’re not going to forget about what’s important to you, even if you are not constantly switched on. You also realize how much of the newsfeed is irrelevant.
Reconnect with people
Social media impacts the way you connect with the people you love, and not just because it consumes your attention. When social media makes you angry, your loved ones become the second most likely recipients of that anger. It’s not intentional, but since the problems you see aren’t going away, your anger needs to go somewhere.
Taking time off from social media gives you the opportunity to connect with your loved ones in a kind, gentle way. You’re able to pay more attention to them and remember why you love them.
If your loved ones are the second most likely recipients of that anger, who is the most likely recipient?
Give yourself a break
When your anger has nowhere to go, the most likely recipient is going to be you. You begin to judge yourself more harshly, whether or not you know it. You become irritable, finding fault in your own life. You feel down and you’re not quite sure why.
Taking a break from social media allows you to give yourself a break from your own anger. You get to exhale and let go, feeling the freedom you have started to believe you no longer had.
Your social media vacations will end, but you will go back to social media with a renewed perspective and a healthier attitude. When you inevitably do start getting sucked in, it will be time for your next vacation.