Is It Time For a Social Media Diet?

Do you get anxious when you think you are missing the latest Facebook newsfeeds or tweets from your besties? According to a recent State of Social Media study released by Harris Interactive and MyLife, 62% of adults who belong to more than one social network "keep an eye" on their networks daily; and 40% said they'd rather get a root canal or spend a night in jail than give up their social networking profiles!

If this sounds a little too familiar, it may be time to start that social media diet plan.

Social media pinning/posting/nipping/and tucking takes up a lot of our time and may actually have a negative impact on your lifestyle.

  • Do you find yourself feeling depressed, sad, envious, or even just annoyed at what a close friend or relative posts on your newsfeed?  A trip that you can’t afford, an engagement when you haven’t dated in over a year, someone’s weight loss success story after you’ve realized you’re up a pant size!  Can it get any worse sometimes?
  • Does looking at the success of others pressure you to be “keeping up with the Joneses”?
  • Are you missing out on other aspects of your life because you’re spending too much time pouring over your social media accounts?

I think it’s extremely important to recognize that you’re also not seeing people’s “real lives” most of the time.  How often do we post negative issues?  Is it often you take a photo of yourself right when you arise out of bed and say, “I’m beautiful and am going to post this photo to the entire world today?”  Rarely, I guarantee it.

The main point I’m trying to express if that if you start to feel depressed or moody as a direct result of your excessive time on these websites, then it’s time to make some changes.  Here are some actions you can take to improve your mood swings and social appetite:

  • Update the control settings on your accounts.  For instance, on Facebook, you have the ability to hide a friend’s newsfeed.  The person is completely unaware of this change (unless you physically block them), and you will no longer be able to see the negative posts, whether it be on a weekly, daily, or even sometimes, hourly basis.
  • Take a break altogether from the sites.  If you can’t quit cold turkey, then limit the number of times a day that you view your favorite sites.
  • Exercise or participate in some sort of activity or hobby to limit your time spent on the computer.
  • Catch up in person!  Think about the good old days when we didn’t even have such options and head to your favorite coffee shop or restaurant.  Gab the night away versus clicking it away.

The most important point I’m trying to express is if you find yourself “addicted” to social media or your favorite newsfeeds, to any extent, then it’s time to possibly take a hiatus.  Do you really have to see your best friend’s self-posed images every hour or even her most adorable English bulldog giving her kisses by the fireplace, or could you probably go without knowing about these non life-changing events?

Here’s food for thought…put away the phone or computer, save the eye strain, and engage in some positive physical activities.  Hit the gym or read a challenging book.  Surround yourself with the positives in life and you will find that a social media diet might be the best cure to a healthier lifestyle.