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Being bored is never fun, but is being on social media all day really that fun either? It is starting to dominate people’s lives and quite honestly can be a form of addiction. I see seven-year-olds walking around Snapchatting, I go hang out with friends and hardly anyone talks and if we do it’s about what other people are doing on their social media. So fun right? Wrong! I can give examples of this all day long and I know you can as well. Will this stop or just continue to keep taking more and more of our time as we keep becoming more dependent on technology and our smart phones? It seems like as time continues social media users are becoming younger and the amount of time spent on them is continuing to increase.
We have all been there; you are bored with nothing to do so what is the answer, social media is the answer of course! Ten minutes go by scrolling through until you need a break. So you take a break back to real life and you get bored so what next, social media! Seconds turn into minutes and minutes can turn into hours. Whether it's Snapchat, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, VSCO, or another media I have never heard of, it’s hard to say they aren’t addicting. I can be the first one to say that they are addicting. I have a Snapchat, Facebook, and Instagram and I personally enjoy all of them.
There are qualities in social media that you can’t get anywhere else. You can stay connected with people you don’t see often and it definitely gives you something to talk about when you do see those people. You can get some good laughs from some funny accounts I must agree. But what I am afraid of is that it has turned into more of a reason to share something to make others jealous instead of updated. Take a minute and admit it, it's alright we all do it. We do it to make it look like our relationships, vacations, meals, and experiences are the best. Because of that fact I think it does affect an individual's happiness on many levels. All you are really doing on there is comparing yourself to someone else. That comparison may make you feel like judging them, being jealous of them, making you mad they didn't invite you, giving you a strong fear of missing out, or even feeling ugly/fat. It's either doing that or making you constantly think something about another person (most the time bad thoughts). You are disengaging from the real world and missing out on real world connection and experience. Nine times out of ten the post you just looked at isn't as cool, real, and awesome as it looks so don't let it make you feel all of those rotten ways. If you are spending a lot of your time doing that, it can’t really feel great, can it (which most of us spend hours upon hours doing each day)? Whether you want to admit it or not social media can affect your mood and happiness. That is not really the person I wanted to be, giving so much of my energy and vibes to a fake world on a small device. So here is what I did.
What is important like a lot of things is moderation.
Here is my advice that I did when I felt like social media was making me unhappy. For a little cleanse I would unfollow the people that you don’t care for and unfollow the people whose posts seem to bother you. Then, if you are truly addicted to your social media and want to try and get away, try and limit your use. May sound silly but only allow yourself to get on a certain number of times a day. If you are really courageous try a cleanse of not getting on at all for a few weeks. You might not do it at first because getting on is such a habit and that is alright. But stay on top of it and really be deliberate about it. Keep track and have a go-to thought/activity you would like to do instead of get on there. If you decide on a go to thing before you start this experiment it will make it a lot easier in the moment, trust me. This way when you catch yourself scrolling out of habit you can stop yourself, put it down, and do that go to thing. Some ideas for myself have been: to tell yourself what you like about yourself, read an article, go outside, engage in conversation, do 15 sit-ups, make an appreciation list about your life, anything! I have done this and continue to do so. I have found overall I am happier after doing this. I still get to enjoy the good perks of social media, in moderation that is, with eliminating the many bad.
Social media can be a great thing but when it consumes your day it can consume you. If you find yourself in this boat give this a try and let me know how it goes for you or if you feel better after trying it. I’m interested to hear how it goes for you and let me know what works for you.