Social media playlist appears to have evolved over the last few years.
While it represents an entertaining distraction from life’s cutthroat demands, the predictability and the toxicity can be overwhelming.
Deactivating a social media account as a therapeutic measure is also unthinkable for many, especially those who make a living from it.
This leaves periodic breaks as the more practical coping mechanism.
People generally know when they have reached their saturation point, but it may not be clear cut for social media. Some key indicators are outlined below.
- You get triggered more often. Perhaps, for the most part, marriage proposal posts do not trigger you. That may be the case for posts about wins in general—a new car, a new house, a graduation. However, these posts may have begun to incite anxiety, pangs of envy and feelings of inadequacy or underachievement in you. A break may be the best way to deal with these feelings. Asides wins, it may be that posts by certain handles irritate you. It could also be short term, like the reports of a tragic occurrence. A break may just go a long way.
- You check it more compulsively, and spend too much time on it. High frequency and long duration of usage also make a social media break more necessary. If social media is something you check first thing after you wake up, every ten minutes during the day, and last thing before you go to bed, you should consider a temporary withdrawal. Ideally, a person should not reach the point of involuntarily or unconsciously opening social media applications at odd moments.
- You find yourself stalking a handful of other users. More people have trivialised online stalking over the years, contextualising it as an act fuelled by harmless admiration. Nonetheless, restraint is also crucial in this regard. Incessant visitation of another user’s profile necessitates a social media breather.
How To Preoccupy Yourself While Away
Adjusting to a daily routine temporarily void of social media can be daunting for frequent users. However, there are multiple courses of action that one can invest in, pending a return to social media. These coping mechanisms do not exist in isolation.
- Allocate social media time to priorities. While away from social media, one can spend more time on academics, spirituality, relationships, or a business. Perhaps, extended social media usage served to negatively impair at least one core aspect of a person’s life. One must thus take advantage of the break to cover lost ground and gain more perspective on life outside curated social media content.
- Learn a new skill. Skills, digital or otherwise, require ample time to hone. One can learn a skill while actively using social media, but the learning process is likely to be faster without social media’s distractions. As such, one can leverage the extra hours to learn a profitable and potentially life-changing skill.
- Pick up a new hobby. Hobbies make life more dynamic. One may pick up intellectually stimulating hobbies such as journaling or reading books. In addition, relatively laidback hobbies like binging movies or series can help ease withdrawal from endless social media scrolling.
- Go on a trip or retreat. Where one can afford it, a trip or retreat is another ideal way to enjoy time off social media. This coping mechanism is more effectual where a natural environment is a feature of the retreat. One can thus engage with nature and ease their minds off the toxicity that now defines social media.
- Moving Forward. It would be counterintuitive for a person to take a break off social media and undo all the gains upon their return. By implication, it is ideal for people to subsequently track social media usage using relevant applications. One should also have defined social media objectives, no matter how loose, to ensure more intentional usage.
Furthermore, one should also be mindful of the accounts they follow and interact with. For a saner experience, one should also mute disturbing words and phrases on social media.