As a result of growing my brand using social media platforms, I find myself using social media constantly throughout the day. Even though I feel that I have developed a healthy relationship with it, I often have to fight off the urge to constantly check if I have more likes and views on my posts. Whether you are growing a brand or not, I’m sure you can relate.
In an effort to understand our situation, I searched “Social media and mental health” on Google, and clicked on the first link that came up. The result was an article from the Centre For Mental Health on “Anxiety, Loneliness, and the Fear of Missing Out”. Here are a few notable excerpts from that article:
- It is thought that addiction to social media affects around 5% of young people, and was recently described as potentially more addictive than alcohol and cigarettes.
- A recent study conducted by the OECO (Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development), for instance, found that those who used social media more intensively on average had lower life satisfaction.
- Fear of missing out has been linked to intensive social media use and is associated with lower modd and life satisfaction.
- The evidence suggests that social media use is strongly associated with anxiety, loneliness and depression.
I recognize this paints a bit of a morbid picture. If social media is so bad, why does anyone use it? Firstly, the connection and information one can get through it is unparalleled. There are some huge benefits to sharing information through social media. For example, everything I know about exercising I learned from YouTube.
Finding The Right Balance
As with all things in life, we need to find balance. There must be a way to incorporate the benefits of social media into your life without letting it take control. If you’re reading this, and you are wondering if social media has affected you negatively, chances are that balance is out of whack.
My plan is to take a week off as an experiment. No Instagram, no Facebook. I won’t worry about posting anything and I won’t worry about whether or not my social media growth is too slow or not. On one of my YouTube live streams, a viewer said they tried a single platform social media cleanse(in his case, Facebook). If you’re not sure you can go cold turkey, but want some relief from the negativity social media can breed (especially political), try picking one platform. Here are the parameters for my experiment:
- No social media from December 22nd-28th
- I can create content, but no posting or scrolling. Don’t even open the apps!
If you think social media has taken over your life, or are curious about how it would feel to take a break,I hope you will join me making a commitment to connect with those around you. True joy comes with the dissolving of the self, and making commitments to those around us. Finding out what it feels like to live in the present moment can be a great way to begin 2020!
“Social media not only snatches your time, it also teaches you attention deficiency” – Neeraj Agnihotri, Procrasdemon – The Artist’s Guide to Liberation From Procrastination