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Social media and online interaction have infiltrated every aspect of our lives.
Social media and online interaction have infiltrated every aspect of our lives. It has led to new job creation as well as fresh ways to communicate and express ourselves. For some, however, an addiction to social media is real — a recent research by Cornell Information Science studied the difficulty people faced when they quit social media such as Facebook — and it reported that not many were able to stay off it for more than a few days.
Stuck in the Web
There is no denying the benefits of social media. It provides a gateway for communication with loved ones far away, it helps you remember key events and milestones through shared pictures (some in real time), and businesses are using it to learn more about customers’ needs. However, it can also be a rough terrain to navigate. An over-consumption of social media can create behavioural problems offline and in real life.
Online harassment and cyberbullying are not just issues that youths face — just look at the many fiery political exchanges in comment sections. Added to that are psychological traps including feelings of envy, the popularised affliction of the Fear Of Missing Out (FOMO) and more.
Here’s why you may want to consider logging out of your social media accounts more often:
It may start with a few minutes on Twitter; okay, maybe just one more YouTube video; or,that a friend you’ve not seen in a while pops up online. Before you know it, time has passed you by. Unstructured time on social media adds up over the day, leading to poor time management and added stress when it affects one’s work or studies.
With an overwhelming amount of information available online and at a swipe of a finger, social media makes it hard to focus on anything for more than a few minutes, leading to the Internet expression ‘TL;DR’ or ‘too long, didn’t read’. With the constant pinging of notifications and pop-ups, your smartphone could also be robbing you of your precious concentration.
A study in 2013 by the University of Michigan indicated that the life satisfaction levels of people waned as they used Facebook more, suggesting that excessive use may undermine rather than enhance wellbeing. Users also tend to unfavourably compare themselves with others online, promoting feelings of loneliness, envy, worthlessness and depression.
How to Beat Stress Eating
So, do you feel lost and helpless without your smartphone? Did a quick update online ever turn into hours lost looking at your ex’s photos from a decade ago? Here are some possible signs that you might have gone overboard:
Outside the online world of likes and emojis is a real world that we can perceive with all of our senses. Don’t miss out on life by peering at the world through the camera lens on your smartphone. Take time to be present and mindful. And no matter how efficient instant messaging might be, nothing replaces good old hugs or a genuine smile among friends and family.
For more tips on relating well with your colleagues online and offline, read on
how to work well with your colleagues. Or, get
tips on how to help your child untangle from the web.
6 Ways to Declutter the Mind
Ready to take the plunge and unplug? Try these social media detox tips for a breath of fresh air. For some, making your intentions known and going cold turkey is the best way; for others, smart management and self-discipline are all it takes to balance your usage. Whatever your strategy, get support from peers to encourage and remind you of your goals.
Social media as a tool is not inherently bad — it depends on how you use and consume it. Certain platforms can greatly enhance your wellbeing by providing instant connectivity to a likeminded community. Choose platforms that allow you to more selectively curate your feed.
Pick a reasonable time limit for you to spend on social media. It could be 15 minutes a day, twice a day or strictly on the weekends. Set an alarm clock to keep you on schedule.
Switch off completely when you are having meals with friends, taking a walk in the park with your friends or having a family gathering. It is important to give these activities your full attention without distraction.
The ride to school or work may be long, but you can always listen to music, podcasts or read a book. Deleting social media apps from your smartphone will help you manage compulsive checking and limit your social networking to when you’re in front of a computer. Apps such as OutPack helps limit your social media usage easily and automatically.
Replace social media use with other healthier social activities offline such as games or sports, or try learning a new skill or language. Fill your schedule with more meaningful and enriching activities. Even indulging in a spot of day dreaming can keep away boredom. Create a regular routine that limits your social media use, particularly in the morning and before bedtime.
Make an effort to disconnect from social media and reconnect with your family and friends so you won’t miss out on life.
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This article was last reviewed on
Monday, June 3, 2019
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