Why Everyone Should Take a Social Media Break

Undoubtedly, social media is a big part of millions of millennial lives. It’s almost impossible to go for a meal without posting a boomerang of food to your Instagram story. If you ask my friends they’ll tell you I for one am guilty of this. 

Social media can be a great place for networking, showcasing work, and reconnecting with old friends. Ironically, I’ll use social media to promote this exact article.

Yet, social media is creating a generation obsessed with likes, shares, and retweets. 

Earlier this year, I decided on a social media hiatus. The benefits were overwhelming. Taking my finger off of the share button made me realise how dangerous platforms can be. I also saw just how obsessed everyone has become with it. 

Taking a break cleared my headspace, allowed me to focus on the important things and helped me grow enormously in regard to my self-worth and confidence. All in all, it was one of the best things I have ever done. 

So, this begs the question: Should everyone be taking a breather from social media? Below are four things I learned about social media after I stepped away from it.

Damages Self-perception

It doesn’t matter whether it’s a celebrity or colleague whose content you are consuming, the realisation that someone’s life may be better than your own can be mentally damaging. 

“Stop comparing yourself to other girls” is a phrase I’ve heard one too many times, especially from my mum. In the digital age, social comparison has become inevitable. I must admit to getting caught up in it too. 

It’s common that when we feel bored or down we reach for our phones as a way to escape the mundane. Yet, the short moment of entertainment leads to waves of not feeling good enough.

What we forget is that a picture is just a picture. 

“People are only showing their highlight reels, you’re living a rough cut.” Funnily enough, I saw this quote on Twitter. But, it struck a chord with me. What we see is far from the truth. It’s important to remember that we don’t know what happens beyond the picture. That couple you brand ‘relationship goals’ may argue every night. That woman whose body you dream about having may be spending extortionate amounts of money on surgery to fit into unrealistic beauty standards. That cute guy with a bright smile might be as lonely as ever. 

Creates Unrealistic Expectations

As I mentioned previously, the majority of what we see on social media is a final product and not reality. The highs and lows of getting to that final product are hidden from us, which can leave us feeling unsatisfied with our own lives.

As a result, many people attempt to mould their public life into one which meets these ideals set by peers or social influencers. Personally, trying to fit into these standards left me feeling anxious, unhappy and brought pressure when posting anything online.  Shamefully, it led me to download editing apps to sculpt myself into what I perceived as ‘perfection.’ 

Unfortunately, stories like this are far too common. Taking a time out from social media releases you back into reality. 

The point is, we should be focusing more on life away from our phones, and less trying to reach the unrealistic standards portrayed to us on these platforms.

Disconnects From the Real World 

Nothing annoys me more than hanging with people who can’t seem to get their heads out of their phones. The continuous scrolling and the slight ‘hmm’ received every now and again can not only being infuriating but makes it apparent that they couldn’t be less interested in what you have to say if they tried.

Being distracted from the real world by social media is something we may all be guilty of. But, have you ever stopped to think how much you are missing out on whilst flicking through your timeline? Your friend could’ve just said something really funny, or you may have just walked past the future love of your life. How are you to know if you were focused on your phone?

Pressing the pause button on social media showed me how much I had been missing out on.

Wastes Time

Although many don’t like admitting it, checking social media has become a frequent part of everyday lives. The time wasted scrolling endlessly through Instagram, Twitter or Facebook could be productively spent. 

Yes, social media is a great way to pass the time. But, when we look at the negative impact too much social media can bring, we should be asking ourselves what else could we be doing in our free time?

Instead of commenting on your friend’s latest Instagram post, why not meet up with them for a coffee. Rather than tweeting about that place you’ve always dreamed of going to, why not just get up and go. Change your routine by heading to the gym and taking a break from pinning ‘body goals’ photos on Pinterest all day. 

Life’s too short to be wasting your time looking at the lives of others. Find time to focus on yourself and what brings you joy, fitting your perfect standard.

Karis Nash

Lifestyle Writer

Aspiring writer and animal lover, Karis, is a 20-year-old media student from the UK. If not found indulging in a chai latte and reading Vogues latest edition, you may find Karis walking around central London with a camera in her hands. She loves to travel and wishes to discover all that the world has to offer.

  1. Great insights and wonderfully personal! Your honesty is to be applauded- thank you – it’s all so very true. Another easy and enjoyable read, please do keep sharing your thoughts!

  2. This so good Karys. As from today I wont be going on fb for while to see how I feel. I think I know 😘

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