Social media can weigh on you emotionally. Intentionally or not, we strive for likes, shares, and views, equating them to real-life approval. Dr. Jeff Nalin, licensed psychologist, claims that using social media creates pressure to fit in, reduces the number of real interactions we have and can prevent us from developing and maintaining critical social skills. Scrolling through an Influencer's latest vacation while you're sitting on the couch can be inspiring, but also depressing.
“(Social Media) definitely does something to the soul. There are times when I feel depressed or anxious and a big part of it comes from that. If we didn’t have social media, we’d have a weight lifted off our shoulder.”
Because social media is so enveloped in our work and daily lives, we must learn ways to cope with the adverse effects. Rather than succumbing to social burnout and deactivating your account, you can work to overcome social media caused depression.
Create rules and boundaries for social media. The average amount of time spent on social media has been climbing since 2012, reaching 135 minutes a day (or over two hours) in 2017. Try "logging off" the way you do after work, set specific times for social media usage, or create a new hobby in place of scrolling on Instagram. Like anything in your life, you have to establish boundaries to avoid burnout.
Talk About It
If you're feeling social media burnout, your peers probably are too. Open up an honest dialogue with your friends or coworkers about how social media affects you and your mood. If you don't feel comfortable talking to your friends, therapy is a great resource for anyone going through depression or anxiety. Thanks to Open Path Collective, a non-profit that provides affordable therapy sessions across the United States, therapy is more accessible than ever.
Take a Break
If you work in a social media dominated field it's almost impossible to fully unplug. However, you can take small steps every day to improve your mental health. Go outside, take a workout class, read a book. Breaks don't have to be weeks long to make a positive impact. Setting aside an hour or two a day to do something for yourself, no screens allowed, will improve your sleep and reduce stress and anxiety.
Remember that nobody is perfect, despite what social media may say. Holding yourself to unrealistic standards will only negatively impact you, so step back from social media when you need a break. We promise it's not going anywhere.