Social media has hundreds of awesome uses. You can stay connected with family members you don’t get to see often or see incredible places you might not otherwise visit. There are thousands of hilarious videos and images to share or things you can learn. Used in moderation, social media is a great tool if you can recognize the signs of social wellness.
It’s also helped the world keep close with loved ones and stay informed during these difficult times in 2020. Human beings are social creatures by nature and social media helps you make connections with people around the world. There are countless ways you can use social media to your benefit.
There’s a darker side to social media, too, though. You might notice that while it can be helpful in some ways, social media is negatively affecting you in others. Digital connection isn’t the same thing as an in-person connection.
Studies draw connections between high levels of social media use with poorer mental health. Others show that relying too much on social media can make it harder to connect with people in real life. Apps designed to hold onto your attention pull it away from other important things in your life. There are some social media negatives, too.
Are you worried about the negative impact of social media on your life? Ask yourself whether any of the following 10 signs social media is negatively affecting you apply.
1. Checking your social media feeds is the first thing you do in the morning.
What’s the first thing you do when you wake up? If you roll over, pick your phone up off your bedside table, and log into Instagram, that’s not the best way to start your day. It’s better to start your day off with a morning routine and set your own pace for the day.
2. You can’t focus on your tasks at school, work, or home without taking a break for social media.
Are you stopping throughout the workday or school day to scroll through your social feeds? If you find that you can’t complete your tasks without taking a scroll break, social media is negatively affecting you.
3. You have a hard time interacting with people in real life.
Digital communication and in-person interaction are much different. If you spend too much time on your phone and not enough on real-life interactions, you might find it harder to do after a while.
4. You spend hours every day scrolling through your social media feeds.
Excessive use of social media is negatively affecting you. If you’re scrolling through your social media feeds for hours every day, it’s taking that away from other important things in your life. What could you do with all those hours you lost to the endless scroll?
5. You’re convinced everyone else is more successful than you.
Social media is a highlight reel. Even with the growing number of people sharing vulnerable posts on their profiles, accounts are still curated. People get to pick and choose what they share with the world. Sometimes it’s easy to get caught up in it and convince yourself that others are more successful than you when it’s simply not true.
6. You don’t feel as good about yourself if pictures you post don’t receive a certain number of likes.
Attaching your worth to the number of likes your posts receive is a massive sign that social media is negatively affecting you. It’s easy to tell yourself you don’t care about the number of interactions a post gets. But if you post something and it doesn’t receive the response you’re looking for, how do you feel then?
7. You log in to check “one quick thing” and end up doing something completely unrelated.
Social media is designed to keep you logged in and scrolling for as long as possible. It’s easy to lose 15 minutes here and there throughout the day when you log in to check something real quick. Oftentimes you might even go to check something then log out without ever doing what you first logged in to do!
8. You can’t go anywhere without taking a picture or video for Instagram or Facebook.
Memorable moments happen in real life, not on a phone screen! Do you have a hard time going somewhere without taking a picture to share with your social media circle? Try letting yourself live in the moment and remember it for yourself, not for the likes or shares online.
9. You spend more time comparing yourself to others than looking at things that interest or entertain you.
There are so many amazing accounts on social media that share incredible photography or funny videos. Do you spend more time looking at things that interest and entertain you? Or do you spend it comparing your life to the online lives of the people you follow?
10. Your social media use causes problems in your relationships.
How does your social media use affect your relationships? Sometimes too much social media can place strain on a relationship. If you’re finding that your social use is causing problems in your relationships, social media is negatively affecting your life.
Taking a Step Back From Social
If you feel the negative impact of social media, taking a step back from the apps is a great idea. Spend the time you spent scrolling through social feeds on your real-life relationships and activities. Try out a new hobby, spend some time catching up with a friend, or visit somewhere new in your town.
You can also use the time away from social media to explore yourself and where your passions lie. What do you want to most want to do in your life? Do you even know the answer to that question? Sitting with a life coach for a few sessions can help you uncover how negatively handling social media can be blocking you from making progress in your life.
Subtract some time you spend scrolling, add that time into building the life you’re looking for. Want to find out whether a life coach is for you? Sign up for a free introductory consultation call and see if you’d benefit from some extra support and guidance today!