Is it time for a digital detox?
It's safe to say that social media dominates most of our everyday lives, right?
In the UK, the average person checks their phone 28 times a day. That can't be healthy...
The theme of this year's Stress Awareness Week is 'does hi-tech cause hi-stress?' and that's why we want to make you aware of the effects of social media are so that you can decide whether you need to put your phone down more.
Consider these factors before having a digital detox:
1. Does social media affect your face to face interactions?
Struggling to maintain a conversation with your friends, your flatmates or your family could be because you're spending too much time on your phone. Online relationships and communities are great and might help your mental health but you need to know when to switch off from what is virtual and what is real.
2. Does social media affect your self-esteem?
If you're scrolling through Instagram, Facebook, Twitter or Snapchat and feeling rubbish about yourself because of other peoples posts - stop! That's a huge sign it is having a negative affect on you. We all have our insecurities (and that's fine) but comparing your life to somebody else's isn't a positive way to deal with it.
3. Does social media affect how much sleep you get?
You need to know when to literally, switch off. If you end up seeing something that has upset you, it'll stick with you and prevent you from sleeping. Try stick to a routine that prevents you from going on your phone about 30 minutes before going to bed - this way it won't affect how much (or little) sleep you get.
If the answer is yes, then it might be time to put your phone down and enjoy the here and now. It won't do you any harm!
It isn't all bad though - some people think social media helps their mental health. If you have depression or anxiety, you might find that talking in Facebook groups and posting on Instagram is a positive thing because it's your safe space to discuss your mental health. Picking up your phone is a lot easier than approaching a group of strangers or getting out of bed on a bad day after all.
Only you can make the decision on whether you need a digital detox so do what's best for you!
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