The ability to engage with friends and family across the world can be both fun and useful. However, there are moments when the fun and utility are overshadowed by increased feelings of depression and anxiety. Comparison to others has new avenues with the increasing use and popularity of social media. Now instead of comparing to one’s peers and community, the world has become the place where all of our flaws may feel magnified. Why am I not traveling? How come I’m not in a relationship? Why don’t I have friends like that? I invite you to take a moment to step away from the screen to help place things into perspective.
Imagine you are in an art museum. Is every piece of art that the artist ever made in that museum? Answer, no. Think of social media pages as a form of a personal museum. The individual or individuals, have made decisions on what to share, how to share and when to share. You do not see how many times it took to get that perfectly balanced yoga pose on top of the rock right as the sun rises. Instead, you see the end result. This can be helpful when the desire to compare creeps into your day.
· If you feel that you cannot go longer than 15 minutes without checking
· If your relationship is suffering
· If your job is suffering
· If your mental health is suffering
· If you just want to take a break
· Delete the apps from your phone.
· “Post No Scroll” Day: post what you want to share and then do not scroll.
· Social Media Free Days
· Download an app that helps track time spent on your phone
· Replace the behavior: if you find that you are checking when you are bored, sad, angry etc. come up with some creative things to do instead (take a walk, draw, write, open your note app on your phone and write in there instead of positing)
Do an experiment the next time you are out with friends, try leaving your phone off of the table and see if you notice a difference in your interactions.