According to SocialMediaToday.com, the average American will spend two hours every day on social media. However, the average teen spends nearly nine hours every day on social platforms. Social media has brought us many wonderful advantages. Unfortunately, it has produced less positive effects, like cyberbullying and cyberstalking.
Many mental health experts suggest occasional breaks from social media. There is much to gain from disconnecting from our phones and reconnecting with ourselves and each other. Here are some big benefits of taking a social media hiatus.
Better Self Perspective: Social media sometimes leads us to believe we must have the perfect, picture-worthy life to display online. This causes a lot of discontent. Rather than living life to the fullest, we worry about our life looking perfect to others. Teens often spend more time checking how many likes they have than engaging with those they spend time with. Taking some time away from social media removes much of this pressure from our lives.
Personal Connections and Relationships Improve: Disconnecting from our phones forces us to reconnect with friends and family in more meaningful ways than Facebook posts. Because of this, our conversations with loved ones become more intentional. Also, we can dedicate more time to connecting with them.
Fear of Missing Out Decreases: Overuse of social media often makes people think they have to attend every social event. Teens call this FOMO — fear of missing out. Without social media, we focus more on the activities that we value as important. Moreover, we spend less time on the ones that will get the most likes. Freeing ourselves from social media allows us to live each moment to the fullest.
Productivity Levels Rise: Adults and teens spend anywhere from two to nine hours scrolling through social media feeds. A hiatus, then, opens up that time.Therefore, this great influx of time allows us to be far more productive with our energy. Our attention spans increase, allowing us to complete more tasks in one sitting. While we are completing more tasks, we also find more time to spend on our hobbies. For teens, freedom from social media means more time to spend doing homework or engaging with school classes.
Anxiety and Depression Decrease: Studies link social media usage directly to a rise in teen anxiety and depression. Teens feel great pressure to appear perfect. Deleting social media serves as a deliberate act to improve mental health. Consequently, by removing the pressure to impress, many will enjoy a much more content life.
Better Night’s Rest: Taking a break from social media has also been linked to more and better sleep. Many of us fall asleep with our phones on our night stands or even in our beds. This intimacy we have with our phones distracts us even from sleep. Constant notification vibrations and sounds detract from healthy sleep patterns. Therefore, eliminating the temptation to scroll through all your social media account before bed will give you more and better sleep. Better sleep means happy teens and engaged students.
Social media is not bad, but it must be handled responsibly. Disconnecting for a set period of time may reintroduce many benefits you, your children or your students have missed. Make it a fun challenge with your friends, family or classroom. Encourage one another to disconnect from our phones and reconnect with one another.
By Amy Haupt