One of the most important things you can do before logging into social media is to check in with yourself. If you are feeling overwhelmed or depressed, it might be better to go for a walk or revitalize your emotions elsewhere. Scrolling through posts will only elevate your anxiety. Technology overstimulation will serve as an additional stressor and may even exacerbate symptoms of anxiety and depression. Here are some ways to help you take control of your social media usage and prevent any unnecessary anxiety.
Disable Notifications. Even if you don’t check your messages throughout the day, the constant notification dings can induce stress and anxiety and make you feel overwhelmed. The good news is that there are ways to minimize these notifications. Simply go into your settings and adjust the notifications accordingly. You may opt to only receive alerts when you are logged into each individual social media account. When you are not logged in, you won’t be interrupted with these distracting dings.
Schedule. If you feel the need to check social media every day, then carve out specific time slots when you are allowed to check in. Maybe it’s during a mid-day lunch break, or maybe it’s after dinner. Scheduling dedicated time slots will help you manage any potential overuse, however; it’s never good to scroll through social media first thing in the morning or right before you go to bed. It is best to be in a calm state of mind before you go to bed, and social media has a tendency to overstimulate and keep you awake. When you check it first thing in the morning, it has the potential to throw a wrench in your day. If you see something you don’t like, it might sit with you for the rest of the day.
There is nothing that can replace face time with a friend. If you feel like you are longing for a deep connection, then it might be time to turn off the computer and schedule a coffee date with a friend who lifts you up.
The best thing you can do is to use social media for its positive perks without going overboard. Relying on it for entertainment and inspiration is a great way to use all social media apps. When you find yourself getting into arguments or you are feeling down on yourself after scrolling through Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and any other social app, then it’s time to take a break. You might just find that you come back recharged.
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