August 28

Stop Letting Social Media Drain Your Energy

Social media can be a fun place. It can be a place for connecting with friends and family when you’re lonely. It can even be a platform for raising awareness, seeking advice or even finding a job.

However, social media can also be a source of stress and a drain on our energy. Many of us feel the compulsive need to check our messages and feeds to make sure that we haven’t missed anything. Exposure to certain types of content can meanwhile make us feel angry, jealous or inadequate. This can lead to an exhaustion known as ‘social media fatigue’.

If you think you’re suffering from social media fatigue it could be time to cut down your usage or take a break. Studies have shown that too much social media can raise the risk of depression. Spending less time on social media could be important for your mental health, while also helping you to recharge your batteries.

Signs you’re suffering from social media fatigue

There are a number of telltale signs that social media is draining your energy. By looking out for these signs, you can determine whether it’s time to cut down.

  • You start to feel down after spending a lot of time on social media.
  • You get anxious and obsessive over likes and interactions.
  • You constantly check your phone to see if you have any notifications and panic when you cannot get to your phone.
  • Checking social media is the first thing you do in the morning and the last thing you do at night.
  • You find yourself neglecting important responsibilities because you get distracted by social media.
  • Your relationship with your partner, family or friends is strained because you’re spending too much time on social media.
  • You feel that you’re constantly being emotionally triggered by content you see on social media.

All in all, you should consider how social media is making you feel. Are the feelings you get from it largely positive or negative? Are the small rewards that you get from it worth the feelings of sadness and exhaustion?

How to reduce your time on social media

Stats show that the average person spends a whopping 145 minutes per day (2 hours and 25 minutes) on social media every day.

Often these hours of social media usage are spread out throughout the day so it doesn’t feel like we’re on social media for that long. Making a conscious effort to record how much time you’re on social media could enable you to start cutting down.

You could make it your goal to halve your social media usage. This could involve scheduling your social media time throughout the day so that you know exactly how long you’re online for (potentially 20 minutes in the morning, 20 minutes at midday and 20 minutes in the evening - or whatever fits in with your lifestyle).

A greater challenge could be to go a month without social media. You could then see how this affects your mindset and whether you feel more content in your day-to-day life. You may realize that you’re better off without it.

By taking a step back from social media, you can take more productive steps towards your personal development. Sometimes the best way to encourage growth is not to add extra ingredients, but to remove things that could be acting as a barrier. What could you eliminate today?


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Dan Buettner, Founder of Blue Zones, New York Times Bestselling Author, Public Speaker and National Geographic Fellow

Dan Buettner, Founder of Blue Zones, New York Times Bestselling Author, Public Speaker and National Geographic Fellow
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