While the rapid growth of social media does not affect everyone, it has had an impact on the lifestyles of millions of people all over the world. According to a 2017 study conducted by Shakya and Epidemiol at Harvard University, social media has a significant negative impact on relationships, academic success, emotional well-being, and self-esteem with a direct link being discovered between high-volume social media use, depression, and anxiety.
Finding a way to strike a healthy balance between the use and abuse of this technology is a significant lifestyle choice.
There is no miracle cure for the negative effects of social media, but those who make effort to change social media use from a habit into a choice have succeeded in making significant positive changes to their mood and productivity as a result.
Here are some approaches that might work for you:
Turn off any notification sounds or vibrations. This removes the temptation to look at your phone when you receive a message or notification, and helps you to stick certain periods of time for social media use.
Place your phone in the centre of the table when eating. The first one to reach for their phone does the washing up.
Go into the settings for all your apps and turn off notifications. Set certain times when you're allowed to check your messages and stick to them. This will allow you to take long breaks from your phone.
Set up timers. There are apps you can download for social media time or for app use. Use these timers to prevent yourself from overusing your social media.
Use social media to reinforce positive change instead of indulging in a habit. Think of somthing you are avoiding doing and allow yourself to use social media as a reward if you do it.
Take a digital break. Try deleting problem apps from your phones for a period of time e.g. a week. The app and data will remain online in the cloud, allowing you to download the app after your break. You may even decide to extend your break if your mood improves significantly.