Here's Why Taking a Social Media Break Is a Good Idea

Mental health is key

disconnect mobile
@wanaktek via Twenty20

The information superhighway is now a standstill traffic jam with an overabundance of data clogging up the main arteries. It’s no wonder our mortal brains often feel in a state of chaos—access to never-ending, unrelenting information conduits is great in theory but exhausting in practice. Between the internet and social media, keeping up with all of it is a full-time job that nobody willingly signed up for. 

The rise of Instagram and the role it occupies in our lives today is polarizing. On the one hand, it’s a fertile ground for creativity and spawned countless micro-communities. It gave deserving people a voice and kept friends and families connected in spite of the physical distance. But the other side of the coin reveals that incessantly scrolling through people’s images of their best lives can get real heavy real fast. It instills FOMO, affects self-confidence and can even disrupt sleep quality and trigger depression. Brutal.

That’s why we should all periodically put our phones down and take a pause. Whether it’s for 24 hours or for one to several weeks, temporarily disconnecting from the ‘Gram can make you feel more connected to your actual life. Imposing a social media hiatus on yourself could be just what you need if you feel like you’re running on empty. And there’s no time like the beginning of a new season—something of a proverbial reboot button. 

The changing weather almost becomes a catalyst for a reset as the collective mood shifts gears. Settling into fall is about updating your outerwear and creating new playlists, but the occasion also lends itself to curbing mobile screen time and just chilling (Netflix notwithstanding).

Breaking away from our phones is not a luxury, it’s a necessity. Here’s why:

disconnect phone obsessed mobile
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You’ll feel better about yourself.

When you’re constantly bombarded by photos and videos of folks who are better looking, more successful and all-around excessively good at life, your feelings of admiration can turn into feelings of inadequacy before you know it. This can spiral into a depression if you don’t nip it in the bud. So nip it good.

You’ll remember that the real world is actually pretty awesome.

Remember your friends and family? Yeah, they’re kinda great, and spending too much time on the ‘Gram ogling warped versions of reality can make you forget that. Having uninterrupted conversations (imagine that!) will make you wonder why you don’t do that more often.

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You’ll be more present.

Breaking news: Social media addiction is real, and it’s kind of alarming to think that we can spiral into its dark abyss without realizing it. Once you deliberately start staying away from Instagram, you’ll instantly feel more in the moment and relish whatever fun situation you’re in—without feeling the need to document anything or worse: interrupting the fun to check your feed. Enjoy yourself during IRL social situations instead of chasing digital validation.

You’ll feel more rested.

If you’ve lacked energy or have been generally unmotivated in recent weeks, your mobile may be to blame. All that downtime spent “socializing” on your smartphone causes major fatigue and the constant barrage of social media posts can leave you feeling drained and depleted. Not to mention the fact that our screens can physically prevent sleep. Give social a rest and feel more rested, simple as that.

You’ll be a better friend/partner/family member/human.

Only robots can take in a ton of data without being phased. If you have a pulse, then there’s only so much your brain can take before you come at a crossroads between growth or a slump. And sometimes (often), the former requires you to step away and come back later. It’s how we achieve a fresh perspective, which has a ripple effect on our existence and our relationships.

Being so connected is all fun and games until it’s not. Without respite, such overload can take its toll. Everyone has a different saturation threshold, and it’s important to identify when you need a break from it all. A hiatus is often just what it takes to come back in full force. So put your mobile device down (yes, even while you-know-where), your mental health depends on it.

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