I'm not against social media. I have several friends I don't get to see on a regular basis. I enjoy looking through the pictures they post on Facebook and Twitter. It helps me feel a sense of connection even though we're separated by more a thousand miles. (I don't enjoy seeing pictures of people's food, because why would anyone want to see a picture of someone else's dinner?)
Despite its benefits, social media can be addictive, and it can breed all kinds of negative emotions and behavior. I've seen too many people fall head first into a sea of insecurities due to the influence of social media. If this is you, it may be time to take a break.
Here are seven indicators it may time to take a break from social media:
- Within 30 seconds of walking in your front door, your computer is flipped open because you worry you may have missed someone's Facebook status update during your 15-minute commute home.
- You check your phone while you're out running errands. After every store, you sit in your car and look at the latest social media activity before pulling out of the parking lot.
- You feel like crap about your social life (or lack thereof) after looking at photos of friends from Friday night and wondering why you weren't invited.
- You obsessively stalk cute guys or girls you've never met, trying to figure out where they hang out based on their social media activity. Then, you "accidentally" run into them.
- You have 548 friends but you've only met 10 of them face to face.
- You obsessively refresh your page after posting a picture of yourself or updating your status, wondering why only 7 people have "liked" it. After all, it's already been 5 minutes!
- You compose witty comments in your head while driving just so you can tweet them when you get to a red light. Then you do numbers 1, 2, and 6 to see what chatter you've generated.
Again, social media isn't bad. It can be really fun. Just be careful. You are more than a status update. And so are all your friends (not to mention your "friends").
If you think it's time for you to take a break from social media, you might consider a social media "fast" for Lent. It begins on March 5 and is a great opportunity to take a 40-day break.