What Benefits a Social Media Break Can Give You

What Benefits a Social Media Break Can Give You

Post Date: Apr 10, 2024
Behavioral Health

Social media's positive and negative impacts on our lives are a nearly constant topic in our society. The first online social network was founded in 1997, though it would be a few years until they became popular. And though social media is relatively new, there’s already a lot of research about its negative effects. But don’t worry: it’s possible that even just taking a short break could help you. Here are some of the benefits of pausing your social media use.

Better sleep

One study indicated that even just limiting social media usage for one week led to participants reporting a change in their well-being, likely from changes to their sleep quality. Sleep studies show that phone use can push bedtimes later, reduce sleeping hours, and disrupt sleep quality. So, it makes sense that cutting out that continuous scroll and disruptive bright light by taking a social media break might lead to better sleep. You can put your phone in another room when you sleep, or at least plug it in across the room if you use it as an alarm, and see if your sleep improves.

Potential for improved mental health

Researchers have continued to uncover links between social media use and negative mental health impacts, like a connection between social media use and depression in young adults, symptoms of addiction, and higher anxiety. If you’ve noticed any symptoms surrounding social media use for yourself, taking a break might be a good place to start.

Give yourself a break from addictive habits

Social media is designed to be addictive, with an endless scroll of content, videos that play automatically, and an algorithm created to capture and keep your attention. A social media break can help you identify some of those impulses you might not even realize you’re experiencing, like opening apps in quiet moments or scrolling for hours without realizing it. You can start by rearranging your phone’s home screen or watching your screen time. But a social media break could also be a good option.

Encouraging more personal connections

One of the biggest benefits of social media is that feeling of connection and community with others, including loved ones who are far away. But taking a social media break can help you reprioritize more direct ways of connecting with your friends and family, like calling a loved one or making a coffee date, rather than keeping up with them with the wall of social media between you.

Fewer feelings of loneliness

According to Healthline, “A small 2018 study found a direct link between decreasing social media usage and improvements in depression and loneliness.” It follows that cutting back on social media use would also reduce the fear of missing out (FOMO), another negative side effect that a Harvard publication describes. Leaving our screens behind in favor of real, in-person connection during a social media break can ease some of these negative impacts.

If you’re experiencing any of these negative mental health impacts in your life, whether from social media use or another cause, behavioral health therapy might be able to help you. Make an appointment with a CHP clinicin Bozeman, Belgrade, or Livingston, with behavioral health services available in West Yellowstone.