When the Internet was first invented, society generally thought it would be the beginning of a technological revolution, which isn’t necessarily wrong. What they didn’t know was that this was start of a mental health decline across the globe. Having 24 hour access to everyone and everything comes at a price. The good thing is, you can learn how to control how it affects you. 

The Problem

It can be easy to find yourself aimlessly scrolling down your timeline watching breaking news, people’s vent sessions and everyone’s successes. If you’re not careful, you could find yourself deep in a rabbit hole of content that negatively affects you. 

The world we live in today is insane and if there’s one thing you can count on is everyone talking about the news of the day. Whether it be another mass shooting or high profile sexual assault cases, everyone will be talking about it and giving their opinions. It will continue to be recycled on your timeline. If you are sensitive to news like that, your energy can easily be drained. 

Another theme you will consistently see on your timeline is everyone posting their wins and successes. Your old best friend from middle school just got married to the love of their life, someone from your English class in college just accepted an offer at your dream job, and so on. Effortlessly, you compare yourself to the things the people you follow are posting and can feel like you’re not doing enough with your life. 

The Solution

The first step in helping yourself is realizing there is a problem. When you are scrolling, how do you feel? You possibly never even knew your energy shifts while scrolling. Next time you catch yourself on social media for long periods of time, pause and ask yourself what mental space you are in presently. If you are feeling overwhelmed or as if you don’t feel good about yourself, this is how you know that it’s time for a change.

You never need social media as much as you think you do. Nor should you allow it to have that much power over you. Take your control back! Try a social media detox. Every few months or so, delete all the social media apps you have off of your phone. You may even need to take that extra step to go on your default browser and sign out of all accounts too in case you think you may fall victim to temptation. 

My Testimony

Every year I find myself getting to a point where I feel that my mental health is becoming compromised and needs a tune up. I was comparing myself to my peers on Instagram and Twitter. How everyone I follow is doing their thing and here I am not feeling good enough even in the slightest. As an empath, the heart-breaking news that I consumed daily drained me and my hope in humanity. 

I realized then that I needed a change.  Immediately I unplugged in order to fully get more in touch with myself, my worth, my power and my being. It was  beautiful to be able to just watch people on the subway, read more, focus on nature and less on my achievements as well as being accepted by others and remembering that there is something beautiful about this earth and its inhabitants.

In my time away I even felt like I was much more productive than ever before. I was able to push myself farther and out of my comfort zone in my career, I was eating better, working out daily and overall, feeling more rested.

This wasn’t the first time I took a social media break either. Once a year, I have this moment where I notice how much I’m being drained by the internet and impulsively decide to cut it off. Im trying to work on doing this more frequently and not let it get to a point where I’m feeling overwhelmed, but more like a maintenance check ever so often.

Taking Control

Remember that you don’t need social media, it needs you! Never let it have that much power over your mental health. You can always use the tools that the platforms give you as a way to help filter some of the content you see. You can mute certain people on your timeline so you don’t see their posts and you can also mute certain phrases so they don’t pop up!

Take back the control over your mind and take that social media break, sis. You need it!