"The groundwork of all happiness is health." - Leigh Hunt

Want to delete your social media, but can't bring yourself to do it? Here are some ways to take this step.

For over a decade now we have been immersed in a love affair with social media. And the considered ending things might be painful. But like all relationship, if social media isn't making you comfortable anymore — and if curating your online persona is tiring reasonably than fun — it is likely to be time to say goodbye.

Late last yr, Meta (formerly Facebook) got here under intense scrutiny. Leaked documents revealed that the corporate was fully aware of the negative impact its products, particularly Instagram, could have on the mental health of users.

The meta went straight into damage control. But nobody seemed particularly surprised by the news — not even. Teenage girls, which Meta identified as probably the most vulnerable. Was the leak just confirming what we already suspected: that social media has the potential to be more harmful than helpful?

How did our once carefree relationship with social media turn sour? And perhaps most significantly, can it’s saved?

Spotting red flags

Relationship counselors will often ask troubled couples to take into consideration what brought them joy of their relationship. Social media, for all it's pesky peccadilloes, has some redeeming qualities.

During a pandemic, the flexibility to remain connected to people we will't see in person has grow to be incredibly helpful. Social media may also help people find their tribe, especially if people of their offline world don't share their values ​​and beliefs.

With so many social platforms available – and hundreds of thousands (and even billions) of plugins – our FOMO can take over.

But if you happen to can't go a day without trolling sites, feeling compelled to “like” or “like,” then your relationship is in trouble.

Although removed from fixed time, the majority of screen time research has focused on the harmful effects of excessive or problematic screen use on health and mental health. A 2021 A meta-analysis Of the 55 studies, with a combined sample size of 80,533 individuals, a positive (albeit small) association was found between depressive symptoms and social media use.

A key finding was that negative outcomes were more related to how participants used social media, reasonably than how long they used it.

Information overload

In trying to know why social media could make us feel less content, we will't look past the results of 24/7 news (and faux news) on our collective psyche.

2021 at Deloitte Survey 79 per cent of Australians believed fake news was an issue, and only 18 per cent felt information obtained through social media was reliable. Navigating content that’s purposefully geared toward perpetuating fear and dissension only adds to people's cognitive and emotional burden.

But here's the rub. It seems that while we’re generally concerned about technology negatively impacting our well-being, this doesn’t translate into behavioral change at the person level.

my very own research More than two-thirds of participants in a survey published last yr believed that excessive smartphone use could have a negative impact on health, yet individual use was much higher, averaging 184 minutes per day. There was no relationship between belief and behavior.

What is the rationale for this apparent paradox in cognitive behavior? Long-term results the study Researchers on the University of Amsterdam may provide a clue. They found that living in a “constantly online” world results in decreased self-control over social media use and, in turn, lower well-being.

In other words, we all know that what we’re doing could also be bad for us, but we do it anyway.

Simple steps you may take.

How do you realize when it's time to reevaluate your relationship with social media? An easy query to ask yourself is: How does it make you are feeling?

Think about how you are feeling before, during, and after using social media. If you are feeling such as you're wasting a big chunk of your day, your week (or dare I say, your life) on social media – here's a clue. If you experience negative emotions akin to sadness, anxiety, guilt or fear, you’ve your answer.

But if ditching social media suddenly appears like too far, what else are you able to do to slowly separate, or possibly save the connection?

1. Start with a trial separation.

A “soft delete” helps you to see the way you'll feel without your social media before doing a tough delete. Tell family and friends you're taking a break, remove apps out of your devices, and set yourself a goal of every week or two where you won't access the account/s. If the world continues to be spinning at the tip of this trial, keep going! Once you don't feel the pull of social media, you'll be able to delete.

2. Reduce the variety of platforms you engage with.

If you’ve Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, TikTok, YouTube, Snapchat, WhatsApp, Tumblr, Pinterest, and Reddit in your phone, tablet, and computer, you've probably passed the saturation point and are in drowning territory. Pick one or two apps that actually serve a meaningful purpose for you, and ditch the remaining. Gen X'ers ​​may find it hard to say goodbye to Facebook, but America has a lot of Gen Zers. Say goodbye to him. If they’ll do it, so are you able to!

3. If steps 1 and a pair of are still overwhelming, try reducing your time spent on social media.

First and foremost, turn off all of your notifications (yes, all of them). If you're conditioned to reply to every “binge,” you'll find it nearly inconceivable to stop. Take a while every day and catch up or flick thru all your social media. Set an alarm on your pre-set time, and when it sounds, put the phone down until the identical time tomorrow.

None of this will likely be easy, and walking away from social media can hurt before you do. But if the connection has grow to be uncomfortable, and even abusive, it's time to take a stand. And who knows what untold joys you may find outside the 4 partitions of your screen?

Failure to disconnect from social media can further harm the choice.