If you’ve ever binged on social media, you’ve probably encountered that strange feeling while scrolling through endless feeds… like everything in the world is chaotic and spiraling out of control! Then you look outside your window. Birds are chirping, cars are passing and the ants have formed a very productive marching line across the sidewalk.
The shift in perception of reality can be difficult to synthesize. And with the news getting crazier by the day, many are looking for ways to just stay calm and sane.
Logging off for mental health
Accomplishing this can be difficult, but studies have found that logging off of social media more often can be an important step. The Happiness Research Institute found that those who avoid social media, even for just one week, improve in mood because they are more present. Logging off of social media provides more time to explore fulfilling goals and activities. One person who did a social media cleanse for over a year said that they realized how many opportunities they lost in the past because they were on their phone.
Many others have described their experiences cutting back or getting off of social media as a net positive. Frequently they list the upsides as being less distracted, having greater productivity, enjoying the moment and even sleeping better. Others have mentioned that they re-learned how to be social in real life. The term “social media” is somewhat of a contradiction, as people staring at their devices rather than interacting face-to-face, in many respects, creates an antisocial society. By bucking the social media trend, many are finding ways to interact and have real-life conversations that tear down the walls (or screens) between them.
Social media can be a tough habit to kick, though. Recent remarks from former Facebook executives suggest that users are being conditioned to use the platform in a more addictive way. To fight the urge to spend more time on social media platforms, it’s important to make an intention choice and replace the habit with something productive. As one blogger recommended, “If you feel you need social media to stay in the loop, seek out alternatives like newsletters or RSS feeds that are relevant. If you have to establish a social media presence professionally, set boundaries, such as logging in once a week to check messages and schedule the following week’s content.”
Replacing scrolling with learning
There are plenty of other good tips for ways to get off social media by people who have done it. Some suggest exercising as a way to clear the mind and strengthen the body. Creating arts or crafts is another good way to log off and tap into your imagination. Some choose to volunteer with helpful organizations as a way to build bonds in their community and make a difference in the world. Others are reading, learning and going back to college as a way to reset balance in their lives.
In fact, gaining an education has been shown to boost mental health overall, as it allows students to connect with others, develop a sense of meaning or purpose, build coping skills and develop goals and hobbies. Education can also improve happiness by providing a sense of accomplishment. Some find that completing assignments and earning a degree gives them a feeling of pride and a boost in morale. Studies of the relationship between education and mental health have shown that higher levels of education can also help graduates gain important structural and economic advantages.
No matter what goals or activities you decide to focus on, limiting social media consumption has positive benefits. In addition to enjoying greater presence in the moment, you can also block off much of the negative criticisms that always seem to come when posting about personal struggles or experiences on social media. Additionally, less time on these platforms provides the space to build a quality of life that makes you feel secure and confident – rather than seeking that validation online.
Ready to redirect your energy away from social media and all the madness in the world right now? Come join a community of learners and problem-solvers! At Pearson Accelerated Pathways, we’re great at helping individuals find the degree path that engages their interests. We understand that learning benefits wellbeing by encouraging interaction, fostering open-mindedness and aiding in discovery.
Why not exercise your brain and work toward life goals right now rather than watching the world seemingly unravel on social media? Get started with us today!