Is Social Media Toxic for Your Mind?
These days, it’s impossible to step outside the house without seeing people walking in a trance-like state with their eyes glued to the lighted screens of their mobile devices. Social media is largely to blame for this. Nothing gives you feedback quite as fast as social media does. Make a post on Facebook and if you have enough friends, you’ll instantly get likes and comments that validate you and make you feel good.
The same applies to Instagram where women will take a hundred photos just to post one good one and get praise. These are the Instagram ‘models’ who might become mere mortals overnight if Instagram shut down their account.
Even YouTube has thousands of people who use it to vlog about their daily lives and adventures… which of course, are heavily edited and have a soundtrack too. Everyone is looking for validation from everyone else… and they’ll do anything to get it. But what happens if we don’t get it? What happens if you do get some ‘likes’ but others get more?
What if you get negative comments? When these things happen, feelings of lack and depression can set in. Studies are showing that while social media has made the world smaller, it has made people lonelier. People have more friends online than they do in person. So many people feel like they need to pretend to be somebody they’re not just to fit in with their peers.
It’s high school all over again… and even as adults, there is still cyberbullying. People get their feelings hurt by comments from toxic strangers who shouldn’t have any impact on their lives. Which brings us to the question – “Is social media toxic for your mind?” The answer is - it depends. If you’re addicted to it, then yes, it is. If you have a constant fear of missing out, if your feelings are hurt by negative comments from strangers, if you feel like blowing your top because someone else’s opinion is the polar opposite to yours… the answer is an unambiguous yes. Fixing the Problem The best way to remedy this problem will be to remove the social media apps from your phone. You want to go cold turkey. Limiting yourself to short durations is like a cocaine addict getting a ‘small fix’. It just doesn’t work.
What you want is a 5-day break from it and you’ll discover just how much more time you have and how much better you are feeling. Spending too much time on digital devices affects your health adversely too.
If you surf the net from your computer, you can use extensions for your browser that blocks these social media sites. Extensions like FocusMe, AppBlock, Flipd, LeechBlock, StayFocusd, etc. are all effective for limiting your use of social media. Some people may find it excruciatingly hard to stay away. So, these apps will help them.
The key to detoxing your mind is simplicity. You want to remove all unnecessary mental distractions so that you’re not sapping your energy. You only have finite energy daily. By focusing on productive tasks that matter and doing what you truly find fun, you’ll conserve energy and feel happier and more satisfied. If social media is getting you down, cut it out of your life.