If your phone is a permanent fixture in your hand, and all you ever think about is your next Twitter update, then it may be time to cut back on social media. Social media is a wonderful thing — it connects us to friends and family who live near and far, it allows us to keep share our thoughts and ideas with the masses, and it's a great way to get up-to-the-minute information from your favorite sources. But it can be all too easy to slide down the slippery slope of Facebook and Twitter and Instagram, never to be seen again.
That may be a bit dramatic, but it's true that a lot of us spend way too much time on social media. After all, it's fun, it kills time, and hey, we all love to stay connected. In fact, according to BBC News, in August of this year, Facebook saw one billion people log on in a single day. That's a hell of a lot of people posting status updates and liking pictures of their friend's dogs.
And if you think about it, those one billion people probably didn't just log on once. According to a report by CNN, some 13-year-olds check their social media up to 100 times a day. I'm sure us grown-ups would never check our phones that many times. No, no of course not.
For all the wonderful things about social media gives us, it can also get pretty annoying — angry tweets, Facebook stalking, and the pressure to post things all the time can drive anyone mad. Here are a few signs you've totally had it with social media, and should take a vacation.
1. You're Stressed Out All The Time
I feel bad for those 13-year-olds because I'm a full-fledged adult and even I sometimes can't handle the stress and chaos of my social media pages. Maintaining it all can often feel like a full-time job, and I sometimes wonder if I'm even enjoying myself anymore, or if it's all just turned into another dumb obligation. Think about taking a break from all your status updates and tweets if it isn't fun any more.
2. You Feel Separation Anxiety When Not Online
The world is not going to end if you miss one tweet, or don't post a picture of your lunch. You should be able to spend a decent amount of time living your life sans Internet. If you can't, then you are probably near that thin line of technology addiction. Try out a few days where you leave your phone at home (I know, the horror!) or at least keep it in your bag while at work. Do this until you feel OK not being plugged in every second of your day.
3. You Can't Put Down Your Phone While With Friends
We've all been on that lunch date where everyone is on their phones, and it sucks. If you can't stop Instagramming long enough to eat a meal with your friends, then you may have a problem. Consider implementing a rule where all phones go in the center of the table, and the first one to touch theirs has to pay for the meal.
4. It's All You Can Think About
This is that feeling you get when driving down the road and you keep peeking over at your phone, tempted to pick it up and check it while driving. Don't ever do this. Not only is it incredibly unsafe, but you should be able to forgo your online life for a few minutes while you drive.
5. You Are Constantly Comparing Yourself To Others
This is less about social media taking up too much of your time, and more about how it makes you feel. It's important to remember that people post versions of their best selves online, so it's important to not compare yourself to what you see in your feed. Remember that everyone's apartment gets messy, despite what their Instagram photos show. Everyone has a rainy day on their vacation, despite their album of sunny tropical photos. And everyone has bad days, despite how happy they seem in their updates But, if you're still comparing your life to others, it's best to take a bit of a break from it all.
6. You Have A Fear Of Missing Out
Your Facebook feed can seem like a constant parade of all the fun stuff everyone else is doing, and it can really start to make you feel bad about yourself if you don't keep your expectations in check. Not everyone has to have fun 24/7, even though the garage of photos and updates makes it seem that way. If it's really bothering you, resist the urge to scroll through the litany of party posts and vacation pics.
Social media can be a blessing and a curse. If it's leaving you feeling stressed, sad, or anxious, then give yourself a break and take a social media vacation.
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