I asked these questions to some experts. Their Consensus: Social media is associated with some bad things, but it is also associated with a lot of good things. If you are comfortable about your tech habits, you don’t need to be guilty of a social media cleanup. But if your affinity with Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, or any social media app is causing you a lot of stress or is hindering your life, taking a break can be helpful. Here are six potential psychological benefits of temporarily cleaning up social media.
1. It might help you sleep better.
Do you raise your hand when you sleep with your phone? This is a fairly common experience, but it can affect your sleeping habits. As SELF previously reported, artificial light (such as from your phone or television) can interfere with your body̵
2. It can help you re-prioritize more personal forms of interaction.
“Social media can be a great tool for keeping in touch with friends and family, but excessive use of social media – at the expense of personal interactions with friends or family – can negatively impact relationships and wellbeing,” said Jacqueline Nesi , a Clinical Psychology Ph.D. University of North Carolina candidate tells HIMSELF.
I know it’s not very realistic to see friends and family IRL right now, but that doesn’t mean all of our interactions have to be through Instagram DMs. Consider getting creative: try writing an actual letter (through the United States Postal Service) or taking the time to video calls with the people you love instead of yelling at people you’ve been on Facebook have not seen it for over 15 years.
3. It Power help you relax a bit more.
A meta-analysis published in 2017 published in Cyber psychology, behavior and social networks 61 studies rated the widespread claim that excessive use of social media and technology is linked to things like deceased self-esteem, loneliness, and depression. However, the researchers caution that these associations could easily be overstated, and even if there are relationships between usage and bad things, it doesn’t necessarily mean technology and social media are causing it.
Still, Jacob Barkley, Ph.D. and professor of psychology at Kent State University, SELF says taking a break from technology could help some people ease anxiety. For one, it could lessen the obligations some people associate with constant communication. Non-stop responding to new texts, emails, and Facebook messages can get stressful, and getting away from it even for just a day can feel great. (Barkley suggests setting up an automatic email reply to let people know you’re taking a break so they don’t have to worry about missing urgent messages.)
4. It can help contain your FOMO.
Another big plus for leaving social media? Avoid the oh-so-daunting FOMO or the fear of missing out. “If you are connected to this huge network through this one device, [you can] The feeling of where you are is not where it is, “Andrew Lepp, Ph.D. and professor of media use and behavior at Kent State University, tells SELF.” It is almost natural to believe that among all of these other places there has to be one that is more interesting than where you are right now. “