9 Signs You Need To Break Up With Social Media ASAP

We all know that, to a certain extent, a constant attachment to social media is bad for our mental health. Highlight reels and edited photos can do a number on our self-confidence and contentment with our own lives.

By Alyssa Vandermeulen3 min read
Ann Haritonenko/Shutterstock

A breakup with social media is kind of the “it’s not you, it's me” cliché. If you spend hours thinking of the perfect caption or only attend events for the perfect Insta pic, you may need to reflect on your usage of social media and whether or not it’s beneficial to you in the long run. 

We challenge you to remove your social media accounts from your phone for a few days, a week, or even longer, and see how your mood changes rapidly. Your productivity will likely increase, your stress levels will likely decrease, and you’ll feel more focused. Replace the blue-lit backgrounds with actual sunshine and nature, and give yourself a break from the world inside your phone. 

Even if you plan on adding the apps back on your phone by the end of the challenge, you will have a healthier relationship with social media than you did before the break. Ready to see if you need to break up with social media? Use our checklist to see if it's time for an intervention.

1. You Check Social Media First Thing When You Wake Up

If you grab your phone and open Instagram the second after your alarm goes off, you probably need to break up with social media. Endless scrolling in the morning can start your day off on the wrong foot, especially when you should be reaching for something else. 

Instead of checking social media when you wake up, try reading a chapter of a book, journaling, or taking a moment for self-care. Creating a peaceful morning routine is far more productive than scrolling through other people’s photos! 

2. You Subconsciously Check It When You're Bored

Technology has already ruined most of our boredom-fueled creativity, but reaching for social media subconsciously at the first inkling of boredom is a whole new level of attachment. If you immediately click open Instagram or TikTok when waiting in line at the store, at a red light, or in between conversations, it’s time to take a break from social media. Boredom breeds creativity, and you’re denying yourself the energy rush of creativity when you subconsciously check your socials instead. 

3. You Open Social Media “By Accident”

Our attention spans are already greatly affected by how quickly social media throws information at us, but this “habit” is a telltale sign you need some space from Instagram and TikTok. If you grab your phone to send a text, check the weather, or delete an email, only to find yourself accidentally clicking on a social media app, the problem has already arrived. 

4. You Feel Anxious Without It

Social media-induced anxiety is not new. But what about anxiety from the absence of social media? Because we have relied on social media to keep us entertained, connected, and interested 24/7, we often feel anxious without it. Have you ever opened Instagram only to find that you have no cell connection and nothing will load? That irritated, heart-rate-increasing feeling means you’re feeling anxious without your socials available. It’s time for a break! 

5. You Constantly Feel Jealousy and Anger Toward the People You Follow

Women play the comparison game far too well. It’s built into our DNA to compare ourselves to our friends and family, or even random influencers and celebrities who only post highlight reels of their lives on social media. Marriage proposals, pregnancy announcements, college graduations, and more can leave us feeling behind in life and angry at home. 

If opening a social media app brings feelings of discontentment, jealousy, and anger, then social media isn’t the most productive or healthy use of your time. You are where you should be, and if you feel the need for career advancement and self-improvement, don’t do it because you feel like you need to compete online. 

6. Your Depression Is Worsening

If social media is accelerating your downward spiral, then get off social media! Headlines are heading ever more downhill because bad news sells. Influencers don’t actually look that way in person, and there is nothing wrong with the shape of your nose. Social media, despite the opportunity for worldwide connection, is one of the most isolating environments people have ever created. Whether you feel left out, alone, or behind in life, social media can feed into those feelings of sadness and depression without you even realizing why you feel the way you do. 

7. You Feel Less Confident 

Have you ever opened up social media and instantly become less confident in yourself, your appearance, your job, or your stuff? It happens to us all! Only viewing a highlight reel of friends, family, and random acquaintances can have all kinds of negative consequences. 

In reality, most of the photos and videos you see on social media have been heavily edited and adjusted to fit the idealistic culture of social media. Filters work rapidly to change your appearance, target your insecurities, and sell you a ton of unnecessary products. Social media is full of paid advertisements, with the goal of making you feel discontent so you click add to cart. 

8. You Struggle to Separate Reality From Headlines

There’s a saying: “If you’ve been on social media, it feels like the world is ending. If you haven’t, it’s only Tuesday.” Yes, the cost of eggs is rising. Yes, Congress passed another bill. No, the world is not ending! While some things affect your life daily, not every headline is worth the stress it causes you because you likely wouldn’t realize it if you weren’t constantly online. 

For the same reason you shouldn’t watch the news for hours a day, you shouldn’t be scrolling through social media, filling your head and heart with unsettling and stress-inducing information. There are so many other ways to stay informed without becoming a vessel for stress and anxiety. Reading a paper copy of the news (without flashing lights and advertisements) is a great option. Or simply limit the amount of news you absorb each day. 

9. You Have No Other Hobbies

Social media (and technology in general!) can be a huge waste of time, especially if you spend every free moment scrolling and watching and posting. If Instagram and TikTok are your only hobbies, you need to break up with social media. 

Your nighttime routine should include life-giving activities, and your weekends should be filled with activities and people you enjoy. Journaling, rock climbing, talking to a friend – there are so many alternatives to endless, mindless scrolling that won’t strip away your creativity and independence like social media does. Better sleep is also dependent on how much blue light you view prior to bedtime, so replace your phone with a better choice and enjoy your sleep! 

Closing Thoughts 

Social media has become a major waste of time in recent years, and we are just too attached to its enticing but superficial ideas. Revisit your social media usage and break up with Instagram! 

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