Social media has created a space for us to discover, connect with, and interact with people we likely wouldn’t be able to without it. I am a fan of social media. I have received great opportunities and met great people by being present on social media. Honestly, I have no idea where Women by Choice would be if I had not leveraged social media to gain exposure for our network, events, blog, and pretty much everything we do. However, after using social media consistently for many years, I have learned that taking breaks from it is necessary. As the founder of a global network for women who manages most aspects of our organization and coaches women to be empowered and successful, I need to take breaks from social media to not only ensure that I am spending my time wisely, but also to maintain my sanity.
Is there is a such thing as too much social media? I think so. Actually, I know so. Aside from the research I have found on the negative effects of social media like anxiety and depression, experiencing cyber-bullying, and having unrealistic expectations, I have personally experienced how overuse of social media has decreased my productivity, negatively impacted my self-esteem, and triggered negative thoughts and emotions. At one point, I really think that I was addicted to it because it was the first thing I looked at in the morning and the last thing my eyes saw before I went to sleep. My husband would constantly make me aware that I seemed to never be able to put down my phone for longer than a few minutes before picking it up again to see what new notifications popped up on my screen. Yeah, I was addicted, but thank God I was able to break the habit.
Since implementing mandatory social media breaks into my schedule, I can see how much better I feel about myself and the world around me as well as how much more productive I am. There is something so refreshing about taking time away from being immersed in a space where there are so many opinions, staged photos, and reasons for comparison. It’s nice to spend time in the real world and work on making my reality the best it can be as opposed to trying to convince strangers on the internet that I’m worthy of their likes and engagement or battling an algorithm to give my platform the attention it has earned. I’ve found it to be so necessary to schedule time to be my own cheerleader and confidence booster. I have especially learned that beginning my day with prayer is much more beneficial than letting the world enter my mind before I talk to God and take care of myself.
If you spend a great deal of time on social media and find yourself feeling anxious, disturbed, stressed, sad, and/or depressed without being able to explain why, you may need to take a break from social media to see if that relieves some of your symptoms. While on your break, I encourage you to read books that inspire you, listen to music, podcasts, and speeches that uplift your spirit, talk with friends and family who love you, and write down your thoughts, feelings, and goals in a journal. If you use social media for business, you may feel like you’ll miss out on an opportunity by not being present. From personal experience, I can tell you that you won’t miss anything that’s truly meant for you when you’re getting your mind, heart, and spirit together. And the truth is, it will be difficult to win on and off social media if you’re struggling mentally and emotionally. I highly suggest that you choose you first.
For more tips and strategies for gaining and maintaining a winning mindset, read my book: She Wins!.