Quitting social media can make you happier, a recent study suggests.
No one needs to remind you that social media can be destructive unless you use it wisely.
However, you may not realize that your unconscious bad habits when using it are damaging. They may lead you to have an unhealthy involvement with it.
Research suggests that social media makes people too dependent on the internet. Studies and surveys also reveal that those who made the decision to avoid it are much happier than their peers.
Studies Find That Those Who Quit Social Media Are Much Happier
Social media, undoubtedly, has strengths when you use it in an appropriate, balanced manner. These studies prove that taking time off Facebook and other platforms will benefit you more than you may believe.
# 1. A study by the Happiness Research Institute found that people who avoided social media for just a week were in a much better mood than before because they were present and aware. It involved two groups of people. Each group rated their lives on scales of one to ten. One group avoided social media for a week, while the other went on as usual. Those who quit social media for a week had their contentment levels rise from 7.12/10 to 8.12/10. The people that used it, as usual, had their happiness levels decrease from 7.67/10 to 7.56/10.
#2. Another study by the Pew Research Center found that people depended on social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter for news. They relied on them more than newspapers or television. Eventually, it made them more insular and less open-minded.
#3. According to researchers Hugues Sampasa-Kanyinga and Rosamund F Lewis, frequent use of social media results in poor psychological and cognitive functioning. They explored the relationship between the use of social sites and poor mental health, using high school students in Ottawa as samples. The students who reflected that they had poor mental health were more likely to have used social media platforms.
#4. Findings published in the Guildford Press Periodicals showed links between frequent Facebook use and depression. Researchers correlated Facebook logins with depressive symptoms. Participants who used it frequently showed more signs of depression than those who logged in less often.
Surveys Show the Benefits of Quitting Social Media
Guardian conducted a survey of its younger readers regarding what social media applications they were no longer using, and why. It found that youths were substituting public platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter for more private ones such as Whatsapp.
Many of them, such as 23-year-old Daisy of Manchester noted that she felt less stressed or like a failure. 17-year-old George Lincoln of Hampshire pointed out that young people are less interested in Facebook than before because it is becoming too crowded. Ben, 21, of Surrey felt that quitting Facebook helped him to maintain a more positive mindset. He no longer compared himself to his friends after reading their posts.
Reasons Quitting Social Media Means Happiness
You make your private life public when you post about it on social media. It makes you craft the image you wish to project, which can be pressurizing. Here are other reasons quitting social media can mean happiness.
1. Shaped Perspectives
Avoiding social media will make you confident about yourself. The lack of it will instill the belief that you have preserved the positive image others have of you. That alone can make you upbeat.
2. You are present
When you leave social media, you become more present to other goings-on in life. You have more time for relationships and the things to which you should give your attention.
3. You block off the negatives
Keeping the struggles of your life offline is always beneficial. Posting about them not only does not solve them but makes you fodder for unnecessary criticism from your Facebook friends.
4. Life alone should validate
If you have a high quality of life, you should feel secure. You would not need to seek validation for your achievements or relationships by posting about them. There would not be a need to prove to everyone on social media that you are valuable.
How to Use Social Media Wisely
Social media behavior matters, whether you realize it or not. People who have the capacity to affect your job, future and life can see your posts. Here are some online behaviors you should avoid.
1. Posting Private and Personal Matters
Never post private matters on social media platforms or start arguments. They always end negatively.
2. Think before you post
Be aware of what you post on your wall. Negative posts may have ramifications on your friendships or job.
3. Check your tone
Never capitalize, as it equates with yelling or screaming.
4. Monitor your friends
Do not befriend people without finding out who they are. Remember that friends can add questionable posts to your timeline.
5. Interact with respect
Have some empathy for others online. They are human beings, even if you cannot see them in the flesh. Remember that you are chatting with real people.
6. Take time off when necessary
Take time off if you are in a bad mood. Log out from all devices. Doing so will prevent you from saying something you may regret.
7. Do not share too much
Remember that others can forward your posts. Be wary of making digital mistakes.
Social media is valuable in many respects. Thoughtful use of it will allow you to reap its benefits.
By Michelle L.
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