It’s easy to feel overwhelmed by social media. With all the different kinds of accounts we can have, the way we can rely on the number of likes and comments we get, and the tendency we have to compare ourselves to others about what we post, social media can heighten feelings of anxiety and/or depression. It doesn’t help that people sometimes endlessly scroll through their social media during depressive episodes or times of increased anxiety, because that’s really all their brains have the energy to do.
One piece of advice that’s usually given to handle the mental health and social media balance is to try going off the grid. Some people delete all their apps, deactivate, and remove themselves completely from social media. This can work, but because of how much we use technology and social media today, it could lead to feelings of FOMO, which then in turn can also trigger feelings of anxiety and/or depression.
If you don’t want to completely remove yourself from social media however (and that’s completely understandable – social media is a major part of everyday life now), there are still a few other options you can try if you either want to cut down your social media use or make it a space that you feel less anxious in.
For example, you can Marie Kondo your feed. Look at some of the accounts or people you follow and see if they make you inspired or happy when seeing their content, or if they do the opposite and make you feel bad about yourself for any reason. If it’s the latter, then maybe it’s best to unfollow them. Some sites also have tools that let you mute or silence accounts so you don’t see any of their content on the explore page or if others you follow share their content.
Another method is deciding which social media accounts are worth having. Instead of going completely off of the grid, you can temporarily deactivate or permanently delete accounts that you don’t use as often or feel like don’t contribute anything to you. It could be that old Facebook account that you haven’t touched or a twitter account that makes you feel overwhelmed with the amount of discourse that always seems to appear. According to a report about teen social media use in the UK, nearly 1 in 5 teenagers have removed certain social media apps. It’s not uncommon to either give this a trial run to see if you can do without some accounts, and you can always add it back if you do find joy in it.
You don’t have to be limited to these options, of course. Regardless, everyone has a way to find a balance in their social media use.
Have you ever removed or deactivated a social media account? What kind of account was it? Why? How did you feel after doing so?