For many parents a timeout is something they issue their children with after they have thrown a tantrum or answered back. It involves being quiet in a place where people are not interacting with you until you learn the error of your ways. With this in mind I’m asking… Do You Need a Social Media Timeout?
In a society obsessed with social media, a society that sends 500 million tweets per day and has nearly 1.5 billion active Facebook users do we need to take a social media timeout? Read on and if you can identify with more than one it might be time to step back.
You photograph everything
Be honest now, that pretty desert you made at the weekend… did you arrange it so that it would look nice for your Instagram, Pinterest or Facebook? The flowers that you bought at the weekend… did you take a few photos of them before deciding on the most flattering one? Most importantly do you gage your attractiveness by the number of likes your photos get when you upload them to your social media sites? If the answer is yes you may need to take a timeout!
You know too much about your connections.
How much do you know about your social media connections and do you know it purely from social media? If you have not met a connection but still know his daily routine then you might be spending too much time online. Ironically social media gives us a false sense of friendship and the most social users are often the most disconnected from reality and 3D friends. Make sure you allocate time for your real friends.. real time away from social media and real friends as in the ones you can actually meet and chat with.
You don’t feel like you measure up
Scrolling through social media feeds can quickly leave us feeling inadequate. This is because social media users generally post the good things (or fake things) online and omit the sad or depressing stuff. Your friends will not be telling the world that he is overdrawn in his bank account or that he just got fired. Instead you hear about promotions, new cars, holidays, weddings… it’s enough to make anyone feel inadequate… if they pay too much attention to it. Keep it real by remembering that you are only seeing 5% of the story and by living your own experiences offline.
Your lifestyle is affected
Since the advent of Smartphones social media has taken over our lives in a big way. Many of us sleep less that we used to whilst others do not talk to family instead favouring a scroll through their social media feeds. Dinner times are interrupted, children and pets receive less attention and real life people suffer… it’s serious stuff. If you can identify with this factor then for sure you need a timeout. Ask yourself if social media is really worth sacrificing your family, health and happiness for?
How To Take A Timeout
- Start by cutting down on your social media usage gradually. If you normally spend 3 hours each day checking your networks then stick to 2.5
- Make time for real 3D people and don’t pass up invites in favour of staying home online.
- Declare a social media amnesty amongst family and friends for at least an hour when you are together. Agree to all turn phones off for that time so you can really connect with one another.