It’s that time of year again when we contemplate our lives and vow to make positive changes. Whether you formally make resolutions or not, consider taking a social media break, or just reduce your time online.
Need to be convinced to spend less time on Facebook and Twitter? Read on; we have some really great reasons for you.
Reasons to Take a Social Media Break
1. Fake News - While 2016 may be remembered as the “Year of Fake News,” the problem of propaganda has existed long before the founding of social networks. But social media by its very nature is superficial and ephemeral, something on which the bias of fake news relies. You should be wary of depending only on Facebook and other social networks for your news. Not only is it bad for you, but it’s also bad for our nation and the world.
2. Echo Chamber Effect - Too often with our social networks we are preaching to the choir, and vice versa. Not only are you selecting who, and who not to follow, but sites like Facebook feed you a steady diet of stuff they know you already like. It’s easy to think that people and the world look, act, think, and feel like you. But, as we all know, the world is way more complex and nuanced. Get out of your comfort zone.
3. It Makes You Feel Bad - Studies have shown connections between social media use and self-esteem, depression, and general malaise. Whether it's the comparison to other people's "perfect" Instagram photostream to the endless parade of celebrity deaths on Facebook this year, social networks can be a real downer. Researchers at the University of Pittsburgh found three times the incidence of depression among the most active users of social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter.
4. Oversharing - Not only can oversharing be a bad move for your career, but it can also wreak havoc on your personal life, too. Do your family and friends really appreciate being included in your overshares? Probably not. When you reduce your time on social media, you are less likely to make wrong-headed over sharing decisions.
5. Lack of Sleep - Studies have revealed that your Facebook compulsion is contributing to your lack of sleep. Checking social media right before and after sleep? If so, then yes, you probably aren’t getting enough sleep.
6. Trolls - The Internet used to be cool, but then trolls happened. According to a 2014 Pew study, 73 percent of adult Internet users have witnessed online harassment and 40 percent have personally experienced it. Do you need that kind of negativity in your life?
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