Did the Facebook, Instagram outage have you on edge? 6 signs you need to unplug

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While many rely on social media to stay connected with friends and run our business, some of us turn to our apps without really knowing what we’re looking for.

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Facebook, Facebook Messenger, Instagram and WhatsApp experienced shutdown Today And Monday, with the Monday outage One of the longest in Facebook history Exploiting our dependence on social media.

“I haven’t been on Facebook for years and don’t remember it at all but today I found out that Instagram has an ironclad on me,” tweeted Said Jones, author of Outage.

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Others found joy in taking a break.

“With Instagram being a holiday, I haven’t known so much joy (and being so productive) in a long time. Stay down IG honestly, we don’t miss you!” User @MisterPreda tweeted.

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Some celebrities felt the same way.

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Hayley Williams, lead singer of alternative rock band Paramore, announced instagram On Friday, after nearly 17 years of social media use, she will no longer use any of her personal accounts.

“I just don’t want it anymore,” Williams wrote. “I know for certain that my desire to move away from personal accounts (yes, even my finstas) is nothing more than my interest in maintaining a boundary between public and private life and viewing and based on spending more time looking outside, rather than down.”

Others were ahead of the curve. Singer Lana Del Rey deactivated her social media accounts last month People. In an Instagram video announcing the hiatus, she said the move was inspired by current projects “that require privacy and transparency.”

“For now, I think I’m going to keep my circle a little closer and continue to develop some other skills and interests,” Del Rey said. “Again, I’m always here making a lot of records and, in the meantime, living life. So, I really enjoyed sharing all these little things with you, and I’m really blessed.”

26 on January, Pamela Anderson Shared her “last post on Instagram, Twitter (and) Facebook.” On February 2, Elon Moscow announced Told his 48.3 million followers that he was going “off Twitter for a while”. “Bachelorette” star Rachel Lindsay deactivated her Instagram account on February 27, while Alec Baldwin deactivated his Twitter account on March 4 because it didn’t deserve the “rigor.”

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Experts say we can all try to take a page out of their playbook.

While social media has its benefits — such as building networks and keeping in touch with others — too much time on these platforms has been linked to depression, anxiety, and stress, Dr. Shahla Modir, Chief Medical Officer. All Points North Lodge, an addiction treatment center.

Modir says some people may develop an unhealthy relationship with social media platforms and begin to internalize “likes” by making a connection between online reactions and their self-esteem.

In Anderson’s post, he described his liberating experience of stepping away from the screen.

“I am free,” she wrote. “Hope you find the strength and motivation to pursue your purpose and try not to waste time.”

Digital Wellness Expert Mark Ostach says he encourages people to “think about the subtle levels of digital trauma that exist when you check your social media in the middle of a conversation or just before going to bed,” including political Including digesting things like polarizing headlines or painful posts about a friend. Health. “It happens at a moment’s notice, and I believe it’s causing some low-level trauma about what we think and how we feel.”

So how do you know if it’s time for you to deactivate Instagram, Twitter or Facebook? We asked experts to take note of the signs to look for and how to form healthier habits with social media.

Signs it’s time to take a social media break

If you’re comparing yourself to others online

“FOMO (fear of missing out) can trigger feelings of anxiety,” Modir explains. “People who exist are interpreted as their real life, not their ‘reel life’.” If users are spending too much time online on social media sites, it can be difficult to keep perspective on what real life is like.”

If you are forcefully checking your phone

Modir says a warning sign is checking your “information and messages every hour in a way that affects your engagements, business or social interactions.”

“‘Liking’ can be very addictive, causing a dopamine hit in the brain of feel-good chemicals that reinforce similar behavioral and compulsive checks,” she says.

If your real life conversations are getting worse

Modir says this can come in the form of “a decrease in social interaction with friends and family in favor of social media engagement” or that people in your life “complain about your use of social media that limit social interaction.” interfering.”

Ostach says another indicator is if your conversations start to become dependent on social media, which involves finding yourself “recycling news headlines in your conversations.”

“It’s often like, ‘I read on Facebook today,’ or ‘I saw this on Instagram today. He explains. “It’s almost jeopardizing our ability to think for ourselves and just develop our own casual, organic interactions.”

If you wake up (or fall asleep) you’re feeling

Another sign, according to Ostach, is “when you worry about what you saw on social media at night”. It is often associated with late night “doom scrolling”, which he describes as a “terrible habit that often leads to night terrors or a disturbed night’s sleep.”

Modiir adds that the late night social media engagement that disrupts your sleep schedule is also a sign that it may be time to set some boundaries with your device.

If you start seeing yourself as negative

Germaine Graves, a licensed clinical professional counselor based in Washington, D.C., says it’s time to take a break when social media causes someone to “see themselves in a negative light, leading to worthlessness, frustration or Feelings of depression arise.”

If you feel more anxious, sad or lonely using social media

“Social media can trigger competitive emotions, which cause anxiety in the user, leaving them to feel that they need to meet the social expectations of the people they follow, which are unrealistic.” And can be based on imagination,” Modir says.

Benefits of unplugging from social media

“Unplugging allows people to be more aware and present in their real lives by leaving out new hobbies and opportunities for self-care,” Modir says. “Disconnecting can also improve sleep and productivity because you’ll reduce distraction and blue light exposure.”

Ostach says he equates social media consumption to food consumption, encouraging people to be mindful of the “digital calories” they are consuming throughout the day.

“You wouldn’t eat three donuts, a cheeseburger and drink Coca-Cola before bed, so why are you scrolling in bed, sometimes eating empty digital calories?” There are “healthy digital calories,” he said, which include sending someone an encouraging message or leaving a comment that demonstrates support and compassion.

Ways to find a healthy balance with social media

be mindful of your consumption

Ostach says a good first step is to “take an inventory of the habits and rhythms of your day” and try to find “striking the balance of our physical realities and our virtual realities.”

If you’re stuck at screens all day, Oustach advises you to “make sure you take a walk outside or include some exercise.”

choose a time

“One way to create boundaries could be as simple as checking in on social media for a specific time of day[and]time monitoring built into social media apps,” she says.

Graves suggests limiting your time on social media to 2 hours a day.

say no to notification

“Turning off notifications so they don’t pop up and distract the user throughout the day can be helpful,” Modir says.

take digital fast

Ostach suggests staying away from your screen for at least 1 hour a day.

If you want to set a bigger limit for yourself, Modir suggests “removing all social media apps from one’s smartphone and limiting them to an external source like an iPad that limits access to a specific amount of time.”

no sleep-time screen

“End your digital day an hour before bed,” Oustach says. Modir suggests turning off your phone two hours before bedtime and keeping it on all night.

Get out

Ostach says that the movement to lead a healthy life is a core feature, which is not achieved through the use of social media. “I’ve heard ‘scrolling is the new smoking’ or ‘sitting is the new smoking’.” They’re just clever ways of saying, boy, do we spend a lot of time sitting and scrolling. How do we get back to what our bodies need?” he says.

make eye contact

Ostach recommends truly connecting with others in conversation, “which is a sign that you’re fully present with who you’re with, as opposed to half-listening as you scroll through your feed. “

Have a Break Plan in Mind

Ostach says that if we don’t have a plan our break from social media will “quickly return and we’ll find ourselves back in scrolling”.

He suggests replacing it with something meaningful, including a hobby, quality time with family, or work.

Contributions: Sydney Henderson, Edward Segarra

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