Facebook went offline this week. Experts say we should log out, too

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We lived to tell the story. But how did we feel about the process?

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When people can’t scroll and post as they usually do, Kerner said they can become bored and vulnerable to difficult emotions and stresses — sometimes without knowing how to cope.

“People find that they are alone with their own thoughts. And they are kind of a little stranger to themselves. Before social media, I think we were better at ourselves, finding ways to engage ourselves. Stay tuned and stay curious,” Kerner said.


a sense of relief

He said the collective nature of the outage had some of Kerner’s customers feeling free.

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“People definitely have a fear of missing out,” Kerner explained. He added that losing or breaking a phone or having a phone die can cause panic among people, as it prevents them from knowing what is happening and being connected to others.

“In contrast, the outage provided a great sense of relief, because everyone was experiencing it. So people didn’t feel alone or isolated or panicked,” Kerner told Granthshala.

Therapist John Duffy reported similar conversations with his clients on Monday.

“Once people realized, ‘Oh, these networks are almost all closed,’ there was this bizarre, but very clear sense of relief. The feeling was ‘I have nothing with which to live. I’m not missing anyone. Even out on the thing,'” Duffy told Granthshala.

During the outage, “people realized the importance of real-time face-to-face relationships and the relative emptiness of a connection that happens entirely through Facebook or Instagram,” he said.

Duffy said customers who expressed relief during the outage took concrete steps to connect with others in real life. “Took a friend out for coffee. The other took a walk with a friend,” he said.

Some have turned away from the experience that their fear of missing out was unreasonable, and could approach apps with more restraint.

“I think some of us realized yesterday, ‘I’m too involved and invested in social media in my life,'” Duffy said. People felt that “I might just check it once or twice a day instead of 20 or 30 times a day.”

social media and mind

Most people are guilty of spending too much time scrolling and posting.

According to Pew Research Center 2021, seven out of 10 adult Facebook users in the US say they visit the site at least once a day, and 49% visit the site multiple times a day. statistics. Some 59% of people visit Instagram at least once a day, while 38% visit multiple times daily.

But if some of us felt relieved when social networking apps went quiet for a while, why is it so hard to stop checking our feeds so often?

Anna Lembke, professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Stanford University and medical director of addiction medicine at Stanford University School of Medicine, looked to the brain for answers.

John Duffy: Instagram's serious appeal as a silent self-esteem breaker
His book In “Dopamine Nation,” she explores how an overabundance of easily accessible stimuli is affecting our brain chemistry and our happiness.

“The smartphone is the hypodermic needle of the modern day, delivering digital dopamine 24/7 for a wired generation,” Lembke wrote.

While “social media addiction” is not currently included in the “Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders,” Lembke told Granthshala that he believes social media can be a part of his clinical experience. And depending on their knowledge of human connections and dopamine release can be addictive. .

“We can verify that human connections stimulate dopamine release, which is how they are reinforcing, and that anything that stimulates dopamine in the brain’s reward pathway has the potential to be addictive, Lembke explained.

“The Facebook outage was a “accidental collective experiment that hopes people will discover how addicted they have become,” Lembke said.

How to develop healthy digital habits

Therapist John Duffy said that some of his clients spend four or more hours a day on social media—up to twice that amount in some extreme cases.

“People who are most lonely on (social media) because they aren’t feeling connected. Even if they are commenting on people’s posts, even if they are messaging people Be yourself, there’s something missing in that regard. It’s really digital, and it’s not directly reciprocal,” he told Granthshala.

It's Time to Befriend Your Anxiety

For clients who could benefit from this, Duffy recommends a month-long “digital detox” to develop a more intentional relationship with social media. “The people I work with now will volunteer for a month’s cleanup to remove social media apps, news apps, and every other unnecessary app from their phones.”

“I think if people take a month’s break, they spend a third of their time on social media As a result. I also see an increase in self-worth and self-esteem, which coincides with that,” Duffy said.

Marriage and family therapist Ian Kerner often assigns his clients homework that includes curbing device use during time spent with partners and family members.

“The number one complaint that I think I hear from couples is that he’s always on his phone,” Kerner told Granthshala.

Lembke hopes the outage will “encourage people to actually plan to intentionally stay off social media, and perhaps their phones altogether, for a period of time.”

She recommends turning off social media entirely — whether that means putting selected apps or the phone away entirely — for a month, enough time for the brain’s reward pathways to reset themselves.

How to rebuild trust in your relationships

To be successful, Lembke said, it helps to plan ahead.

“You’ll probably do this together with a friend or family member, which is easier said than done alone. You’ll have some sort of message or alert or automatic response to let people know you’re offline for that period of time, so People know they don’t have to wonder where you are, what happened to you,” advises Lembke.

During the month-long break, you should plan activities to provide “an alternative source of dopamine,” such as spending time in nature.

“When people go back to using (social media), often realizing how addicted they have become, there is a motivation to use differently,” Lembke told Granthshala.

She advised that some of those changes might include eliminating alerts, switching to grayscale displays, or setting time limits or specific days of the week.

Fostering meaningful connections online and offline

All Granthshala experts emphasized how social networking tools have many positive effects on society, allowing people to stay connected to distant loved ones and emotionally during a long, exhausting, isolating pandemic. can help them to perform better.

“It’s important to say that the way these technologies allow us to be social online is very powerful and can do very well,” Lembke told Granthshala.

In addition, not all online connections are negative, just as not all real-life connections are positive, Lembke said.

“There are instances when our online connections can be more intimate, more positive, and more powerful in good ways than real-life connections. If you go to a cocktail party and have nothing but superficial conversations, it can lead to people getting confused.” Won’t feel good, either,” Lembke said.

Some struggle with social anxiety, while personal life slowly resumes, giving us the opportunity to reflect on how we interact with one another in the real world.

“As a society, we need to establish digital etiquette and a tech-free space, where we intentionally leave our phones at home and try to be genuinely present with each other in the moment in real life. ,” said Lembke.


Credit : www.cnn.com

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