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Blog Mental Health

Quitting Social Media

writtenByWritten by: Melani Facundo
Melani Facundo

Melani Facundo

Melani is the Social Media Manager at PlushCare who believes in better access to healthcare and breaking the mental health stigma. In her free time, she enjoys making charcuterie and cheese boards, getting lost at Trader Joe’s, and cooking.

Read more posts by this author.

December 29, 2020 Read Time - 7 minutes

How to Quit Social Media

Do you seem to be losing hours every day to social media? Are you worried that you’re spending too much time on it and that you should quit it altogether? How do you even go about giving up social media? Here’s what you need to know to quit.

Top 7 Tips For Quitting Social Media

Are you ready to take your life back? Here are some tips for quitting social media:

  • Delete all your social media apps from your phone. If you aren’t ready to give up social media completely, you can still access the sites from your computer, but taking them off your phone should help limit how much time you spend on social media.
  • Leave all electronic devices out of your bedroom. Find something to do before bed that doesn’t involve a screen, like reading a book or exercising, and invest in an old-fashioned alarm clock if you rely on your phone as an alarm.
  • Shut off your phone – or at least social media notifications – during school, work, eating, spending time with other people, or performing activities that require your full attention.
  • Only allow yourself a certain amount of time on social media each day, and use a timer to know when it’s time to switch it off.
  • Find a hobby not related to technology, such as art, sports, cooking, reading, and more.
  • Spend time with friends and family in person when and how it’s safe, using social distancing measures if appropriate. 
  • Seek professional help. A licensed therapist can help you quit and stay off social media if you’re struggling to do it on your own. It’s important to know that it’s ok to ask for help and that your odds of success and finding happiness go up when you get a mental health professional involved.
  • Browse our network of top therapist to find one that matches your needs.

  • Get private and secure emotional support weekly from your dedicated therapist.

  • Experience comprehensive care with unlimited access to your care team and primary care physician.

Talk to an Online Therapist PlushCare-App-Steps

Signs of Social Media Addiction

How can you tell the difference between social media addiction and just enjoying the time you spend on your favorite sites? Here are some signs that you may be addicted to social media:

  • Using social media to cope with problems
  • Negative effects on work or school from spending too much time on social media rather than other tasks
  • Using social media while doing other activities like eating or spending time with others
  • Thinking about social media so much that it’s the first thing you check as soon as you have the time
  • Irritability or restlessness when you aren’t on social media
  • Anger when you reduce your use of social media
  • The inability to cease social media use

Read: Social Media Addiction


Downsides of Social Media Addiction

Are you looking for reasons to quit social media? Here are some of the downsides of social media addiction and how it can affect your mental health:

  • Increases loneliness and isolation
  • Contributes to low self-esteem
  • May cause social anxiety disorder
  • Can disrupt your sleep
  • May lead to decreased work performance or grades
  • Reduced ability to empathize with others
  • Can cause symptoms of anxiety and depression
  • Leads to decreased physical activity
  • Ignoring relationships in the “real” world
  • Fear of missing out (FOMO)

Mental Health Benefits of Quitting Social Media

Quitting social media can have many benefits. Here are the top three reasons to quit social media.

Improved Self-Esteem

Social media can make you feel like you don’t stack up to other people. People tend to post their “highlight reels” of the best parts of their life, and filters and professional photographers make everybody look better than they do in real life. When you don’t have constant reminders of other people’s success – without also seeing their failures – you can start to feel better about yourself.

Improved Mood and Happiness

Numerous studies have shown that social media can negatively affect your well-being and life satisfaction. There is also a strong link between social media use and symptoms of depression. If you aren’t constantly battered with all the good things other people seem to have in their lives, it’s easier to feel happy about your own life.

Sleep

One-third of adults don’t get enough sleep, and spending too much time on social media is one big influencing factor. Additionally, the glow from smartphones and other electronic devices can alter your circadian rhythm and make it harder to fall asleep and stay asleep. 

  • Browse our network of top therapist to find one that matches your needs.

  • Get private and secure emotional support weekly from your dedicated therapist.

  • Experience comprehensive care with unlimited access to your care team and primary care physician.

Talk to an Online Therapist PlushCare-App-Steps

Frequently Asked Questions

What Happens When You Quit Social Media?

Here are some things, both positive and negative, that you might experience when you quit social media:

  • A few days of anxiety. Using social media releases dopamine, a feel-good chemical in your brain. When you stop getting as much dopamine, it can take a few days for your brain to adjust, and you may feel anxiety.
  • Reduced stress. While using social media releases dopamine, it also releases cortisol, the stress hormone. When you stop using social media, you’ll feel less stressed.
  • Increased productivity. Whether it’s work, homework, or a creative pursuit, you will have more time and attention for other activities and be more productive.
  • Improved sleep. Endlessly scrolling through your favorite app before bedtime can take away time from your sleep schedule. Keeping your phone and other electronics out of the bedroom can help improve your sleep.

Does Quitting Social Media Make You Happier?

Studies suggest that many people are happier after quitting social media, but only you can know if quitting social media will make you happier. You must weigh the pros and cons of your social media use to figure out if quitting would improve your quality of life.

You can also try using different social media apps and ditching others that may be hurting your mental health. Even just unfollowing certain accounts and following others that may bring you more happiness can be a great start. If you’ve tried to restructure your social media use and it hasn’t improved your life, try ditching it all together for a few weeks and see how you feel.

Why Is Quitting Social Media so Hard? 

When you use social media, your brain releases dopamine, a chemical that makes you feel good. Every like, comment, or share you get makes you feel happy. When you no longer have those constant dopamine releases, you can feel anxious or depressed. Those feelings should go away within a few days of quitting social media.

  • Browse our network of top therapist to find one that matches your needs.

  • Get private and secure emotional support weekly from your dedicated therapist.

  • Experience comprehensive care with unlimited access to your care team and primary care physician.

Talk to an Online Therapist PlushCare-App-Steps

Get Help Quitting Social Media

If you’re struggling with social media addiction, therapy may be able to help. Now, you don’t need to leave your house to talk to a qualified therapist. PlushCare is offering convenient and affordable online therapy. For only $65 per session, billed monthly, you get a weekly 45-minute video appointment with a licensed therapist.

Not sure if online therapy is right for you? You can set up a free 15-minute consultation with a top therapist by calling 1-800-690-1562 or emailing [email protected] Ready to book an appointment? Click here, call (888)798-0620, or download the PlushCare App.


Read More on Social Media and Mental Health


Sources

Cleveland Clinic. Is it Possible to Become Addicted to Social Media? Accessed on December 21, 2020 at https://health.clevelandclinic.org/is-it-possible-to-become-addicted-to-social-media/

PubMed. Problematic social media use and depressive symptoms among U.S. young adults: A nationally-representative study. Accessed on December 21, 2020 at https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28446367/

SCL Health. The Pros and Cons of Quitting Social Media. Accessed on December 21, 2020 at https://www.sclhealth.org/blog/2018/10/quitting-social-media/

journals.plos.org. Facebook Use and Mental Decline. Accessed December 29, 2020 https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0069841&mbid=synd_msnhealth

Most PlushCare articles are reviewed by M.D.s, Ph.Ds, N.P.s, nutritionists and other healthcare professionals. Click here to learn more and meet some of the professionals behind our blog. The PlushCare blog, or any linked materials are not intended and should not be construed as medical advice, nor is the information a substitute for professional medical expertise or treatment. For more information click here.

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