When to take a social media break

Recently, many people have expressed anxiety over the digital bombardment of their electronic devices with news and information about everything COVID-19-related as well as election campaigning.

Some people may feel tied to their devices which can cause anxiety when constantly being bombarded by negative information.

Every hour they say the numbers of infected peoples seem to inch up and some people seem to take great delight in sharing the data to your phone whether you asked them to or not. Some people appreciate the updates but some cannot mentally handle it as it speaks to their personal fears and issues and so have requested that friends and family stop sharing; have blocks the individuals who keep spreading the news or have simply turned off their phones.

It may not seem like a big issue but there are people who cannot handle any form of bad news and so round the clock information about infected persons and death tolls from corona plus other negative news can send them into a tailspin. Old time people used to say “what is joke to you is death to me” and there have been instances when upon hearing tragic or shocking news, people have fainted or worse. We have to be mindful that though sharing is caring, we do not traumatise people in the process. Hence images or videos of the dead, car accidents, shootings and the like should have a disclaimer or warning before being broadcast even on social media.

Allow yourself to take a break from social media if you are feeling overwhelmed by the information you are consuming there.

One should take a break from social media if you are feeling overwhelmed, anxious or depressed. If certain news or images evoke a negative reaction, that is telling you to put down the phone and go make yourself some coffee or tea and just clear your head. Breaks are great as they can recalibrate you psychologically and give you a chance to breathe in the midst of all that is happening around you.

You can also turn off your data or your Wi-Fi at night and let your phone just be. Hearing the constant pinging may also be an issue for some as even if you do not read a bunch of messages, knowing that there are there can also increase your anxiety. At least once a week, you can opt out of perusing social media. Set a predetermined date and just log out of your Twitter, Facebook and Instagram accounts and find a nice movie on Netflix or do what people used to do before social media – read a book.