Do you spend mindless minutes – or even hours – endlessly scrolling through your Twitter, Facebook and Instagram timelines?
Witnessing nothing but tanned girls, beautiful sunsets and picture-perfect smoothie bowls? Yeah, us too.
It can leave you feeling more than a little deflated, inadequate and even frustrated at your own life, contributing to an overall feeling of discontentment. According to one study, Facebook creates frustration in users, as it encourages them to not only compare themselves socially to their peers, but to also feel dissatisfaction at a ‘lack of attention’ in the form of comments and likes.
Add to this a deluge of wellness ‘experts’ preaching that the answer to all of your problems lie at the bottom of a green smoothie and a can-do attitude, and you can see how navigating your way through all the wellness BS can be, quite frankly, exhausting.
If it starts to make you feel rubbish about your own life and your own achievements, it’s time to put the iPhone down.
Used this way, your phone simply becomes a portal to a deep, dark well of comparison that is drowning your self-esteem. The comparison game is no fun for anyone involved; as Theodore Roosevelt so wisely said, ‘comparison is the thief of joy’. Comparing yourself to others is not adding anything good to your life – in fact it encourages you to forget about all the good things you already have.
You must, must, MUST remember that people only choose to show the glitziest, most glamorous snippets of their lives on social media. Each post is not an accurate representation of their entire day; it’s just a tiny portion of it, and usually it’s a heavily edited, pseudo version of reality.
Whilst social media may distract us from the moments of boredom in our own lives, it doesn’t function to fill that void; it simply widens it.
So what can we do to avoid social media ruining our lives?
Accept that the posts you see on social media do not accurately represent real life. Be happy for the people behind the accounts you follow, but also acknowledge that everyone has ‘bad’ days; no one jumps out of bed every morning like a bundle of positive joy, radiating a big smile (most of us need copious amounts of caffeine before even passing as a functioning human being). Acknowledge that sometimes everyone’s smoothies look more like pond water than vibrant green unicorn juice – they just don’t show them.
Turning off your phone may seem like a foreign concept to the typical millennial, but the benefits of switching off from the social world can be magnificent. If the idea of turning your phone off completely is too much to bear just now, try to stop looking at it for an hour before you go to bed. Read a book, practice meditation or soak yourself in a long hot bath. Whatever makes you happy in the real world, do it.
Get comfortable with boredom
Sounds weird, right? But accepting that boredom is a part of everyday life can actually be good for the soul. Being comfortable with breaks in your day where you’re not visually stimulated or juggling a zillion things at once gives you time to be in the present and just breathe. Yoga is a really great way of building on this practice. Try Yoga with Adrienne if you’re a newbie (I love this woman!).
Leave your phone at home and venture out into the real world. Listen to the different sounds, breathe in the different smells and take in your surroundings. Making a conscious effort to be mindful and live in the moment helps to reconnect you with the reality that’s all around you.
How do you take a break from social media?