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6 Perfect Excuses To Take It Easy On Social Media

by Talia Devora 5 months ago in social media
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Or To Not Use Social Media At All

6 Perfect Excuses To Take It Easy On Social Media
Photo by Neil Soni on Unsplash

Social media addiction is a common mental health issue that people around the world are grappling with at the moment. Social media platforms become a part of our daily lives and are useful for social, academic, employment and recreational purposes. Even though social media platforms have lots of mental, psychological and emotional health benefits, there are also many disadvantages like increased loneliness, lack of concentration, decreased social skills, obesity, etc. More and more people, especially pre-teens and teenagers are spending extra hours on social media platforms and their phones. Kids and teens' mental, physical and emotional health and academic success is deteriorating, because of the excess social media and phone usage. Even adults struggle with it and people need to find a way to "still enjoy using social media platforms and not overdo it!” I've struggled with excess social media addiction for the last several years and I'm slowly working on "reducing the amount of time I spend on social media platforms, and only using it for creative and social purposes.”

If you've had the same struggle as me or are currently struggling to break this common habit, I got your back! You're not alone in this fight to break the habit of spending long hours on social media and replacing it with more productive activities. If you need help breaking this habit, you're at the right place! Check out this basic but engaging guide to breaking the "toxic social media habit" I wrote!

1. “I’m with family and friends and I’ll be away from social media!"

By Joel Muniz on Unsplash

Spending time with friends and family is a great excuse to step away from social media. Humans are social animals and we're not meant use social media as our primary source of social networking. We're meant to physically interact with people, not talk to people on social media all the time. Enjoying peoples presence is something to appreciate and value, not throw away in the trash. Life is too short and you never know when certain people like your mom, dad, close friends and relatives are going to leave this earth, so it's better to enjoy every moment you have with them. There is nothing more special and precious than spending time with people physically.

If you're tempted to take out your phone and check your text/Instagram/Facebook messages and calls, hide it in your bag and replace it with another activity to do with the people you're hanging out with. If there's a moment where you and your friends/family happen to be hanging out and doing your own thing in the same room you're in, use that time to do productive activities like reading a book, doing crossword puzzles or write a journal entry to replace unneeded time on the phone. It works with me and it really pays off at the end!

2. “Sorry, but I’m doing some important tasks for school/work now and can’t manage to be texting all day and night.”

By Avel Chuklanov on Unsplash

If you're currently in school and/or working, I'm sure you can relate to me. For someone who is conscientious and has the desire to succeed, I need to refrain from spending time talking to people, posting or looking at pictures on social media platforms while I'm doing employment/academic-related activities. Platforms like Instagram and Facebook are quite tempting and easy to prevent me from focusing on the task at hand. For example, when I'm studying for a test or filling out a job application, I can't be on social media. It will disrupt my ability to finish the job application or properly study for a test. Instead, I take a break from social media until I'm done studying or filling out the job application.

Students and employees, this is not an easy habit to break. If you're having a tough time breaking this habit, I have your back! To increase your concentration levels, put away your phone until you're done your tasks. If your tasks are on the computer, don't log onto any social media websites until you're done. If you're using social media for academic/employment purposes like joining a study group or talking to your boss about an urgent work matter, that's a different story! If you're using social media to speak to your friend about your weekend plans, it can wait until you're tasks are done. If it helps you, replace social media with listening to music to help you focus better. If you received a message from social media, tell the person that you didn't mean to ignore them, but that you had to complete a critical task. They will understand!

3. Sorry, but I’m finishing some household chores now, so I don’t have to do much later in the evening.”

By engin akyurt on Unsplash

If you're living on your own, you know what it's like! Household chores are inevitable if you're living on your own, but you can control how you successfully complete them! Social media is an easy thing to stop you from doing your household tasks, especially if you need to complete one or two of them at a certain time. Nobody likes household chores, but we need to complete them if we want to live healthily, meaningfully and if we want to live in a sanitary environment.

If you're someone who has a tendency to go on social media instead of doing your chores, I'm sure you can understand how much of a distraction it is. If you're the kind of individual who needs constant stimulation to focus, listen to music when you're doing chores. It will help you move faster and increase your concentration levels. Social media can wait until you're done doing household chores! If someone messaged you and asked you why you didn't answer, explain to them that you can't multitask. Many people will grasp this, and unfortunately some won't. But you have to do what you need to do to make sure you're thriving!

4. “I’m not in the mood to talk! I had a difficult day and I’m not in the right headspace to talk about my issues.”

By Austin Distel on Unsplash

Anxiety interferes with my ability to interact with people. It wears me out and make me not want to associate with anyone, because I‘m afraid to offend someone if I'm in a crummy mood. It's also emotionally and mentally exhausting to live with a mental health disability, so it wears me out occasionally. Since there are moments where I become mentally and emotionally exhausted from having to deal with my anxiety problems, I try to save some time for myself. Unless I'm really in the mood to talk, I try not to engage with anyone when I'm feeling crummy, tired or upset. Depending on the person I'm interacting with at the moment, I'll typically say, "I'm kind of tired, let's chat some other time" as opposed to, "I'm not in the mood to talk". Some of my friends living with disabilities like Autism, Down Syndrome or MID (Mild Intellectual Disability), take the term, "I'm not in the mood to talk" literally and interpret it in a different way. I try to not be as abrupt, because I recognize that some of my peers with emotional and mental disabilities interpret me as being flippant when I'm really just telling them that I can't talk, because I'm not in the right state of mind.

When you're having a tough day and don't want to talk, don't be afraid to say it. Most people will understand and not take the phrase, "I'm not in the mood to talk" personally. If some people tend to take it to heart, you can tell them, "I would love to talk to you, but I've had a really hard day. Let's chat when I'm having a better day". If for whatever reason one doesn't understand you, even if you've told them softly and gently, it's their problem to worry about. You can't be responsible for everyone's happiness and social wellbeing, especially when you're not in the right state of mind.

5. “You’re bothering me and I can’t vocalize it to you.”

By Adem AY on Unsplash

I'm not afraid to admit that I've been taken advantage of multiple times by peers. Many of my friends live with various mental health disorders and developmental disabilities that affect the way they interact with and perceive others and their ways of functioning/communicating. Some of them even have a challenging time listening to and accepting one's feedbacks and boundaries. Some of them have managed to break my boundaries and become responsive when I've given them feedback that was not meant to "insult" or "attack" them. Sometimes, they would text me more than 20 times a day and I ignore them, because I can't always tell them that they're starting to get under my skin. When people push my buttons, it frustrates me and I start to have a challenging time standing up for myself. It's something I'm working on long-term. I've gotten better at understanding that people have their own issues that can't be blamed on me.

When you want to tell the person that they're bothering you but are not able to do so, wait until you're calm enough. It's better to communicate calmly as opposed to when you're tense and frustrated. Most people will understand and respect your points of view, but some unfortunately don't. However, that's not your issue to deal with. It's their issue to deal with. You have the right to set your boundaries, even if your friend(s) don't like them. This important skill will take time to master, but practice makes perfect!

6. “I’m not trying to ignore you. I’m just away from social media at the moment. I like to take breaks from it through out the day. Please don’t be offended if I don’t respond to you immediately!”

By Hello I'm Nik on Unsplash

Like I said at the beginning of this guide, I've grappled with limiting my use of social media platforms, especially at night. During the day, I even have moments in which I'll use social media more than I need to, because I feel lonely from time to time. Loneliness can be managed in ways that are healthier and don't require excess social media usage. For example, I can contact my close friends and family by text or phone, and not always message them on Instagram or Facebook. Social media is a great way to temporarily cure alienation, but it's not a permanent solution. I like to replace social media/phone time with other quiet-time hobbies like painting, reading, listening to music, crafting and drawing. It has a positive impact on my mental health and decreases my stress levels, depression, anxiety, makes me less alienated and diminishes feelings of jealousy.

To easily reduce your social media/phone usage, find some pleasant activities that give you a sense of happiness, tranquility and joy. Writing is a great one to practice, but other hobbies like playing sports, working out, cycling, reading, drawing and knitting are perfect, screen-free alternatives to keep you away from the phone. Whatever it is that gives you fulfillment, spend some time doing those instead of spending 3-4 hours on Instagram, Facebook. Set aside some time to text friends, to be on social media and to do some non-screen activities and you'll easily reduce the amount of phone time you have. You'll feel happier, calmer and less tense.

By Olesya Grichina on Unsplash

Thank you for taking the time to read another one of my Vocal guides! If you've struggled with social media addiction or are currently struggling with it, you're not alone! It's a common habit that's hard to break, especially nowadays. If you enjoyed reading this guide and found it beneficial, please give it a ❤️, share it with others and send me a tip/pledge to show your appreciation and support. To find and read more of my Vocal publications, please subscribe to me and visit my public profile. Please feel free to connect with and follow me on Instagram! Until next time!

PS: If you love using social media, don’t deprive yourselves of social media. Just use it wisely and take breaks throughout the day!

IG Account: @naturalbibliophile22

By Etienne Girardet on Unsplash

#mentalhealthishealth #socialmediaisthenewdrug #socialmediaisaddictive #useyourtimewisely #friendsandfamilyaremoreimportant #pickyourbattles #you'renotalone #thestruggleisreal #focusonyourselves #loveyourlife #boundaries #dotherightthings #loveyourselves #loveothers #healthyliving

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About the author

Talia Devora

Poetess, visual artist and lifestyle/quiz writer! My pastimes include reading, sleeping, gaming, music, fitness, etc! Be yourselves, be kind and value life! Let's connect and be friends!

My IG accounts: @tdwrites24 & @tdcreates97

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