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6 Ways To Limit Social Media Use

Analysis by Dr. Joseph Mercola

If you’re feeling a little down and you don’t know what to do about it, try staying away from your social media platforms for the better share of your day. More specifically, limit social media to just 10 minutes a day per platform, or just 30 minutes total, and your feelings of well-being will improve, KSAT 12 reports that a new study with undergraduate students found.

We truly are a generation zapped, when you count the WiFi the majority of us use to access our social media accounts. The WiFi alone has risk factors that include fertility problems, cancer dangers and sleep loss, just to name a few. Then, add in the stress — and, yes, I mean stress — that social media brings on and it’s no wonder so many of us are feeling unwell, both physically and mentally.

When it comes to social media, many previous studies have shown that social media, for all its connectedness, can make you feel isolated and lonely. Facebook is just one example: Every month, 1.65 billion people actively use this social media site, spending on average 50 minutes a day on it. But that’s just an average — some people (teens, especially) spend hours a day checking updates and posts, which could be highly stressful in and of itself.

On the flip side, in a study of more than 1,000 people in Denmark, investigators found that taking just a one-week break from Facebook resulted in significantly higher levels of life satisfaction and improved emotional life. What’s most interesting is that studies have shown that, conversely, most people expect to feel better when they visit Facebook, but they end up feeling worse.

Part of this is due to a feeling of having wasted time, according to a Computers in Human Behavior study, which also found Facebook activity (but not internet browsing) is associated with a dampened mood. Add in all the other social media you may be tapping, from Twitter to Snapchat and more, and you certainly have a recipe for overwhelming feelings of sadness.

Fortunately, if you’re feeling stressed, depressed or lonely and want to break out of this cycle, you can. Here’s a checklist to start with — oh, and it works for teens too!

  • Don’t allow cellphones at the dinner table
  • Turn off your electronic devices when visiting or chatting with someone
  • Turn off notifications for social media apps — permanently
  • Make a vow to check email only once a day
  • Take a break from all social media for a week
  • Once you’re back, make up your mind to spend no more than 30 minutes a day, total, on social media