Have you ever felt weighed down by what you see on social media? Have you ever logged off feeling suddenly in a funk? Sometimes it seems like everything we see on social media is negative, other times our news feed is strangely aligned with our hobbies and interests. Either way, it’s easy to get sucked in to comparing ourselves to others, knowing way too much about people we aren’t actually friends with, or mindlessly wasting time. So maybe, it’s time for a break.
One of our friends at Sozo, Linda Tate, told us about the 99 Days of Freedom movement that she recently joined. The 99 Days of Freedom is simply a 99 day break from facebook. Through taking this break, the average person got back 28 hours of their precious time and had a new sense of joy and happiness in their life. The movement started as a response to Facebook’s mood experiment of 2012 where Facebook manipulated the emotional content of their user’s newsfeeds and tested their emotional response. They found wildly successful results showing that the “mood” of our social media has the power to change our mood and the emotional content that we post and share. Who knew social media was so powerful, even after we logged off?
Whether you join the 99 Days of Freedom or do your own version of a social media fast, it’s important to be aware of what you are consuming. Much like your body, your mind needs proper nutrition to grow and become more stress resistant. Consuming mind “junk food” is at best mind numbing, but more and more research is showing that people who spend more time on social media are more prone to anxiety and depression.
It is important to recognize that what we consume affects us on some level no matter what it is, food, drinks, books, conversations, relationships, the news…etc. I’m not against social media. It can be a powerful tool to connect to your community and keep in touch with loved ones. I am, however, against the abuse of social media. In order to cultivate a balanced, healthy life, be mindful of what you expose yourself to and how much time you spend doing it.