It’s now a known fact that too much time on social media promotes mental health issues such as depression and anxiety. Yet, we scroll endlessly and mindlessly nearly every hour of every day, as though we are on autopilot.
Amongst all social media platforms, Instagram is reportedly the worst for mental health due to the photos on your feed and it’s easy to see why that is.
When everybody else’s life looks seemingly perfect on your feed, it doesn’t take much for you to compare your own life to theirs and this triggers self-disdain.
Recognising these issues, an increasing amount of social media users are now advocates of digital detoxes to clear their mind and take a breather from being slaves to their smartphone.
If you aren’t ready to go completely off the radar just yet, here are five ways you can get started, slowly but surely:
1. Hide your app – This seems pointless at first, but it really does work. Make it harder for yourself to open the app by removing it from your home page on the smartphone. It then takes more effort for you to open the app, and in many cases, Instagram doesn’t even come to mind because you don’t see it. Magic!
2. Disable your notifications – Avoid the app from prompting you to open it every time someone uploads a new photo by turning off your notifications completely. It’s distracting and fuels anxiety in more ways than one. Keep to a minimum the chances for Instagram to draw your attention to your phone.
3. Allocate scrolling time – Set yourself some rules about scrolling through Instagram. It could be 10 minutes every two hours or 15 minutes every other hour. Once this is done, you will realise how much time is actually wasted on social media. Put your time to better use!
4. Be mindful about your engagement – When you are on Instagram, do not double-tap like there is no tomorrow. Be conscious of your footprint on the app when you like or comment on a post. Do you just do it automatically, or do you truly enjoy the aesthetics of the photo?
5. Don’t be afraid to unfollow – Instagram can get very overwhelming from time to time. Should there be accounts that make you feel unworthy or less about yourself, unfollow immediately. You can also mute someone’s Stories if you have to. Yes, you may be friends, but he or she is doing no good to your mental health, do yourself a favour and put an end to it.
You’ll thank us later!