Social media can be a blessing. It's a great way to meet new people, form new connections and relationships, and gain access to opportunities. However, there's also the other side of social media that can do a number on your mental health - especially in the holiday season.
Why Social Media is especially damaging during the holidays
There's a lot of highlight reels on display on Social Media. From people taking endless vacations to people announcing their next big funding for their project, others take the perfect photos with their well-behaved toddler, who seems never to throw a tantrum. I'm generally happy for people, and I, too, have contributed to the highlight reels. However, consuming this stuff too much can be very damaging to your mental health - especially during the holidays.
The holidays are filled with bright lights, happy faces, warm smiles, etc. and while that can bring hope and optimism, it can also bring about a lot of jealousy and envy and even worse, self-doubt. "Why don't I have a perfect life? Why don't I have a giant Christmas tree? Why can't I afford a holiday trip to Aruba." You certainly don't need to consume all of that.
Why you need to take time off social media this holiday
1.) What others are doing with their lives is none of your business
I know you're tempted to see what everyone is up to but let me make something extra clear to you, "it's none of your business"! How a total stranger who you've never met before is spending their holiday season is frankly not something you need to be worrying yourself over. Nothing they do has any correlation with your current reality. Stop obsessing over them. And honestly, nothing has changed. It's still lights, trees, and ugly sweaters. You wouldn't be missing out on much.
2.) Use this time to connect with the real people in your life instead
We get so caught up in *keeping up with the Kardashians* that we hardly have any more time to *keep up with family*. When was the last time you called your cousin? A dear friend? Someone you know in real life? All that energy we spend keeping up with strangers online can be redirected to the people in our lives who actually need us. This was a really tough year for many. I guarantee you that there's someone in your life who will be happy to hear from you.
3.) Put your phone down and REST
You may not realize how much physical and mental energy you expend when you scroll through Instagram feeds and Twitter feeds. Hint: It's a LOT. You owe it to yourself to truly rest. Not rest with your phone in hand, liking Instagram photos aimlessly but rest with your phone down and doing what you love. 2020 was hard for so many. You deserve some brainless relaxation, so you feel more empowered for 2021. Just... REST.
4.) You might save some money
With the holidays come gift guides, buy this now, ramped up Instagram ads, and so on. Do you *really* need another pair of colorful stockings? Just because it is on sale for $9.99? No, you do not! You already worked through your giving list and are already buying the things you can afford, and if that's nothing, I'm sure your loved ones will understand too. It was a tough year. So resist the temptation to splurge or give in to Instagram holiday ads. Put that money to better use, which only you truly know, not Mark Zuckerberg.
5.) You deserve a distraction-free holiday
I ever went on Instagram thinking, "oh, I'll just spend 10 minutes and then log off," and hours pass, and you realize you've been there for three hours. That's three hours that you'll never get back. This holiday season, opt for a truly distraction-free time. Your mental health will thank you for it.