It started with MySpace and only got worse from there. Around the world, people are integrating more and more social network platforms into their daily lives. At this point if you have any type of business or non-profit endeavor, social media isn’t a suggestion, it’s a necessity to survive and thrive.
Facebook and Twitter remain top dogs in the industry, but right behind them are Snapchat, Instagram, Viber, and Line. Each of these present their own pros and cons. For example, don’t want Facebook to take your information from private messages? Then use Line instead, it also has better stickers. Nowadays, odds are you have at least three if not all of these apps on your smartphone.
Are all those notifications on too? Then prepare to get bing after bing from your phone, a constant flood of people wanting your attention, you needing to answer this one message, but oh look! Some celebrity you follow just uploaded a doggie pick!
If you’re in the dating game, Tinder and OkCupid are definitely on there too. Therefore, not only are your friends and family able to access you anytime, but there are also strangers wanting to hear from you. The messages come, the talks begin, all the while we’re multitasking with all the other things popping up in the other apps. Being able to focus on just this one person at a time is near impossible.
With the advent of the Gmail app, our bosses can send the “super important” report thing needed finalized by next week (is it though, Kevin? IS IT THAT IMPORTANT?). We are at the beck and call of our employers even when we’re half a world away or sick in a hospital. Once upon a time, work was from 9-5 with paid overtime, not 24 hours and 365 days of a digital year.
It’s all adding up. There are surveys and studies that suggest all this social networking is stressing us all out. It wouldn’t be so bad perhaps if people were allowed to log off, but we’re getting to a point where not spending time on some app or messaging app can even cost us relationships, jobs, or create other negative consequences in real life. There is no such thing as a day off from social networking anymore.
Burnout seems a near inevitability. People are leaving Facebook, not only because of the whole selling your information to companies and corporations thing, but also due to just having enough of the whole social networking experience. It’s becoming more of a health risk to keep on it than get off of it.
How can we prevent this burnout? How can we be less stressed?
We don’t have to give it all up, we just have to set-up our social network lives so that it’s manageable for a living and breathing human. The fact is, we are people, not machines. It’s folly to try to be like one to keep with with smartphone’s demands on our time.
Like with most things in life, it all starts with small things: Turn off notifications. It might sound like social suicide, but odds are you’ll be checking your phone every hour anyway. You’re going to see the updates on your newsfeed/timeline regardless. You won’t miss anything.
Next, set up a “Do Not Disturb” timer on your phone. If you can, customize who can and cannot call or text you after a certain time at night. Don’t take your phone to bed! Not only does that increase stress, it also ruins your sleep and in some rare cases causes insomnia.
Finally, stop overloading the phone with apps! Although it’s tempting to be on all of them to maximize the fun, don’t forget that is the path to anxiety and depression kind of fun. Pick the ones you like, then challenge yourself into only having ten at the most. Stop trying to be everywhere and doing everything. Your life will be fine without filters or Whispers.
Preventing social network burnout basically means that we have to learn to stop trying so hard to see and be a part of everything. We can’t make every single person on our various social apps happy all at the same time, but we do always try every single day to do just that. It’s an impossible task, yet somehow so many people try to do it, despite the fact that it’s just going to drive us crazy.
Don’t forget, you’re allowed to have a life outside of the internet. It’s your life and your mental health, so take care of yourself.