If you’re not sure which New Year’s resolutions are particularly useful, you can think about a social media detox. The psychologist Dr. Susan Albers from the Cleveland Clinic (USA) explains what to pay attention to and what effects can be expected.
In general, social media can have good and bad effects on mental health. “Social media is a double-edged sword: it can make you feel very connected to the world around you, but it can also make you feel disconnected from yourself,” the doctor reports in a press release.
Social media can offer benefits
According to the expert, for example, there are studies whose results show that daily use of social media for a period of 30 minutes can help reduce anxiety, depression and loneliness.
However, if the useful life exceeds this period, this could have the opposite effect. Many people also have the problem that their self-control is not sufficient to only spend a short time a day on social media, says the expert. For those affected, Dr. Albers some advice.
Turn off social media notifications
First of all, it is advisable to turn off all notifications on the smartphone you are using so that you are not constantly notified by your social media accounts. You can also delete the affected apps straight away to avoid any temptation.
Replace social media with meaningful activities
According to the expert, you should also look for meaningful activities or activities with which you can fill the time you normally spend on social media.
“The biggest benefit of reducing social media use is that you are more present. This will help you become more engaged and improve the quality of your relationships. “This allows you to be more authentic in your everyday life and experience things directly instead of looking at them through a camera lens,” explains Dr. Albers.
To reduce social media use as a New Year’s resolution, it can be helpful to get the whole family involved. If everyone participates, the social media detox will be easier, says the expert.
Young people are particularly at risk from social media
Young people in particular should be careful when using social media. An evaluation of various studies has shown that social media use among young people between the ages of 13 and 17 is associated with a deterioration in mental health, particularly due to the search for confirmation, fear of judgment, body comparison, addiction and cyberbullying can be connected.
The researchers also found that contacts, support and discussion forums on social media can have positive effects on the well-being of young people. (as)