The Pressures of Social Media for Young Adults

Social media plays a major role in many of our lives. Thanks to the incredible reach of these online platforms, we’re bombarded with new information constantly — much of which is not useful or even accurate. We also have access to it 24/7. It’s challenging enough to control our consumption during our regular routine, but it becomes even harder during the holidays when we experience a disruption to our daily lives and more downtime than usual.

According to a recent study, 71 percent of young adults use Instagram and 70 percent are on Facebook. Taking it a step further, the average user spends 145 minutes on social media every day. That’s nearly two and a half hours spent looking at other people’s lives instead of living our own!

Tips for Managing Social Media Consumption During the Holidays

With these thoughts in mind, we want to share five tips to help you and your loved ones manage your social media consumption throughout holiday season:

  • Communicate your concerns! Whether you’re worried about your own social media usage or that of a friend or family member, don’t be afraid to speak up. Voicing your personal struggles often reminds you that you are in control, giving you a sense of power and agency. Similarly, sharing your worries about a loved one’s habits shows you care and may give them the nudge they need to make a change.
  • Charge your phone away from your bed. Better yet, charge it in another room! Studies show that 80 percent of people, particularly millennials, check their phones immediately after waking up. This habit, although it may seem harmless, is likely to increase your stress and leave you feeling overwhelmed. Plus, when the information overload of texts, emails, and social media hits you before you’re fully awake, it makes it difficult to prioritize tasks throughout the day. 
  • Institute “no technology” hours for your household. Chances are, you don’t realize just how much you’re looking at your phone and checking social media. When you tuck your phone away for a few hours, pay attention to how often you reach for it. Pick a time frame that works well for everyone in your home — say, between 6 and 9 p.m. It’ll be easier to be technology-free if you’re supported by and engaged with your family.

When to Leave Your Phone at Home

  • Make an effort to spend quality time with your loved ones. Speaking of which, be sure to connect — in real life — with your friends and family this holiday season. After dinner, suggest a competitive game of Monopoly or Gin Rummy. Schedule a coffee date and leave your phone in the car. Or finish up your holiday shopping with a friend. When it comes to the important people in your life, you want to do more than just like their social media photos. Be a part of their happy memories!
  • Get outside. If you notice you’ve been scrolling through your social media feeds for hours on end, it’s time for a change of scenery. Bundle up and head outside for a short walk. The fresh air and sunshine will re-energize you, and the time away from your phone will encourage you to do something more productive with your time.

Wishing you all a happy and healthy holiday season!

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