Social media is amazing. It can help boost your business, connect you with people near and far, and inform you about what is happening in your community and across the globe. Unfortunately, the power of social media comes with a lot of stress. Studies now show that people get depressed from reading posts on social media. Why? Social media makes it seem like other people have the perfect life, face no obstacles, and the world around them is absolutely amazing. 

We all know that’s not true. However, people who rely on social media instead of in-person contact get a distorted view of the world. We all know the old saying that life isn’t always a bowl of cherries. Everyone has challenging days. Everyone has obstacles to overcome and the world is not always aligned with what we want to do or accomplish. So, how do you avoid the social media trap?

Use social media to connect with people online, but also get together in person. It’s fine to chat online and catch up, but nothing beats face-to-face interaction. Use the opportunity to get out of the house, enjoy some common interests, and do something fun.  Strike up old friendships or make some new ones.

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Limit your social media use. It’s easy to consume post after post, video after video. Don’t spend your life living vicariously through someone else’s eyes. Adults, teens and even younger children are surprised when they add up the amount of time they spend on social media. Be more conscious about the time you spend on social media and the sites you visit.

Don’t engage with negative posts. The great thing about social media is that you can choose who you friend or follow. If you don’t like political rants or tabloid news, simply don’t follow or engage with those posts. Find content that lifts you up and inspires you take on new challenges.

Avoid technology before bed. Using electronic devices before bed makes it harder to relax and settle in for a good night’s sleep. Electronics are more stimulating than relaxing. Reading about someone’s day trip or holiday celebration can wait till morning.

Social media and the ever-changing technology that goes along with it has changed our lives forever and, in many ways, for the better.  However, always remember that we need in-person interaction and screen down-time to have a full and realistic view of the world.