by Kathleen LeSage
We all try to make changes in the New Year that are good for our health. Spending less time on social media could be one that changes your life! The average U.S. consumer spends 50 minutes on social media each day. Over the course of a year, that is like 12 DAYS!!!! Imagine what you (or I) could do with 12 extra days. Besides that, here are some other reasons to cut back on the social media habit:
- It can cut into exercise time – How many times have you thought, “Oh, I’ll just check Facebook really quick while I drink my morning coffee?” Those few minutes can easily turn into enough time that you could have walked a mile or two on a morning walk.
- It keeps you from being in the present moment. – Each time you check your social media accounts, you are mostly looking into someone else’s life and not your own. There was once a photo on Instagram that someone took of the table next to them at a restaurant. The entire group of people were looking down at their phones. The photo was titled “Sad”. However, what’s funny is that person was at a restaurant doing the same thing. Oops!
- It can be dangerous – I often see people trying to take selfies while being active. One wrong step and the selfie could turn into a sprained ankle or even worse. Many amusement parks have banned the selfie stick. There is a reason for it. You can knock someone’s eye out with that thing!
- It’s addicting. – Admit it, you can be very tempted to check back on social media to see how many likes your recently uploaded photo has gotten.
- It can keep you unsatisfied with your own life. – Looking at everyone else’s photos of vacations, their children’s awards, new homes, etc. can make you feel as if your life isn’t measuring up. (Wrong!) We all know that people put their best photos on the web. There’s a few that vent about their kid’s meltdown at the grocery store, or an unfair boss at the office, but for the most part, people have a persona on social media that makes life seem like it is better than yours. (Don’t believe it.)
- Do you really need to keep in touch with everyone? – That person you didn’t like in high school that you ran into at the 25th reunion does not need to be on your friend list. He or she is probably still a jerk.
- Easier to spend money. Leggings, bags, books, shakes, vitamins and hair clips: Multi-level marketing meets social media. They all come with being added to someone’s Facebook page and the feeling of needing to buy something that you probably don’t really need.
- Politics. – No explanation needed.
- It can keep you stuck in the past. — Let’s face it, you’ve looked up your “ex.” There is just no need to go there. They are an “ex” for a reason, and you need to move on. Perhaps you have moved to a new town, a new job, or a new school. Yes, social media is great to keep in touch, but it can also make you miss what you left behind.
- It’s just such a time-sucker! From coming up with something clever to say, the perfect photo to share and responding to all the comments, think how many things could get done instead. Organizing, exercising, creating a healthy meal, speaking to a live person, playing a board game with a child…all could be done to replace social media time and imagine how much more good it would do for your life.
Kathleen LeSage is the President and co-owner of New Life Hiking Spa located in Killington, Vermont. New Life Hiking Spa was listed as the #1 Destination Spa in America for the 2016 Travel + Leisure Magazine Awards and USA Today’s 10 Best Health & Wellness Vacations for 2016 & 2017. She often takes social media breaks for weeks at a time.