KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — You may have noticed your social media feeds looking a little different right now.
There may be some posts from people saying they're taking a break. Other people could have stopped posting entirely. It's all a part of their goals to spend less time on social media during 2020.
According to a recent survey from Healthspan in the U.K., nearly half of its respondents said they want to unplug. They said they want to connect more with their family and friends.
Besides wanting more time with loved ones, social media could also be having a huge impact on their self-esteem. Many people post for a like or comment and these reactions, or a lack of them, are leaving a mark. Everyone is susceptible to being influenced by something they've seen on social media by now.
Instagram is aware of its effect on its users and last year, the company announced it was experimenting with hiding likes. Its tests have expanded to select users all over the world, including in the U.S.
"[It's] so you can spend a little bit less time worrying about how many likes you have and a little bit more time connecting with people or things that inspire you," Adam Mosseri, Instagram CEO, said.
Instagram is still testing the change and may not hide likes permanently.
There are also more advertisements on social media feeds that don't really look like traditional ads. There has been a rise in influencers who are paid to promote products.
Instagram and other platforms like Facebook and Twitter have done a lot of good by connecting people near and far, but they also spread hate.
With all the pressure and negativity, more people are resolving to devote more time to those we like in real life.
Here are a few things you can do if you want to feel less overwhelmed or to make sure you take a break if you need it:
Track your screen time
- iPhones, Facebook and Instagram have built-in tools to track your screen time.
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- Set daily limits on certain social media apps.
- Force yourself off your device when all else fails.
- More time online leads to more FOMO, or fear of missing out, according to Bethany Baker, A-GAP executive director.
Turn off notifications
- You can do this under settings in your phone or on the apps themselves for different kinds of posts or individuals' accounts.
Keep social media out of the bedroom
- Blue light from mobile devices can affect how you sleep.
- Experts recommend avoiding using your phone an hour before bed and an hour after you wake up.
Unfollow accounts that don't make you feel positive
- If influencers or other users are giving you negative feelings, you are the person allowing them to do so, Baker said.
Deactivate or delete accounts
- If you deactivate your Facebook account, all of your posts, pictures and friends will still be there. The option makes you invisible to the platform for however long you want. You can deactivate for as long as you want and nothing will happen, according to John McCulley, a senior web developer at Moxley Carmichael.
- You can deactivate Instagram on a desktop, not on a phone. You can do this for up to six months without the platform possibly deleting your account.
- If you deactivate your Twitter account, the platform will schedule you for deletion after 30 days if you do not reactivate.
- If you don't want to change a setting, delete the apps from your phone. Resist the urge to download them again.