Thoughts: When is it OK to switch off?

Person is holding their phone upside down. The photo has been flipped round to show the phone the right way up. The person wears black trousers and a black t-shirt. You don't see the whole of their body but just part of their arm and hand holding the phone. The background is blurred our but it looks like they are on a beach with people in the background. We see the phone from the back with the camera showing. It is a sliver phone with a clear protective case. on the case there are words with a black border and white background which say: "Social Media seriously harms your mental health".

We are overwhelmed with bad news every second of every day; making it hard to know what to focus on. As well as the whole world fighting a global pandemic and rapidly increasing issues with global warming, there are constantly humans rights issues – India’s farmers have been protesting at Delhi’s borders since the 26th of November 2020. It can quickly start feeling like you are a handmaid trapped in the Republic of Gilead. And with the constant change of new, bigger, bleaker issues, it becomes difficult to know what to do and how to help.

Poor 2021 had a lot of weight on it’s shoulders from the unrealistically high expectations 2020 had put on it to be a better year. And, like with any expectations, it was never going to play out that we woke up the first morning of 2021 and all our problems would be solved. No, this year has already had a bleaker start than it’s predecessor. Just one week in and it’s already getting too much. Two days after England went into a third lockdown, white supremacist, pro Trump supporters attacked the US Capitol. Whilst no one could say they were surprised by the events that played out in the United States, we were outraged at the way they were handled by Trump and the police, compared with the violence they instilled on Black Lives Matter protesters back in June 2020.

Whatsapp chats were going mad with notifications and you could feel the horror rising on Instagram. It quickly became overwhelming. So I threw my phone across the room and called it a night.

The trouble is that when I switch off, I instantly feel racked with guilt. Aware of what a privilege it is to be able to walk away and play ignorant for a while.

But if it is making you feel overwhelmed, then it is OK to disengage for a while. To switch off your phone, or disable certain apps. Your mental health is more important than always being present and engaged with current affairs. And, constantly consuming information isn’t doing anything good for us.

Everything feels really scary and out of control right now. So I’m going to practice what I preach and take a break from social media. Reminding myself that it’s good to be informed but when it starts to feel like I am suffocating under the weight of the world, it’s time to look after my mental health. I’ll still be on the blog because in blogging I have found my own kind of therapy. For now though, Instagram is getting a holiday and I’m going to use the time to read more, get outside and binge The US Office.

10 Comments

  1. So glad you are taking a social media break. I do it all time. Even during the day I have my digital wellbeing on and I keep social media off through out working hours. Helps me stay focused as well as helps with my mental health. 😊

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yes I often keep social media off during working hours, otherwise I get distracted so easily! But just felt I needed a longer one after the news this week. What’s digital wellbeing? Xx

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’m not sure about IOS but android phones have this new feature of digital wellbeing wherein you can put a lock on whatever apps distract you. You can set a schedule for the week and for the hours mentioned the phone automatically locks those apps. I love this feature. I’ve put a lock on all social media apps, OTT apps etc. for the duration of 10hours every day. This helps me keep my social media addiction in control and I waste less time on my phone. 😊

        Liked by 1 person

  2. The past few months have been extremely shocking… I can’t quite understand why humans can be so cruel! Take the break from social media, but I doubt the news will let you escape this reality we are living in.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Trust me! Sometimes I can’t even grasp the reality that is now. It feels like some absurd movie is being played out.

      It is more than okay to switch off. Take each day as it comes. Sometimes I have to take a break, the world is cruel at times and to remain level headed we must slow down. Love and hugs🤗😘 xx

      Liked by 2 people

      1. It does feel like an awful action/sci-fi movie!
        Thank you Shahrin 😘 I am really enjoying the current break. Its reminding me how much time I am afforded when we are not wasting it endlessly scrolling! Xx

        Liked by 1 person

  3. It’s so important for us to know when we need to get off social media. Sometimes it’ll be past midnight and I’m lying in bed doom scrolling through Twitter instead of going to sleep and it’s so unhealthy for you mentally. The past year especially has just felt like a news overload. So please don’t feel any guilt for switching off when you need to! Something I have found useful is that on iPhone’s you can set time limits for apps. Twitter is my downfall so if I’m feeling overwhelmed I’ll set a time limit on that app for the day so it can remind me when I’ve spent too long on there ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ve started disabling Instagram during the week, then using it at weekends and have been finding that really helpful. I actually deleted Twitter years ago and have zero regrets. Using an app to set a limit on how much you are using social media also sounds like a good idea. x

      Liked by 1 person

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