Did you know that social media has been correlated with increased rates of mental illness? The way people present their life as perfect on platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, etc. can cause media viewers symptoms of depression and anxiety and can cause them to feel isolated and like they are missing out on life. Oftentimes, posters choose to share only the positive aspects of their lives and the interesting things that they do, rather than highlight the mundane or low points of their days, which can cause media viewers to feel that their life is less than perfect or “wrong.”
This weekend just so happens to include National Day of Unplugging, which highlights the need to take a step back from electronics, and especially social media. Technology has brought many great things to our lives, like connecting us with new and old friends alike, learning about important happenstances in the world, and keeping us entertained easily. However, it can also negatively impact us by keeping us distracted from necessary tasks or keeping us from doing other things that we enjoy.
It is important to take a step back and realize the things that can be done without streaming services or scrolling on Instagram. This is a day to remind yourself of how fun being outside can be, whether it is walking the dog or going on a hike through your local forest! It is a time to be present in your thoughts and to be aware of what is happening with your body. You could also use this time to connect with friends or family, get housework done, finish a long put off task, read a book, or even do a puzzle or play a game.
Having days like these to simply disconnect from technology can be important to your well-being. They help you be comfortable in your own presence and of those around you, without any additional distractions. Try putting your phone away for the day and keeping the TV or computer off. We could all use a break from technology this year, especially after a year full of social distancing, quarantining, and working from home. Have a wonderful day connecting with the world around you, without the influence of technology!
Written by Emma, Undergrad Intern 2021
If you would like to speak to a professional counselor or psychologist about this and are in the Chicago area, please feel free to contact Olive Branch Counseling Associates, Inc. at 708-633-8000. We are located at 6819 West 167th Street in Tinley Park, Illinois 60477.