Social media allows us to do many things. Keep in touch with friends, find out what's going on in the world, even meet new people; but too much time spent on platforms like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter can also be a cause of anxiety and stress.
Whether it's the fear of missing out, worrying that your life is nowhere near as exciting as someone else's or the simple compulsion to keep 'checking in', social media can be both a blessing and curse.
If you're concerned about how much time you spend on social platforms and how they might be affecting your mental health, here are three steps to spend less time on them.
Do you check social media if you wake up in the middle of the night? Do you check it once, log out then log back in again a few seconds later? If so, you're probably not making the best use of your time. Instead, schedule a social media hour once or twice a week - try limiting yourself to using this window to see what's going on in the online world, freeing you up to do other things the rest of the time.
Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Snapchat... we could go on. There are so many social media platforms and new ones are springing up every day. Do you really need to be on every single one? Probably not. If you have more than, say, four social media presences, ask yourself if you need to be on all of them. Streamlining to one or two could benefit you more than you think.
Social media is a great way to keep in touch with friends, but if your pals live in the same town or city as you, why do you need to keep things online? Surprise one of your mates by asking if they'd like to go for a coffee or a walk in the park. Connect with the ones closest to you in person, rather than online.
Social media isn't a bad thing in and of itself, however, too much reliance on it could well be. Consider following some of these steps if you'd like to be less digitally active.