When we look our day in a positive light, we are more productive, more creative, less stressed and even more charismatic!   One of the biggest threats to our happiness it turns out is social media.

While we can’t be happy every minute of every day, we can strive to stay in a positive state of mind more often than not.  There are things that can rob us of our happiness and positive mindset, but it’s not necessarily what those things are, rather how we react to them.

Now, to be certain,  there are great things about social media, and this article is not to condemn any particular platform nor to shame anyone who uses social media… after all, I am one of those!

While social media can be fun, even entertaining (I just watched Jennifer Anniston acquire over  11 million followers in about 24 hours after a single post), it can also be detrimental to our emotional well-being. (the social media bullying that Monica Lewinsky endured was a big reason why she recently launched a revolutionary, interactive PSA entitled, “the Epidemic.” She states that Cyber bullying is, “incredibly devastating and powerful.”

Most of us that use social media for personal and professional reasons fall somewhere in the middle of these two examples of social media influence, but that doesn’t mean that we are immune to some of its serious toxic effects.

If you are wondering if it’s time for you to curb your screen time with these apps, here are three symptoms of social media toxicity that could be showing up in your life:

  1. Lowered state of mind when logging in or off. So, you feel a noticeable increase in anxiety or depression in association with time on a social platform.  (Be very observant to how you feel in your body the next time you engage in social media)  You may be reacting to a tendency to compare your life to others, or stressing over “likes” ( or lack of).
  2. You feel frustrated or anxious when you cannot check your social media (Severe stress can be a sign of social media anxiety disorder. Most of us don’t have this, but it is something to be aware of).  You may have need to share nearly everything to social media sometimes interrupting conversations and removing you from real life social events for minutes at a time.
  3. You have a loss of interest in other activities. You find yourself sitting at home for hours in front of a screen instead of accepting invitations to go out with friends or family. The time spent socializing or being active in things you used to enjoy may be decreasing, as your time on screen increases.

So, what do you do if any of the above resonates with you?  How do you protect your mind against the perils of the social media world and react in a positive and healthy way to what’s happening in the real world around you?

  1. Don’t be afraid to check out. You’ll be okay! Surprisingly, perhaps, a large percentage of millennials have ceased using multiple social media platforms and over 25% have removed the Facebook app from their devices.They report being happier!
  2. Delegate your business social media to a team member.
  3. If you use social media to connect with friends and family, set your preferences so that you see only those you most want to stay up with, and don’t hesitate to block those that post negative or bothersome things. (I have blocked family members, some temporarily, some permanently. But always with love for them, and me!)
  4. Set only one or two times a day to log in to social media and turn off the notifications. If nothing else, the lack of notifications will increase your productivity significantly throughout the day!

I’d love to know if you have implemented any of these actions and how they worked for you.  If you have another tip, share it!

Keeping a positive attitude takes conscious effort at times! You are in control.