Why We Love to Hate Social Media (and What to Do About It)

It's a familiar scene: sitting at home at the end of a long day, scrolling through Facebook for the 30th time even though nothing exciting is really happening there. I feel somewhat gross and lazy for spending so much time scrolling, yet I can't bring myself to put my phone down and do something productive.

I love social media, yet at the same time, I can't stand it.

Social media lets me stay up to date with friends and family, gives me hilarious memes to pull me out of a bad mood, and perhaps most importantly, is the reason I have a job.

But it has its downsides. For example, there were days when I could easily go to sleep without a glowing screen directly next to my face—days that are long gone since the advent of social media and Netflix.

What does that mean has happened to my brain in that time? What other ways is social media messing with me?

Lots, probably.

At the end of the day, social media is a part of our lives. It's nearly impossible to escape it, and trying to reject it fully might be just as damaging as letting yourself get sucked in. Embracing the love/hate relationship, while being wary of the implications of it, is probably your best bet.

But in times when that's simply not enough, there are other ways to curb social media-related stress.

Try a week off

A photo posted by Krissy C. (@mygodshestall) on

You don't have to quit Facebook forever—even logging out can help you recharge.

In a paper published in the journal Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking, sociologists at the University of Copenhagen reported that of the 1,095 Facebook users studied, the ones that took a break from Facebook had increased life satisfaction and positive emotions. 

These positive results were felt most by those who previously considered themselves heavy Facebook users—so it you feeling consumed by social media, a week-long absence might be exactly what you need.

Unfollow people

A photo posted by Yasemin JYas (@yasemin_jyas) on

We're all for hearing out the opinions that differ from ours, but when they start to become toxic to our psyche, it's time to call it quits.

If the same people's posts continuously stress you out or make you angry, clear the clutter from your news feed and just unfollow them. If they're offended by that, it's their problem. (But honestly, they probably won't even notice).

Stop comparing yourself

A photo posted by Sofia Gomez (@sofgombri) on

Social media is everyone's chance to present themselves in their best light—so it's no wonder we are constantly comparing ourselves to each other.

But it's important to remember that the majority of these posts are curated. Because we're all choosing to share the best moments of our lives, it can make it seem like we're perfect.

News flash: we are not, and no one is.