Stress can affect your life in many ways. From pressure at work to financial and family worries, it can make you feel uneasy, tired, and even physically ill. However, thanks to the advent of technology, there is a new stressor on the scene today: the internet. Social media and constantly being connected to others are making some people feel more frazzled than ever. If you count yourself among them, there are a few strategies you can use to ease digital stress and feel calmer on a daily basis.
1. Avoid Comparisons to Online Followers
While reading your friend’s post about his trip to Hawaii or looking at photos of beautiful homes you wish you could afford can be enjoyable, browsing social media may lead to feelings of envy and you might start comparing yourself to your peers. This could eventually undermine your self-confidence in key areas of your life, such as at your job or how you raise your kids. To avoid this type of stress, remember that everyone’s life circumstances are different and that the obstacles you face may not be the same as those of your peers.
One way to avoid feeling inferior to your friends or coworkers, especially if you are feeling envious of their job or wage, is to take steps to improve yourself. For example, you could take online classes at USC and earn your master’s degree in public administration, which could lead to a new career or a promotion at your current job. Click here to learn more about USC’s online mpa program.
2. Be Selective About Who You Follow
One reason you might feel stressed about your social media experience is because you have accepted every follow request you received without taking a moment to check whether the person has beliefs that are similar to yours. Over time, this can cause you to butt heads with people each time you sign on. However, being selective about who you allow into your social media circle can help reduce feelings of stress you may feel as the result of social discord.
3. Limit How Often You Sign On
If you feel pressured to check social media every time you receive a notification, this can cause anxiety, especially if the person who sent you the message wants you to respond right away. The more messages you receive, the more pressure you are likely to feel. Limiting how often you check social media and your favorite sites may help you feel more in control of your online presence and remain more aware of important online issues like fraudulent activity and internet white-collar crime which, according to USC, is on the rise.
4. Perform a Digital Detox
When world events cause extreme discord on social media and you feel like all you are doing is arguing or feeling upset by it, the best way to deal with this is to unplug completely. Leave your phone or tablet behind and take a walk with your spouse or your pet, read a book, or indulge in a favorite hobby. Unplug for several hours or several days, until you longer feel overwhelmed.
High stress levels can be damaging to your health. However, reducing social media-related stress is possible if you remember that social media is only one small aspect of your life.