Do You Have Social Media Burnout?
From doom-scrolling on news sites to video binges on TikTok, social media has become an ever-present (and overwhelming) influence in our lives.
If you’ve recently been shocked by your screen time, or feel the compulsion to check your phone followed by a sense of dread – you may be dealing with social media burnout.
But what does “social media burnout” mean – and how can you navigate it?
Here at KMA Therapy, we know that while social media burnout may be relatively new, burnout, in general, is not.
We’ve been helping our clients navigate burnout for over 14 years. We’re here to help you learn the skills you need to identify social media burnout head-on and prevent it from worsening.
After reading this article, you’ll understand what social media burnout is, how to recognize it, and what to do about it.
What is Social Media Burnout?
Social Media Burnout is when you feel completely exhausted when using social media – but still, you can’t figure out how to stop.
When you spend too much time on social media, you can become overloaded with the amount of content you’re consuming, leading you to feel drained.
How Do You Know If You’re Burnt Out?
With the endless apps we have available today, it can be easy to stay on your phone all the time.
Social media can help us stay connected, entertain us when we’re bored, and give us a creative outlet.
But if you’ve been feeling stressed out and drained by social media, then you’re likely experiencing social media burnout.
5 Signs You’re Experiencing Social Media Burnout
- Feeling more cynical or irritable than usual
- Using social media when you should be sleeping
- Physical symptoms, like headaches and eye strain
- Using social media as an unhealthy coping mechanism
- Feeling tempted to endlessly scroll on social media instead of focusing on real-life tasks you need to complete
At this point, you may recognize some of these signs occurring in your own life.
But what can you do to stop social media burnout?
How to Stop Social Media Burnout
There’s a reason so many of us are glued to our phones - it’s hard to put them down.
Stopping social media burnout can feel daunting, but it’s doable.
And while limiting your daily screen time is a great place to start, it’s not the only solution.
4 Ways to Stop Social Media Burnout
With so much of our daily lives taking place online, it can feel like social media burnout is inescapable. But these four simple tips will help you get it under control, and help you enjoy the content you consume.
1. Limit Your Screen Time
This one may seem obvious, but it’s essential – spending too much time on social media can actually make all forms of burnout worse.
It can be shocking to see how much time we spend on our screens everyday, and many people turn off their screen-time notifications for this reason. But keeping track of how much time you're spending online is important, and can help you consume content with more mindfulness.
Try setting screen-time limits in your phone, especially if you have certain apps that can suck you in for hours (looking at you, TikTok).
2. Notice When You’re Reaching For Your Phone
Sometimes, social media can be a great place to laugh, find new creative ideas, and draw inspiration from people all over the world.
Other times, when you’re feeling down about your life, it can be tempting to pick up your phone and escape into photos of someone else’s.
Try and notice how you're feeling when you reach for your phone - are you picking it up to avoid difficult emotions? While this may make you feel better in the moment, avoiding your problems will only cause them to build up over time.
3. Be Intentional About What Gets Your Attention
Not every piece of content deserves your attention – if you give your attention to everything, you’ll likely experience social media burnout.
Much like you need to do a deep-clean of your room every once in a while, it can be helpful to do a deep-clean of your social media accounts.
Go through the list of the people you follow, and be honest about how they make you feel. Just because someone's content is supposed to be inspirational, it doesn't mean it will inspire you.
Unfollow any accounts that don't make you feel good, and create more space for content that actually brings you joy.
4. Watch Out For Comparisons With Others
While it may be inspiring to see someone's 5am morning routine or watch them aesthetically organize their kitchen, it can also place a lot of pressure on you to live your own life in a certain way.
Comparing ourselves to others on social media can make us feel worse about normal parts of our own lives, and can even increase perfectionist tendencies.
Remember, what you see online is a curated version of someone's life - it often doesn't reflect their reality.
Next Steps for Beating Social Media Burnout
After reading this article, you understand what social media burnout is, the five signs you may be experiencing social media burnout, and how to deal with it.
Here at KMA Therapy, we have helped our clients manage burnout for over 14 years. We're always here if you need extra support, customized coping strategies, or even just a friendly face to talk to.
If you’re not yet ready to book an appointment, check out these resources for more information:
- If you’re dealing with perfectionism, read: What is Perfectionism – and 8 Signs You Could Be a Perfectionist
- For more burnout help, read: Why Burnout is More than Stress – and How to Deal with It
- If you’re curious if therapy could help you, read: Will Psychotherapy Work for Me?