While social media is a powerful marketing tool for businesses of all sizes, it comes at a price. Social media use has been linked to an increase in stress, anxiety, and—ironically—loneliness. While many businesses rely on social media to reach new audiences and connect with their current ones, it can be difficult for business owners to know when it’s time to put the phone down.
The limits to social media are virtually endless, giving content creators and business owners the creative freedom to express their brand’s values. We can create, connect, and communicate like never before, but we need to understand the flip side of that same coin.
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We have access to millions of personal profiles, business pages, and images right at our fingertips. Inevitably, this can lead many to draw unhealthy comparisons or begin to feel inadequate. Some may feel compelled to change aspects of their business to meet or beat the competition. The result? Decisions driven by stress and anxiety that aren’t truly authentic and aligned to you or your business.
Americans spend, on average, 2.5 hours on social media every day. All of that social scrolling takes time away from running your actual business or otherwise investing in yourself. This lack of focus can snowball into a full-on avoidance tactic. Mindlessly scrolling through your feeds may feel easier than the alternative, but it can lead to a mountain of tasks that will start to feel insurmountable.
Increased social media use can contribute to not only feelings of anxiety or lack of concentration, but it’s also proven to stunt our natural melatonin production. Without the ability to fall asleep or stay asleep, you can kiss tomorrow’s productivity goodbye.
At the end of a long and stressful day, we often find our thumbs gravitating towards our screens. This could lead to us scrolling for hours at a time, distracting us from other responsibilities and draining our energy reserves. Instead, it’s important that we cultivate healthier, more productive habits that are actually relaxing.
Instead of spending your first waking minutes on Facebook or Instagram, try a time-honored mindfulness practice to start your day on the right foot. The benefits of meditation and yoga are profound and well-documented. Better sleep and heightened focus? Check and check. Lower cortisol levels and, therefore, less stress? You bet. As a business owner, these are all ingredients needed in the recipe for success.
Whereas social scrolling can become a vicious stress-avoidance-insomnia cycle, reading can enrich our minds while simultaneously allowing us those much-needed mental breaks from work. Find what feels best and keeps you engaged, whether that’s a comic book, magazine, or self-help guide.
As with anything, there’s no one-size-fits-all solution to balancing your professional and social media lives. The key is this: be intentional.
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