Social Media Diet
It’s the New Year and perhaps you, like many others, find yourself making bold resolutions to diet in 2019? Check the web and you’ll find a menu of trusted diets to the latest “get those pound off and keep them off” trends. Internet ads abound for how to keep you and your family physically trim and healthy.
Those easy diet resolutions might include eating more fruits and vegetables and fewer cookies and chips – foods with fewer calories and more nutrients, drinking water instead of soda, being mindful of munching, getting more exercise and plenty of rest. Nutrition experts say the way to true weight loss is through permanent lifestyle change. If diet is one of your resolutions for a happier, healthier new year, involve your family, make a plan and stick to it!
And, while you’re thinking about losing those unwanted pounds, consider the notion that dieting isn’t just about the body, it’s also about the mind – how we think and make decisions, identify with ourselves and others, socialize, empathize, and spend our time. When considering dieting, consider adding a healthy social media diet.
Social media has invaded our lives, our privacy, and the very fabric of our culture with the impact often leading to anxiety, depression, lost time with family and friends, reduction in physical activity, loss of productivity at school or work and loss of privacy. Let’s face it, social media came out of nowhere and changed everything!
While some would argue the benefits of social media, there’s a bundle of research that speaks to the benefits of limiting social media and screen time in general. It’s common knowledge that social media has the power to spread information rapidly, often without recourse. Decades of a device driven lifestyle has proven the ill affects of social media on a teen’s overall mental health and development, the impact of faceless and meaningless clicks that boost or ruin a person’s life, addiction to writing posts and receiving “positive” reinforcement, sleep deprivation, and few opportunities to live or take in the moment.
Time to trim your social media habit? Add to your resolutions a social media diet – for yourself and your entire family! Start your social media diet by taking stock of how much time you and each individual family member devotes to social media. Make a list of all devices used in the home and, preferably with an app that can be used for comparison prior to and after a social media diet, track hours spent on these devices. Be sure to make a list of behaviors prior to and after your social media diet.
Sound difficult? Maybe not, once you put into practice 5 tips that will help make a social media diet a reality.
- Like with any resolution to diet, set a start and end date
- Set goals that will make a difference and be sustainable.
- Make a plan to only use social media 2 or 3 hours a day
- Designate one day a week to unplug from all devices
- Be prepared for what to say to friends who might ask why your aren’t responding on social media
Once you’ve completed your social media diet, celebrate your accomplishments! Be sure to share what you learned with others. Also, check out The Digital Citizen Academy Home Program to gain additional skills for yourself and your family! Who knows, you may start a social media diet resolution trend in your own neighborhood.