Often we forget the amount of control we have over the stressors that come into our lives. Some stressors we cannot control, but many we can, including media intake. The news and social media have the potential to cause stress that we may not even be aware of but presents itself when combined with other stressful events.
There are many different causes of stress, but studies have shown that social media may escalate anxiety more than traditional media (Weir, 2020). Social media apps are designed to keep your attention as long as possible, and unfortunately “bad” or threatening news holds our attention longer. Social media companies use that to keep us engaged and hold our attention.
The challenge for today is to set a limit on your social media apps that is reasonable for you, we recommend starting with a 10% reduction in total time. When you do use social media today, your goal is to find a minimum of 3 posts where you can be happy for the person posting. As you hit the “like” button, bask in the positive emotions you are sending out to that person. Once you’ve found your three people to celebrate, close the app for now and go back to your day.
How to set a social media limit:
iPhones - go to Settings > Battery. Scroll down to view the amount of time on each app. Then go back to Settings > Screen Time > Turn on App Limits. You can set specific time limits for your social media applications here.
Davydov, D. M., Stewart, R., Ritchie, K., & Chaudieu, I. (2010). Resilience and mental health. Clinical psychology review, 30(5), 479-495. Retrieved from https://www.hal.inserm.fr/file/index/docid/534325/filename/Davydov_Clin_Psychol_Rev_30_479.pdf journal, 5(2), 74. Retrieved from http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download?doi=10.1.1.851.7680&rep=rep1&type=pdf
Kent, M., Rivers, C. T., & Wrenn, G. (2015). Goal-Directed self-regulation, executive functions, and personal growth (eudaimonia) in evocative contexts of PTSD, obesity, and chronic pain. Behavioral sciences, 5(2), 264-304.
Kerig, Patricia K., (2020). Resilience for Trauma-Informed Professionals (R-TIP): Protecting ourselves from secondary traumatic stress, vicarious trauma, and compassion fatigue. Presentation on April 24th, 2020 from https://apa.content.online/app/pro/orderedProduct.xhtml?eid=1481116
Weir, K. (2020). Seven findings that can help people deal with COVID-19. Monitor on Psychology, 51(4). Retrieved from https://www.apa.org/monitor/2020/06/covid-findings