Social Media Burnout – What is it and what to do about it

What is Social Media Burnout and Why does It Happen? 

Social media burnout is a term that was coined to describe the negative impact of social media on people’s mental health. The term was first coined in 2015 by clinical psychologist and researcher, Dr. Nancy Baym.

Symptoms of burnout can be mild to severe, most commonly experienced as a depressive state that can be compounded by secondary factors. This can make one feel lonely, even when surrounded by supporters. The experience can be so powerful that it manifests in severe depression. If the person  gives in to the depressive state, they can spiral off of social media, and further. 

The good news is that Social Media Burnout, although it feels like depression, is not depression. At least not the kind you need Prozac for. And burnout is not permanent, the effects of this phenomena tend to go in cycles, like everything else. The down cycles tend to be more noticeable since it affects your ability to work towards your goals.

By taking some simple steps, you can combat burnout. Knowledge is vital to understanding and pushing through to achieve your dreams. The very first step is recognizing when you are in a down cycle so that you are prepared if burnout occurs. Pushing through the burnout is vital. It’s usually a temporary mindset that changes after a few days. During this time, it’s wise to cut down on the social media. Allow yourself to take a break. It is ok. If you are worried about your posts, schedule them.

I am speaking on this topic because I have lived it. I have been through deep ups and downs, and it’s been a wild ride. Once I recognized the symptoms of burnout, I would pull back and do something different for a little while. I also listen to motivational videos on YouTube to help combat the funk. This is all in our minds. It is real in the sense that you truly feel it, but it’s temporary. It will change, and the more positive you fill your mind with, the quicker your attitude and mood will change.

Surround yourself with like-minded people in an engagement group. You can see if there’s room in the Puduo Group by contacting @Sacred7Senses on Instagram. Engagement groups give you a place to be a part of a small family of like-minded people. You can usually find a mentor in these groups to help you learn and grow. These people are your support group when you need a smile.

In addition, turn off notifications from apps and set a schedule to check them to keep up to date. Email can usually be checked in the morning and night. Reducing the amount of time spend on social media every day will help ease the pressure on your mind.

Social media can be overwhelming, full of stress and anxiety. It’s easy to become overwhelmed by our feeds and eagerness to comment on all the content. As a result, we are experiencing more instances of “social media burnout,” where people withdraw from using social media altogether. This leads to a decrease in quality content being shared as well as an increase in miscommunication between friends or coworkers. In extreme cases, people stop posting altogether and cut off all ties with the social media platform, which is typically seen as a form of protest. In my opinion, the solution is to put more effort and responsibility in integrating actual conversations into our social media platforms. I believe there are several ways we could do this:

  1. Encourage users to be active in posting content that drives conversation rather than curated content that is largely static. This will help increase the quality of posts on the platform and foster connections between users.
  2. Increase the visibility of content that is posted by users by promoting them on the platform’s homepage or increasing their prominence in post lists. This will help foster connections between users.
  3. A potential new feature could be to create a “social media team” for posts–a group of users who are responsible for posting on behalf of a group (or individual) and driving conversation around those posts.
  4. We can use the likes and hearts function to promote posts from specific people from our organization so they stand out on our homepage or in the feed.
  5. Promote the more active users in our organization to be responsible for curating content.

Tips for Prevention of Social Media Burnout

Social media can be a great tool for connecting with family, friends and colleagues. But it can also be a source of stress and anxiety. The following are some tips to help manage the negative effects that social media can have on your mental health:

  1. Unplug and work offline: If you find yourself spending more time on social media than before, try unplugging for a while to get some space from the screen. Social media is better in moderation when it comes to how much time is spent on it.
  2. Turn off notifications: Some people find that they feel more stress when they’re bombarded with notifications constantly, so turning them off can help clear the mind and reduce anxiety. 
  3. Create a smaller social media presence
  4. Don’t rely on social media for validation
  5. Exercise regularly
  6. Develop some outside interests that don’t require constant interaction with friends, family, or work colleagues.
  7. Set a schedule for the work that you need to do. This will help you stay focused and complete your tasks.
  8. Take breaks to allow yourself time to decompress.
  9. Find joy in something around you, then focus on it.
  10. Surround yourself with positive energy.
  11. Unfollow people who don’t make you happy
  12. Block people who make you feel bad about yourself.
  13. Stop stressing over what other people think of you.
  14. Delete social media apps from your phone.
  15. Remove your profile pictures from social media
  16. Believe in yourself and empower yourself to be the best you can be.
  17. Stop trying to live up to someone else’s standards because it’s not worth the effort!
  18. Take a day off and go enjoy nature. I believe this to be a very powerful and transformative process. We took the family for a drive yesterday to the top of a local mountain and the effects are amazing. There’s something about getting out of the digital and into nature that has a positive, nurturing effect.

Having the knowledge and experience to identify and deal with the effects of social media burnout will give you the power and the tools to combat it. By staying aware of how you feel and what tapes are playing in your mind will empower you to change, if you really want to. Life is all about choices, actions, and reactions. Learn how to harness the power within, and become the person you want to be.