In the wake of last week's presidential elections, I found myself extremely stress-ridden while prowling through social media and seeing people's reactions to how everything went down. Even though I shared the same feelings with my fellow peers regarding Donald Trump's victory, I also did not want to over-expose my mind to an endless stream of anxiety-inducing status updates and articles being posted. So it was then that I decided I should probably take a break from using Facebook and not check back in for a while. While I still access other sources of social media like Instagram, Youtube, and Twitter, it was Facebook in particular that seethed with the most negativity and anxiety for my mind.
It's hard for me to explain properly, but I feel like with the other social media platforms, it's easier for me to ignore the stories that stress me out than it is on Facebook. It could be that I use Facebook more than other websites, but I probably use YouTube more than Facebook and it has its fair share of anxiety-inducing content as well. I think the answer here is that on YouTube, I can search for content that distracts from the chaos around me, whereas on Facebook, it feels like all of the negativity is concentrated there.
Also I admittedly fall into the trap of comparing my life with those of my fellow peers and how the success stories they share fill me with a sense of competition and envy that I want to put under control. There actually have been studies on this phenomenon, with researchers stating that people who use Facebook as a means of measuring up to those who they consider to be more "successful" are more likely to report negative feelings like depression in response. I myself don't want to fall into that trap, so I believe taking a break from Facebook would help keep my mind under control and not express arbitrary jealousy towards my fellow peers, especially after this chaotic mess of a week.
My account is still activated so that my close friends and family members have a means of reaching out and contacting me, but I removed my bookmark so that I don't mindlessly click on the link and run into a stream of negative and stressful posts; when I do access Facebook, I have a purpose for doing so. As a result, I have noticed an improvement in my mood and state of mind. Facebook is like junk food for the brain and I feel more relaxed and content after lowering my intake of mental carbs. If there's one piece of advice I would give myself, it's that I should continue to pursue everything in life with moderation in mind, including the forms of media I access.