As the calendar turns to a new year, many people make resolutions to better themselves, such as promises to hit the gym more or eat healthier, but a resolution on the rise is minimizing social media consumption. As a social media fan myself, it’s a lot easier said than done. Apps and their algorithms are designed to pull us in, never mind the endless buzzing notifications, making us feel like we’re missing something.
When looking at the data on social media consumption, the numbers are shocking. According to a 2022 survey conducted by the Pew Research Center, 69% of adults in the United States use social media, with a significant portion acknowledging its impact on their lives.
In early 2023, the digital landscape in the USA presents staggering statistics. According to DataReportal, America’s 311.3 million internet users, account for 91.8 percent of the population, and a whopping 246.0 million social media users, representing 72.5 percent of the total population. The omnipresence of online platforms is undeniable.
While social media platforms offer connectivity, they also contribute to feelings of isolation and anxiety, leading many to reconsider their online habits. A study published in the Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology found that limiting social media use to approximately 30 minutes a day resulted in significant reductions in depression and loneliness. Like I said, much easier said than done.
However difficult, the goal of using social media less is not without reason. The constant barrage of information, comparison, and curated content can take a toll on mental well-being. The American Journal of Preventive Medicine reports a correlation between media use and increased rates of depression and anxiety among young adults.
As individuals take stock of their well-being in the new year, the decision to cut back on social media is a conscious effort to reclaim time, foster authentic relationships, and prioritize mental health. So, here’s to a resolution that’s not just about the number on the scale or your calorie tracker but about finding balance in the ever-evolving digital age.