Do you need a social media break? You might if you spend more time looking at your phone than you do the person sitting across the table from you. You might need a social media break if you find yourself feeling anxious or angry, too. Social media is a great meeting place. It’s especially wonderful for those who want to connect with friends and family who live far away. The problem is, there are a lot of people on social media with whom you have to interact, even if you aren’t related to them.

The past election brought out the worst in all of us. For many people it was the proverbial straw that broke the camel’s back, and they left social media altogether. Luckily, you don’t have to do that. There are many benefits to social media, however, there are also many pitfalls to it too. You don’t have to quit it completely, but taking a break might not be a bad idea.

Do You Need a Social Media Break?

Reality – Do you feel as if you don’t measure up to all the posts your friends share about their vacations to Disneyland or their perfect photos of the family over the holidays? The truth is, what we see on social media is the best everyone has to offer. We don’t usually share our worst moments. Because of this, we end up comparing our regular days or even bad days against someone’s best days – someone’s staged days. Those holiday photos weren’t regular old snapshots, they were staged and shot and reshot until they were picture perfect. And then they were edited and run through filters until they looked – perfect. Don’t compare your selfie with their professional portrait.

Shallow – It’s hard to have a meaningful discussion in 140 characters. It’s also difficult to glean tone and it’s impossible to see body language. So much gets lost in a quickly typed status update. If you want a meaningful discussion it’s time to meet up with your friends and discuss the issues.

Bullies – Bullies have always been a part of social media, but it seems they are out in full force following the election and inauguration. Politics has always been a difficult conversation and social media has made it worse. Usually within three comments name calling and unfriending has been demanded. Social media is great for those who have large posses, it’s not so great for those who chose their friends more selectively and don’t have the numbers behind them.

Distraction – Social media is distracting. It’s distracting because it is so addicting. You can make one pithy status update and get 25 likes – that’s addicting. Next thing you know you’re checking your phone and rechecking your phone to see if anyone else liked your update. If that likes on status updates aren’t bad enough, there are the games that are such an addiction. You have better things to do, trust me.

The bottom line is, if you feel bad when you’re on social media, it might be time to take a little break. If you find yourself arguing with people you’ve never met, it might be time to take a break from social media. If you find yourself feeling like you don’t measure up to everyone else, it’s definitely time to take a break from social media.