Social media has changed the way we access news, conduct business, and communicate. Checking our timelines has become as routine as checking the time. While experts disagree on the existence of social media addictions, one cannot deny that it has become a part of our daily routines and conversations.

You'll likely be surprised by how much you don't miss it.

Most social media channels were initially created to help people remain connected and share ideas. But social media has also become a place for people to post their latest accomplishments and acquisitions, in some cases creating silent competition between otherwise complete strangers. It begins innocently enough; you log on to share an inspirational message or update and you're lured into the timelines of others. As you scroll down their posts you begin to question whether you're even doing this thing called "life" correctly... because based on your "friends" timelines someone else is having more fun and doing it better than you.

Sound Familiar?

Love it or hate it social media is here to stay. But how do you maintain your confidence and sanity in a hyper connected world? Think about the following:

  1. Everyone Shouldn't Know What You Are up to

    You've seen it. The person who compulsively shares every aspect of their life on social media from their parenting issues to their job woes. Everything. While your audience likely consists of people who know you well, it is also comprised of individuals who only know you because of social media. You may see it as pure entertainment, but information shared on social media networks can also be used against you, even if it seems innocent initially.

    During the decision-making process, hiring managers frequently scan the social media profiles of prospective employees. If you find yourself sharing intimate details of your life or deep dark secrets, maybe it's time to consider taking a social media fast and establish some personal privacy barriers.

  2. You're Compelled to Compare Your Life to an Unrealistic Perception of the Lives of Others

    Social media is a highlights reel. Let's get that out there. Many people use social media solely as a means to remain connected to friends and family, some individuals are very transparent about their struggles. But a large majority of people use social media platforms to amplify their achievements. This creates an unspoken culture of competition and can affect the self-confidence of even the most confident individuals. The effects of social media comparison are so subtle that you often don't realize it as the source of your declining confidence and contentment. It is not until you have honest conversations with yourself about your feelings of inadequacy that you realize they may be the result of seeing others else share their achievements. Success isn't microwaved and sometimes it can seem like that via social media. Taking a social media fast will allow you to run or walk your race.

    A few years ago I decided to take a two year Facebook hiatus. People were stunned when they found out they couldn't connect with me on Facebook. I was stunned by how little I missed being available to connect with everyone. Today, despite being a business owner I still regularly go on social media fasts during my mental health days.

  3. Disconnecting Allows You to Focus on the Present

    The next time you go out to dinner, conduct a social experiment. In the presence of your friends, intentionally place your cell phone out of reach and observe your friends on their phones. If you are not with friends observe others who are with friends and on their phones. Traditionally gathering with friends was a time to converse, discuss, network, and achieve genuine one-on-one interaction. Today people have become more preoccupied with documenting the moment on social media than actually living the moment. Did you really experience the moment if you were too busy trying to get the perfect picture of the experience? One of the biggest concepts of meditation is being present, and rightfully so, there's tremendous value in allowing yourself to be present.

Going on a social media hiatus will allow you to connect with the moments and experiences that make life worth living.

I urge you to try a social media fast for the next 24 hours. You'll likely be surprised by how much you don't miss it and realize that life carries on without it.

Good luck!