without really knowing what we’re looking for – and our reliance on social media can impact our mental health.
Even celebrities have felt this way. Most recently, Tom Holland announced he is stepping away from social media to focus on his mental health.
In a quick return to Instagram Sunday, the “Spider-Man: No Way Home” star, 26, shared in a video that he deleted Instagram and Twitter from his devices, adding the apps had become “detrimental” to his mental state.
“I have taken a break from social media for my mental health because I find Instagram and Twitter to be overstimulating, to be overwhelming,” he told his 67.7 million followers.
Other stars have made similar strides.
Selena Gomez previously explained why she has to steer clear of social media in order to let go of the “temptation” of it.
In a 2021 interview with Elle, the singer and actress, 30, said she doesn’t have the passwords to her social media. Instead, her assistant has handled posting since 2017.
“I suddenly had to learn how to be with myself. That was annoying, because in the past, I could spend hours looking at other people’s lives. I would find myself down nearly two years in someone’s feed, and then I’d realize, ‘I don’t even know this person!’” Gomez explained. “Now I get information the proper way. When my friends have something to talk about, they call me and say, ‘Oh, I did this.’ They don’t say, ‘Wait, did you see my post?’ ”
Experts say we could all try taking a page out of their playbook.
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While social media has its benefits – such as building networks and maintaining contact with others – too much time on these platforms is linked to depression, anxiety and stress, explains Dr. Shahla Modir, medical director at All Points North Lodge Malibu, an addiction treatment center.
Modir says some people can develop an unhealthy relationship with social media platforms and start to internalize “likes” by creating a connection between online responses and their self-esteem.
In Anderson’s post, she described the liberating experience of stepping away from her screen.
“I am free,” she wrote. “Lets hope you find the strength and inspiration to follow your purpose and try not to be seduced by wasted time.”
Digital wellness expert Mark Ostach says he encourages people to “think about the micro-levels of digital trauma that exist when you quickly check your social media in between a conversation or right before you go to bed,” including digesting things like politically polarizing headlines or traumatic posts about a friend’s health. “It happens in a moment’s notice, and I believe it’s causing some low levels of trauma to what we think and how we feel.”
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