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Do you need a social media detox?

Your news feed can really suck you in these days. A behavioral health specialist has tips for managing your mood and social media habits.
Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — There’s no doubt social media plays a big part in many of our lives.

And while it helps us connect with family and friends, experts say it can also be damaging to our mental health.

“When we’re on social media it isn’t always the healthiest kind of connection,” said Jane Pernotto-Ehrman, a behavioral health specialist at Cleveland Clinic. “Given COVID, given the politics and the stressors going on for all of us in our individual lives, we can find ourselves scrolling and scrolling and being triggered by upsetting things that are posted.”

Pernotto-Ehrman said it’s easy to feel a range of emotions when you’re on social media – everything from jealousy to anger.

She said if you find yourself getting upset or constantly checking your newsfeed, you may want to consider taking a break.

In fact, research shows if you limit your time on social media to no more than 30 minutes each day, your mood can actually improve.

“When we say, okay, I am going to check social media at this time of the day and keep it to that and not check it first thing in the morning and not check it every time they have a break,” Pernotto-Ehrman said. “So that they have some regulation to their day and their time, I think that’s helpful.”

Of course, that can be easier said than done, so you may want to try putting your phone in another room for a while to reduce temptation.


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