If you spend plenty of time on Facebook, you’re probably doing yourself more harm than good. A 2015 study found that frequent Facebook exposure correlates with an increased sense of peer-envy, thus leading to dissatisfaction, sadness, and even serious depression.
For those who have a history of addiction, it is vital that you surpass very trying emotions as even a short bout of depression can drive you to reach for an escape. While Facebook use can be a fun and social experience, excessive exposure to content that negatively stirs your emotions can make you more vulnerable to a relapse.
Here are a few tips to help you focus on yourself and limit your Facebook use in a way that is conducive to your recovery.
1. Time yourself.
Allot a certain amount of time—like 15 minutes—to Facebook per day and stick to it. Resist the urge to continue constantly check in and stop yourself when you feel like you’re turning to Facebook out of sheer boredom. There are also apps that limit your time on Facebook, such as Self-Control.
2. Stay mentally present when checking in.
It’s good to check in with your friends, relatives, colleagues, and acquaintances through Facebook, but you should also have an understanding behind why it causes peer-envy. As you start to feel inadequate or a little jealous of your Facebook’s friends new house, car, baby, job or life, consciously stop yourself and log off. Many times, people find themselves trapped in this jealousy spiral, so just be alert.
3. Don’t engage in negative Facebook activity.
Aside from feeling envious, sharing negative posts or comments can also cause harmful emotions to ensue. Whenever you’re on Facebook, you should take advantage of your opportunity to engage in positive interactions every single time. Be as peaceful online as you would expect yourself to be in real life.
4. Practice self-love off of Facebook.
If you practice self-love outside of Facebook, you’ll be less susceptible to the envy and consequential depression excessive Facebook use can cause. Stay active, meditate, keep positive people around you, and pursue wellness in every ways possible offline. By doing this, you’ll feel better about yourself and your life, even when you’re online and peering into everyone else’s life.