Social media can be a very useful tool, but I also understand why many people choose to do regular social media cleanses—or go off of it for good. Think of the reasons we do other cleanses, like juice cleanses: there are toxins presented to us by our environment that just aren’t good for us, and aren’t quite ordinary for the human body to encounter. We have to flush them out from time to time and reset, in order to feel healthy. I would say that social media fits a lot into that description, too. It really isn’t ordinary for us to be able to consume all of the information—exciting, devastating, scandalous, deeply personal, and tantalizing—that we do in a matter of seconds on social media. That rate of information downloading really only began within the last decade or so. Our brains weren’t built for it. Here are ways social media is probably causing you anxiety.
Witnessing the arguments
Watching the lengthy arguments that can go on in the comment threads of someone’s provocative or polarizing posts can be nerve-wracking. We watch, in real time, how much people can quickly judge, hate, and team up on each other. It’s not normal to overhear or rather over-read someone else’s argument like that.