4 Reasons Why You Have Social Media Burnout

By: Bria Barrows

Take a moment to ask yourself these questions: Does the amount of time I spend on social media interfere with my daily plans? Has social media become a negative place for me because I feel the need to compare myself to others? Do moments lose meaning for me if I don't post them?

If you've answered “yes” to any of these questions, know that you’re not alone. You’re actually one of many who struggle to maintain a balance between social media and the stress it brings.

According to studies, social media burnout manifests itself in different ways for everyone, but it usually includes loss of motivation, changes to mood and behavior, and consistently feeling like you might be missing out.   

Here are 4 reasons why social media just might be burning you out:

1. You aren't using social media with a purpose.

I will definitely try to take my own advice as a millennial who sometimes aimlessly scrolls through social media. That being said, you can avoid feeling overwhelmed by using social media intentionally. Follow people who inspire you and delete/unfollow those who don't. Use your page with the intention to inspire or reach out to others in need. It's easy to get into the habit of scrolling just to scroll. If you set an intention, you have more control over how you are affected.

2. You are caught up in the highlight reel (aka, the comparison game).

Take it from someone who knows this all too well, social media, I repeat; social media is based on a highlight reel. Meaning, most of what you see is based on what people choose to show you. No one has a perfect life. If you are constantly comparing what you see online to yours, it can definitely seem that way. Save yourself the stress and anxiety by changing the way you think about social media. It all starts by challenging yourself to differentiate reality from what is posted for likes and views.

3. You aren't using social media to help you grow.

Social media can help grow your career/business, increase your networks, your personal growth, and it can also help you affect change positively if you are actively engaged with your followers. However, if you are constantly consumed by things that are distracting you from bettering yourself, social media will only become a negative space or something you use to pass the time, and overconsumption is never healthy.

4. You aren’t setting time limits.

If we’re not careful, we can end up spending hours on social media. It has become such a critical part of our lives and what we consider ‘normal,’ that some feel they can’t live without it. I think it would be difficult to stop cold turkey so setting time limits can be helpful. There are certain apps you can use on your computer or phone that will help track your usage so you can stay focused.   

No one can completely avoid all the pitfalls of social media and it takes time to dial back your usage. The key is to continually assess how it is either negatively or positively affecting you.


Bria is a Professional writing student from Toronto, Canada. She has a passion for sharing stories that matter. You can read more of my work at Thought Catalog and follow me on Twitter.