An American Psychological Association poll states that 68 percent of U.S. adults say that the 2020 election may be a significant source of stress in their lives.
As polling day involves an in depth , social media posts on your feed may ignite negative feelings.
Now could also be an honest time to require an opportunity from social media.
Between a lot of misinformation, the pandemic, and a tense election year, your social media feeds are likely to be crammed with emotional, anger-inducing posts within the coming weeks.
According to a survey conducted by The Harris Poll on behalf of the American Psychological Association (APA), 68 percent of U.S. adults said that the 2020 election may be a significant source of stress in their lives.
This is a rise from the 2016 election when 52 percent said an equivalent .
One way to alleviate election-induced stress may include avoiding social media for a short time .
“Taking an opportunity from social media during election week might be helpful for several people. Social media are often very polarized, and there’s an abundance of misinformation about all kinds of topics,” Erin Vogel, PhD, social psychologist and postdoctoral fellow at Stanford University , told Healthline.
“It’s very possible to remain informed and stay connected with others while still taking an opportunity from social media,” she said.
While social media can have some positive effects on psychological state , like connecting you with others — which may give the sense of feeling supported and fewer lonely — Vogel said it also can cause stress, depressive symptoms, lower self-esteem, and other negative outcomes.
In fact, one experiential study in 2018 of quite 100 undergraduate students at the University of Pennsylvania found that those that limited their time on Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat to 10 minutes per platform, per day, showed significant reductions in loneliness and depression over 3 weeks compared to an impact group which used the platforms freely.
“We often compare ourselves to the ‘highlight reels’ people present on social media and feel worse about ourselves as a result. we will also accidentally spend tons of your time on social media, and feel as if we wasted our time,” said Vogel.
In addition, Laurie Santos, PhD, psychology professor at Yale University , said you’ll “catch” the emotions that others express on your feed.
When this happens, discussions can get heated and arguments can occur, especially those associated with politics.
Misinterpreting people’s comments and tone on social media also can initiate arguments.
In 2017, researchers at UC Berkeley and University of Chicago found that “We may find yourself taking a really different idea of an argument while reading than that of while watching or taking note of that very same thing.”
Additionally, scrolling across content that creates you angry can add fuel to the hearth .
According to a Pew Research study in 2018, 71 percent of social media users reported encountering content that creates them angry.
Moreover, the bulk of social media users frequently see people engaging in drama and exaggeration, and jumping into arguments without having all the facts.
Political posts seem to urge people especially angry.
A Pew research facility analysis in 2018 of congressional Facebook pages found that the anger emoticon is now the foremost common reaction to posts by members of Congress.
“Given that emotions are running high, this could be an honest time to require an opportunity or a minimum of reduce your consumption,” Santos told Healthline.
How to take an opportunity from social media
The University of Pennsylvania study found that after participating within the experiment, both groups showed significant decreases in anxiety and fear of missing out, suggesting a advantage of increased self-monitoring on social media.
However, lowering or eliminating social media altogether might not be as easy because it seems.
Experts share a couple of tips for breaking free:
1. Delete the apps
If you would like to travel cold turkey following the election, Santos said to form it tougher to access your favorite social media channels.
“Delete the apps on your phone so you’ve got to be intentional about logging in. Or, find a couple of friends who’ll plan to a social media sabbath for a couple of days with you,” she said.
You can also tell friends and family who often encourage you to travel on social media that you’re not on the channels and would rather discuss topics not associated with social posts.
2. combat a replacement habit
If jumping on your social channels is your go-to action once you awaken , finish work, or jump into bed in the dark , decide to do something else during those times instead.
Vogel suggests going for a walk, reading, or talking over the phone or via text with a lover or loved one .
“At first, it’s going to feel uncomfortable to spend less time on social media. Developing new habits takes time, but it’s possible,” she said.
Santos agreed and said to exchange scrolling with healthy activities like getting more sleep or engaging in breath-based meditation.
“Social media can desire a simple fix with a coffee start-up cost, which means we use it because it’s easy… a fast thanks to kill a couple of minutes when we’re bored. Make it easy to try to to something else by making an inventory of the way you’d rather spend some time once you have a couple of minutes here and there,” she said.
3. Scroll past political posts
If you continue to want to ascertain the great parts of your feeds, Vogel said to form it some extent to scroll past social media posts that aren’t helpful for you.
“If political posts are stressing you out, you would possibly enjoy getting your information from other sources. you’ll specialise in entertainment, relaxation, and connecting with others during your social media time,” said Vogel.
And don’t let fear of missing out on information lure you back onto social media.
“Just because the news cycle runs 24/7 doesn’t mean you’ve got to be following it with rapt attention 24/7. we will be told citizens while at an equivalent time controlling our intake of the journalism . an equivalent is true for social media,” said Santos.
4. Find positive news to follow
Another way to remain on social media without being exposed to negativity is to require control over your feeds by following people and liking news and posts that bring you joy or insight you appreciate.
“Try to balance the negative information with the great stuff. there’s joy and positive news out there if you look. within the midst of the start of COVID-19 lockdowns, I followed the hashtag #COVIDKindness, which had many positive stories,” said Santos.
If unsettling posts make their way back to your feed and you begin to experience negative feelings, she said take action.
“[I] suggest taking an opportunity and ensuring you’re listening to your body to note once you need one,” Santos said.