Scrolling is making us unhappy

Scrolling is making us unhappy

Clashing Time Scrolling is making us happy

This week I've been trying to catch up on all my favourite YouTubers. I don't watch live TV very often, so my spare time is either spent checking out a show that someone has recommended or watching YouTube (normally more the latter). I love how raw a 20 minute clip of someones week can be, showing the reality of their life when they have to go and do the weekly shop, take the dog for a walk, or go to a work event. It's the stuff that they think is tediously boring, but to me it's refreshing and relatable. It demonstrates that we really aren't all that different, despite living different lives.

One thing that seems to have been a very common theme in many of the vlogs I've watched this week has been comparison. But not just any old comparison, but comparison that has formed from scrolling. Scrolling through Twitter, through Instagram, and through looking at thumbnails of other creators work. I get it, if you're a content creator as a full time job, it must be impossible to not constantly look at what other people are doing and either wish you were doing the same, or feel bad about yourself that you haven't achieved x, y and z. However, I'm not a full time content creator and I feel the same.

I've been feeling quite bored recently during 9-5 so I've been escaping to the world of social media every so often to fill some time. Only now that I've listened to other people vlog their feelings about their social media comparison issues has it hit me that I am my own worst enemy.

So then I decided to google 'Social Media Anxiety' and low and behold an article on the Independent was only published last week (8th Nov) on the 'Six ways that social media negatively affects your mental health'. Now i'm not implying that I never knew the detrimental effects of social media, I wasn't born yesterday. However when I was reading the fact that the average Brit checks their phone 28 times a day, I realised that I 100% check my phone MORE times than that, and that's bloody terrifying.

If we do the maths, I am bored + I check my phone = I feel bad about myself after scrolling mindlessly. Well then take out the distraction of my phone and scrolling and SURELY I have a better chance of feeling better about myself? A few months ago I turned off my notifications and then I realised it was pointless because I was checking it anyway when I had too much free time, but this time I feel differently. It's like i've had an epiphany about how I want to feel about myself, and how I can try to achieve that - even just on a trial basis.

So today, I have grouped all my social media apps together in to one folder on my phone, I've turned off the notifications for all of them, and I've moved the folder to the second page of my apps. I've also moved a different app in to the exact spot where I used to click on my social media. There's evidence to suggest that your fingers will sometimes go and automatically click on the apps you're so used to scrolling through without even thinking because you're so used to doing it. So I've decided to replace my most commonly clicked links with an app called 'Affirmations' (recommended to me by another blogger called Mollie). Each day it shares a new affirmation with you that will make you feel better about yourself and I quite like the fact that my silly brain might think it's clicking on Instagram and instead it's getting a motivational piece of advice.

Scrolling has wasted so much of my time and I've just decided that i'm a little bit done with it. As I say, I am my own worst enemy as I bring this mental pain on myself and there are definitely steps I can take to prevent that happening. I may write an update in a month or so to let you know how i'm getting on, but hopefully this new change becomes so natural to me that I don't need to think about it anymore.

Have you tried something similar? Let me know by either commenting below or tweeting me on @ClashingTime_. I'd love to hear your thoughts!

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