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" Is it time you went on a social media detox? "

In today’s world, social media is central to our lives. It helps us to stay in touch with our friends, promote our work, and follow the latest news. How do these networks impact our mental and physical health? Is it time to take a break from being permanently online?

Nowadays, we have plenty of social networking sites to choose from, and the options seem to be ever expanding.

Many people actually hold multiple accounts, which they may use for different purposes.

I, for one, use one platform to communicate with friends and family, and another to stay up to date with the most recent research developments.

Sometimes, however, a sense of dread creeps in: what if I’m wasting too much of my time reading the news instead of actually writing the news? What if my Facebook friends are doing more with their lives?

When these thoughts strike, it feels as though social media is a sort of black hole, sucking up time as well as mental and emotional energy. Would I be better off “unplugging” more often?

And it seems that I’m not the only one having these concerns. In speaking to my colleagues in the Medical News Today office, I learned that a similar sense of unease regarding social media was a common denominator.

“It takes me out of the ‘now’ all the time,” one colleague reported, and several others said that they were worried by social networks’ “echo chamber effects.” Also, colleagues who had already said their goodbyes to social media still stand by their decision wholeheartedly.

“I have stopped using [social media] because of ‘fear of missing out’ and always being sad about other people doing fun stuff or appearing to do fun stuff,” one such colleague confessed.

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