7 Reasons to Reduce Your Social Media Consumption in 2023: Health, Wealth, and Self

7 Reasons to Reduce Your Social Media Consumption in 2023: Health, Wealth, and Self

Social Media Consumption


Social media consumption is at an all-time high. According to recent data from Smart Insights, 59 percent of the world’s population uses social networking. The number of users grew from 4.2 billion in January 2021 to 4.74 billion in Oct. 2022.

The Pew Research Center found the number of social media users increases to 72 percent when isolated to that of Americans.

There have been various studies about the impact of frequent social media use on the health and wellness of users. Here are seven reasons to reduce your social media consumption in 2023.

1. Social media consumption can be detrimental to mental health.

According to two experts from Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health and Columbia Psychiatry, social media can harm mental health. This is particularly true for young people, experts say.

“Although there are important benefits, social media can also provide platforms for bullying and exclusion, unrealistic expectations about body image and sources of popularity, normalization of risk-taking behaviors, and can be detrimental to mental health,” said Claude Mellins, Professor of medical psychology in the Departments of Psychiatry and Sociomedical Sciences.

2. Social media can cause unrealistic comparisons to false realities portrayed online.

Many social media users have admitted to comparing their lives to those they see online, a trend that can lead to unhealthy behaviors.

“When you find yourself feeling badly about yourself in relation to what other people are posting about themselves, then social media is not doing you any favors,” said Deborah Glasofer, associate professor of psychology in psychiatry at Columbia. 

“If there is anything on social media that is negatively affecting your actions or your choices­ – for example, if you’re starting to eat restrictively or exercise excessively – then it’s time to reassess,” Glasofer continued.

3. Social media consumption can cause anxiety.

According to a 2017 study published in the Journal of Affective Disorders, social media can be a source of anxiety for users.

The study’s summary cites research that shows “social media use has the potential to function as a source of stress or reinforce negative self-evaluations when individuals receive undesirable feedback from others or engage in negative social comparisons.”

4. Social media can be addictive.

It is widely known social media platforms employ algorithms designed to keep users engaged longer. As a result, there is an increasing addiction to social media.

Like any addiction, social media can lead to destructive behaviors and patterns. “The immersive experience created by the numerous distracting features of social media sites also may facilitate avoidant coping strategies and social isolation, which may promote psychopathology,” one study states.

5. Misinformation runs rampant on social media.

Professional communicators, journalists and laypeople alike have often complained about how prevalent misinformation is on social media. There is also research to support the dangers of sharing unverified rumors online.

The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (PNAS) conducted a study titled “The spreading of misinformation online.”

The study found that social media “allows for the rapid dissemination of unsubstantiated rumors and conspiracy theories that often elicit rapid, large, but naive social responses.” It further states that “Selective exposure to content is the primary driver of content diffusion and generates the formation of homogeneous clusters, i.e., ‘echo chambers.’”

Harvard legal scholar Cass R. Sunstein wrote a book about how dangerous echo chambers are.

“The biggest issue is simple. It’s group polarization, which means that if you listen to people like you, you’ll probably get more extreme and more confident too, Sunstein said in an interview. “It’s great if you come across ideas and topics that you didn’t specifically select. That can change your day and even your life.”

6. Sharing too much on social media can lead to real-life harm.

In addition to the mental and emotional toll too much social media can have on users, it can also lead to real-life harm by oneself or others. A growing number of suicides and homicides have been attributed to social media.

If users are not careful what they post, malicious individuals can identify personal information, making it easier to victimize users in real life.

7. Decreasing social media users can lead to improved health and wellness offline.

Many experts state decreasing social media consumption produces healthy outcomes.

According to a report by Help Guide, “a 2018 University of Pennsylvania study found that reducing social media use to 30 minutes a day resulted in a significant reduction in levels of anxiety, depression, loneliness, sleep problems, and [fear of missing out] FOMO.”