Social Media, Stress, and Changing Habits - Part 2

In part 1, we focus on why it's important to cut down on tech use.

Anxiety often leads to self-medicating behaviors, and one of the biggest behaviors for kids and teens is social media usage.

What happens physically/mentally when you quit social media or go on a tech cleanse?

Going on a cleanse from media it’s pretty stressful. When you’re looking at curbing an addictive behavior, the first few days are the hardest. Then it gets easier, and then it gets harder again when your brain catches up and realizes that this isn’t just a temporary measure.

But, if you feel like you are excessively using social media, remember how much time you’ll be saving by not using it. And that extra time can be utilized in healthier pursuits, like exercise and getting outdoors.

People may also find that their relationships are stronger and they feel more connected with those around them.

Set yourself up for success.

There are two options for ceasing social media usage. You can do a gradual step down plan, or you can quit cold turkey. It really depends on if you just want to curb the behavior or if you want to stop altogether.

For either approach, write down (on paper!) why you want to stop using social media so much.

What are your goals, and what is the benefit of reaching those goals? This helps with setting your intention, and you can review this when ever you feel like you’re going to slip up.

Then, remember that it’s OK to slip up! It’s hard to change ingrained behaviors. Relapse is part of the process. So be gentle with yourself, and remember that even if you start using social media again, that doesn’t mean that you’re totally off the wagon and should give up completely.

Do you have twenty tabs open on your computer while reading this on your phone? Did you feel a twinge of anxiety as soon as I suggested you take a break from your phone? Does your anxiety get worse with every post someone else makes? Well, it might be time to talk to a counselor.

Kelsey Torgerson specializes in anxiety in kids, teens, and college students. Her office is located in Clayton, MO, and she works with kids, teens, and college students throughout St. Louis City, County, University City, Ladue, Town and Country, Creve Couer, Richmond Heights, and Brentwood. You can reach her at