A local health expert advocates detox time away from social media.By John Shumway

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Eight months of the Coronavirus pandemic and the presidential election has a lot of us re-evaluating our social media usage.

Social media has become such a big part of our lives, but it’s a pro vs. con experience.

We heard comments among the folks walking Penn Avenue in the Strip District:

  • “Well, when I’m reading the happy news, I love it and when I’m reading about the flooding and rioting, I’m not so happy.”
  • “It brings out the best and the worst.”
  • “I try to try to keep the joy in my life. And sometimes that steals my joy. So I try not to look at that.”

Jane Pernatto-Ehrman is a behavioral health specialist at the Cleveland Clinic says, “When we’re on social media, it isn’t always the healthiest kind of connection, given COVID, given the politics and the stressors going on for all of us in our individual lives, we can find ourselves scrolling and scrolling and being triggered by upsetting things that are posted.”

So she advocates detox time away from social media.

“I think when we say, okay, I am going to check social media at this time of the day and keep it to that. And not check it first thing in the morning, and not check it every time they have a break, so that they have some regulation to their day and their time, I think that’s helpful.”

Watch as KDKA’s John Shumway reports:

 

Back on Penn Avenue:

  • “I will tell you, I do turn it off.”
  • “Do I practice that? Seldom.”
  • “I do all the time. Yes, absolutely.”

But separating from the constant feed of social media can be stress-inducing on its own.

As one woman said, when she’s away from social media she feels, “Anxiety, and fear of being like left out from things.”

The experts suggest weaning yourself off of social media a bit at a time by simply reducing the time each day — and yes, that might require you to put your device completely out of reach.