Social Media Apps: A Toxic Trap?


Let’s talk about social media apps.

If you’re on them, you’ve likely checked them at least once before reading this blog post.

That’s because apps like Facebook, Instagram, X (Twitter), Tik Tok, LinkedIn and many more have become an integral part of our lives. They connect us with friends and community and provide a window to the world … but are they also making us sick?

Let’s explore how social media apps could actually be toxic to your mind-body health, and ways to reduce your screen time for the sake of your overall well-being.

The Scroll and Stress Connection

As I’ve mentioned before, social media apps are downright addictive. They lead you to a constant stream of information and notifications which can trigger stress and anxiety, along with elevating cortisol levels which can be detrimental to your health. It always seems like someone else’s life is way better than yours. And before you know it, you’ve got some FOMO (fear of missing out), building up, adding to your stress.

Toxic Online Engagements

You know that feeling: engaging in an online argument with a complete stranger on social media can indeed raise cortisol and insulin levels which can wreak havoc on your body, and can even manifest into diseases like diabetes if you make this a habit. Virtual spats that lead to stress, anger and heightened anxiety are typically fueled by emotion rather than thoughtful discourse. Why do we do this? It’s an unconscious reflex that can get the better of us.

Fear and Irrational Thinking

Social media apps can create an atmosphere of fear and sensationalism. The constant bombardment of alarming news and fear-inducing content can lead to irrational thinking. Over time, these apps can influence you to become more anxious or make decisions based on emotion rather than logic.

Brainwashing and the Echo Chamber

Social media can also foster an echo chamber, where people are exposed only to information that aligns with their beliefs. This lack of diverse perspectives can lead to something called confirmation bias and groupthink, which inhibit independent and critical thinking. What ever happened to the concept of respectfully agreeing to disagree?

Reduced Autonomy

Have you ever experienced having a conversation about something and an ad for it pops up in your social media feed? Or you might be visiting a place and you’ll see an ad for it on Facebook while you’re there? Social media platforms often use algorithms to curate content tailored to individual preferences, and your phone is tracking your preferences to do this. While this can enhance your experience, it can also manipulate what you see and influence your thoughts, opinions and ability to think independently. As a society, many would argue that our collective autonomy is also at risk.

Reduced Attention Span

The quick, bite-sized nature of social media content can train your brain to seek instant gratification, which can lead to a shortened attention span and difficulty concentrating on longer, more complex tasks.

Disturbed Sleep Patterns

Late-night scrolling before bedtime can disrupt your sleep patterns. The blue light emitted by screens interferes with melatonin production, making it harder to fall asleep and stay asleep.

So, social media apps have a downside. What can you do to reclaim your health?

Today, notice how much time you’re spending on social media apps. Keep a tally on a piece of paper every time you check your phone and note how much time you’re on these apps. At the end of the day, take note of how much time you’ve spent on social media and which apps you’ve been on the most.

Social media apps definitely have their place in our increasingly online world. But like with everything else, they’re best when consumed in moderation.

There are easy ways to detox from social media apps: you can set screen time limits on your apps so you don’t spend excessive time scrolling, you can designate specific periods of time daily for a digital detox and engage in screen-free activities like reading, going for a walk, or spending quality time with loved ones. You can also delete them altogether from your phone and only check them on your laptop, which reduces the temptation to constantly check your feeds.

By being mindful of the toxic nature of social media apps, and taking steps to limit your time on them, you can mitigate their negative effects on your mind-body health.

Want a deeper dive on this topic? I’d love to help you!

If technology is ruling your life, you can reverse it with a comprehensive digital detox and some coaching from me. Together, we can come up with a digital detox plan that works for you to restore your sense of balance and wellness. Contact me here or drop me an email at to schedule a free session.

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