Social media doesn't make a person better or worse, it amplifies who they already are.
While social apps are designed to be addictive, the emotions they bring out of us were already there.
If, while scrolling through your Instagram feed, you feel jealous of a friend's kitchen remodel, or insecure about your talents compared to a colleague's, or angry that others are landing the types of clients you're not, those feelings aren't coming out of nowhere.
These feelings of discontentment also aren't a product of the social media scene. I've been speaking for nearly 20 years at retreats, workshops, and conferences, and the topic of how to cultivate contentment has come up every time, and not just from those in creative businesses. Feeling like there's more you're missing out on while abundance surrounds you is part of human nature dating back to Eden.
If you need to take a break from social media, and it makes sense for your business to do so, go ahead. Use that break to do some soul-searching and work on the root issues of those icky feelings that surfaced while watching Instagram Stories or a Facebook Live video. Otherwise, when you rejoin the social world, nothing will have changed because all you did was sweep the feelings under the rug, hoping they would become dormant again, convinced it was all the app's fault.
Social media can be a great marketing tool, but it can also be an effective tool for increasing self-awareness and giving us space to improve the unhealthy areas of our character that it brings to light.
The original version of this post was published October 2009