Social media feeds into our human natural tendency to be curious. We need curiosity; it helps us learn new things and serves as a vehicle for growth. But curiosity with regard to social media can be like falling into a large black hole we can’t get out of. The ease and immediacy lures us in and it’s so hard to turn off.

We then rely on something else to squash our natural sense of curiosity to get out of the hole: willpower. Willpower to withstand the immediacy of our curiosity and the reward of our addiction. But the thing we’re addicted to is in our pocket or handbag all day, every day! Can you imagine trying to quit smoking while carrying a pack of cigarettes in your pocket?

Let’s look at breakups. You have to work so hard to move past a breakup nowadays. Breakups no longer mean you just stop talking to the person. Now, you have to delete them from every form of your social media. You have to make sure you can’t see them from someone else’s social media feed. You need a tremendous amount of willpower. And if your curiosity is in play, which it always is, you may NOT delete them from your social media which means you end up watching them not be sad about the breakup–or so it may seem. You see them out and about, laughing, having fun, and hanging out with a new potential girlfriend / boyfriend. I use the word potential because every person you see them with is someone they are interested in in your mind. It is a minefield for your thoughts.

Break ups used to be hard, but now can be tortuous. You used to still see your ex at school or a party or social gathering. You would see them talking to someone else, checking to see facial expressions and body language, gathering clues to decipher if they were interested in them. Now you can see them 24/7. Trying to crack the code of what is going on for them; do they miss me? Are they happy we broke up? Are they interested in someone else? Are they sad without me? It leaves our mind to roam endlessly.

Think about whether it’s in your best interest to delete your ex from your social media. Not to be spiteful, but to save yourself from mental anguish.

Break ups are just one example where our curiosity is at play, making it difficult to manage our social media use which can negatively impact our mental wellbeing. Ask yourself, where else is my curiosity showing up that isn’t so helpful? Is my curiosity taking over, causing me to spend hours on social media? Could that time be spent pursuing something else I‘m curious about that would fulfill me in a better way?

Please read the other blogs in this series: