The Point: Social Media Burnout

Social media burnout is going viral. For the Colson Center, I’m John Stonestreet with The Point.

More and more journalists are coming forward and admitting that Facebook and Twitter have broken them. Last year, Andrew Sullivan wrote in New York Magazine how the constant demands of blogging destroyed his health.

Now Christie Aschwanden, writing at FiveThirtyEight, says giving up social media taught her how distorted the news cycle is.

For one thing, following Facebook and Twitter meant that her reading was “curated by external forces.” In other words, she’d “ceded control of [her] most valuable currency: [her] attention.”

She also realized that “By opting out, [she] wasn’t missing thoughtful discussions,” she was “skipping pep rallies for various factions.”

If your time on social media leaves you frustrated or depressed, take a break. The Internet is a tool, but not a way of life. Take time to focus on one thing for a while. Love, be present with those around you, and for heaven’s sake, read your Bible.

To avoid burnout, sometimes you just need to log out.


I Used to Be a Human Being
  • Andrew Sullivan | New York Magazine | September 18, 2016
Leaving Social Media Taught Me How Broken The News Cycle Is
  • Christie Aschwanden | | June 6, 2017

Comment Policy: Commenters are welcome to argue all points of view, but they are asked to do it civilly and respectfully. Comments that call names, insult other people or groups, use profanity or obscenity, repeat the same points over and over, or make personal remarks about other commenters will be deleted. After multiple infractions, commenters may be banned.

  • Nancy

    I totally agree! If you’re not careful the Internet can rob you of living life!

    • jason taylor

      That’s all very well for some. I have very few who live near me who could identify with me. And in any event, I am not made in such a nature that insists that something be concrete before it is real. I have lived in a “Tardis” for most of my life and it is my natural turf. I am incompetent with most things that are not informational(which is why I can’t marry and have never told a girl I loved her even when I did as I haven’t the economic heft to live up to it and am not cad enough to defraud in that matter) but with information I am like Eric Liddel. It is not the internet that robbed me of living life, it is life. The internet gave me another form of life. The problem with this argument is that it is like the habit of people in the nineteenth century of assuming that scattered peoples have no “roots” because they have no geographical center. The answer is the same, that their “roots” were what they kept with them.

      As for spending to much time on news, I spend enough time on news to please my pallette and no more. In some ways I flatter myself that knowing something serious about it is a way of fulfilling the hoplite’s code as I cannot do anything solid for The Republic’s interest but can be an amateur analyst. But really that is irrelevant as I study no more in the way of current events then I feel like studying and as it happens I feel like studying a moderate amount. And no it does not upset me mainly because I am an informational person, enough to know it has all happened before and will again.

      So no the internet does not rob me of living life. It helps give me life. So I am afraid I cannot sympathize with this reasoning and find this idea rather like some of Gina’s conspicuously Protestant pastors who are always being insensitive to singles.

      • Just one of many voices

        Whoooaaa….your response sounds quite frustrated & argumentative. If so, may I suggest you take Mr. Stonestreet’s advice? If you’re not disturbed, you can kindly disregard this comment here.

        Still, I apologize and am very sorry you feel threatened, or upset, or like someone is arguing against your way of life. Just….take a deep breath man. Ease up a bit, chill pill…something. Nobody in this thread is trying to make you feel upset or anything. Nobody even suggested or implied arguing until you said “the problem with this argument”.

        There’s a lot of information out there. False, true, religious, political…and it all lends itself to arguing, debating, proving one’s point, having to be right, etc.

        Just try to loosen up. When our muscles get tight, they are more prone to injury. Same with our mental/emotional health I think.

        • jason taylor

          Point taken, and I am sorry I got snippy.

        • jason taylor

          However, understand how it sounded, picture someone saying, “stop wearing glasses.”

          • Just one of many voices

            Ah yes, that makes more sense of it. Thanks for the word picture/analogy. It brings a lot of clarification!

      • Nancy

        I am sorry if I have offended you somehow. My statement was about me. I do have family and friends, activities I enjoy. So, for me, the less time I spend on the Internet, the better.
        Yahweh bless you and provide all you need in this life.
        Stay well

  • Just one of many voices

    I couldn’t agree more. Taking a break from news & media is one of the best things a person can do!

    Funny this showed up today, ’cause I deleted the local news page from my favorites tab only yesterday.

  • Joseph M. Butler

    I agree fully with the premise of this article, at least for myself. I more or less got addicted to social media after I retired and then became the caregiver for my wife, who was battling cancer until she went to be with the Lord in January of this year. Some of the side effects I eventually became aware of, included getting too much of my “news” from the aforementioned “pep rally” posts on the sites (especially Facebook), a certain mental disorganization, lessened ability to concentrate, cessation of reading books, including the Bible, and lengthy articles, just to name a few. It can be difficult to pull away from the sites, in part because it becomes a primary way of communication with friends and relatives. I am working on reducing the time spent on these sites and hope to drastically do so. I think my brother, Donald R. Butler, had the right idea. He began giving up Facebook for Lent each year. I noticed that after that, he has spent significantly less time on Facebook. Definitely a healthy move.