Your Member Benefits Website features include:

  • Access to online articles with helpful information
  • Ability to submit an online form asking a counselor to contact you
  • Topics covering working life, wellness, parenting, management, etc.

Your Customer Hub features include:

  • Automated headcount updates in UCMS
  • Invoicing reflective of the active populations under your account
  • Access reporting with case trends, disruptive issues, utilization

Local Service Partners

Local Service Partners are independent EAPs with which WPO has established strategic relationships for the delivery of global EAP services in alignment with the WPO models, processes and quality standards.

  • 1 August 2022
  • 2 years

Unplugging from Social Media to Recharge Your Battery

Rhiannon Copeland

Global Learning Solutions Specialist

With over six billion people worldwide currently using smartphones, social media has an almost universal reach (O’Dea, 2022). Keeping connected with loved ones around the globe, kick-starting social movements, and providing space for marginalised voices and an outlet for self-expression, social media apps and websites have many positive attributes. But is the time you spend scrolling having a negative impact on your life? 

Brief History of Social Media 

Digital communication goes far back. The Washington Post even describes Samuel Morse as ‘the true inventor of social media’ with morse code (Rosenwald, 2017). However, excessive use of social networking websites and applications is more recent. 

Beginning as a desktop experience, social media websites were a way for people to connect digitally with family and friends, colleagues and other like-minded people. The invention of smartphones, introduction of quality in-phone cameras and high-speed wireless internet connections meant a vast increase in social media consumption and time spent scrolling.  

Today, how many people subconsciously pick up their devices as soon as they have some spare time or feel like a part of them is missing when they don’t have their devices within arm’s reach? 

The Research – Social Media Addiction 

Social media addiction is described as a psychological addiction that compels someone to be overly engaged in social media, devoting so much time to social media that it impacts other aspects of their lives (Hilliard & Parisi, 2019). 

Researchers at Harvard University found that posting on social media activates the same part of the brain that ignites when taking an addictive substance. Positive social stimuli, in the form of ‘likes’, ‘comments’ and messages, can also result in a release of dopamine. When a person posts a picture and receives positive social feedback, this stimulates the brain to release dopamine, which rewards the behaviour of posting and perpetuates the social media habit (Haynes, 2018). 

Nomophobia (an abbreviation for ‘no-mobile-phone-phobia’) is the fear of being without your mobile phone (Bhattacharya et al., 2019). Professor Alter of New York University found that 46 per cent of young adults said they’d rather have a broken bone than a broken phone (Alter, 2017). In addition, a report conducted by Bank of America found that 71 per cent of people sleep with their mobile phones beside them (Rolfe, 2017), with some people even falling asleep with them in their hands! 

Benefits of Less ‘Scrolling Time’ 

The average person spends just under seven hours every day looking at a screen (Moody, 2022), with a global average of 4.8 hours spent visiting mobile social media apps (Chadwick, 2022). Reducing time spent consuming social media could have amazing benefits, such as the following: 

  • Improved relationships and reduced feelings of loneliness – With the accessibility of connecting with many people all at once via social media, on the surface you may feel like you are surrounded by social connections – but are those connections real and meaningful? Reducing your social media intake could help you to nurture your perhaps-neglected offline relationships. 
  • Improved self-esteem – Social media can cause people to draw comparisons between themselves and others, comparing things such as appearance, achievements, or financial or marital status. 
  • More Zzz’s and an increase in quality sleep – Not only would you probably manage to go to bed a little earlier if you were less attached to your phone, but less blue-light exposure would mean reduced disruption to your body’s production of melatonin, the hormone responsible for helping you to sleep (National Sleep Foundation, 2022).
  • Enhanced productivity at work – Less social media interruption could increase your focus and attention and help you to overcome creative blocks. 

You don’t need to quit social media fully to experience these benefits. In fact, quitting social media suddenly could heighten anxiety and feelings of FOMO (fear of missing out) in the short term. Reducing your app time to 30 minutes per day or unplugging from social media for a week can really boost your overall wellbeing and give you a chance to reset (Hunt et al., 2018; Lambert et al., 2022). 

So, how do I unplug and recharge? 

  • Gradually reduce your screentime weekly. 
  • Make plans to spend time away from the screen. 
  • Turn off notifications for social media apps. 
  • Stop scrolling and start strolling! Increase your physical activity and connectedness with nature. 
  • Commit to a digital detox. 
  • Have technology-free hours in your day or technology-free zones in your home. 

Are you feeling up for a challenge?  

A month away from your favourite social media apps could help to promote healthier social media habits in the long term and provide noticeable improvements to your physical and mental health. Perhaps you could pledge to be scroll free for 30 days with the ‘Scroll-Free September’ initiative. 

Workplace Options helps employees balance their work, family, and personal needs to become healthier, happier, and more productive, both personally and professionally. The company’s world-class employee support, effectiveness, and wellbeing services provide information, resources, referrals, and consultation on a variety of issues ranging from dependent care and stress management to clinical services and wellness programs. To learn more email us at

Disclaimer: This document is intended for general information only. It does not provide the reader with specific direction, advice, or recommendations. You may wish to contact an appropriate professional for questions concerning your particular situation.


Alter, A. (2017). Irresistible: The rise of addictive technology and the business of keeping us hooked. London: Penguin. 

Bhattacharya, S., Bashar, M. A., Srivastava, A., & Singh, A. (2019). Nomophobia: No mobile phone phobia. Journal of family medicine and primary care, 8(4), 1297. 

Chadwick, J. (2022, 12 January). Time to put down the smartphone? People spend nearly a THIRD of their waking hours on mobiles by averaging 4.8 hours a day on apps, research shows. Daily Mail. Retrieved 10 June 2022 from 

Haynes, T. (2018). Dopamine, smartphones & you: A battle for your time. Retrieved 10 June 2022 from the Harvard University Science in Nature website: 

Hilliard, J., & Parisi, T. (2019). Social media addiction.  Retrieved 10 June 2022 from the Addiction Center website: 

Hunt, M. G., Marx, R., Lipson, C., & Young, J. (2018). No more FOMO: Limiting social media decreases loneliness and depression. Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology, 37(10), 751–768. 

Lambert, J., Barnstable, G., Minter, E., Cooper, J., & McEwan, D. (2022). Taking a one-week break from social media improves well-being, depression, and anxiety: a randomized controlled trial. Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking, 25(5), 287–293. 

Moody, R. (Revised 2022, 21 March). Screen time statistics: Average screen time in US vs. the rest of the world. Retrieved 10 June 2022 from 

National Sleep Foundation. (Revised 2022, 12 April). How blue light affects sleep. Retrieved 10 June 2022 from

O’Dea, S. (2022, 31 May). Smartphone subscriptions worldwide 2016-2027. Retrieved 10 June 2022 from 

Rolfe, A. (2017, 16 June). Bank of America – Trends in Consumer Mobility Report. Retrieved 10 June 2022 from 

Rosenwald, M. (2017, 24 May). Before Twitter and Facebook, there was Morse Code: Remembering social media’s true inventor. The Washington Post. Retrieved 10 June 2022 from 

Copeland, R. (2022, 9 June). Unplugging from social media to recharge your battery (B. Schuette & E. Morton, Eds.). London: Workplace Options (WPO). 

Related Posts

Ressources sur le bien-être

Consultez nos rapports sur les tendances du secteur bien-être pour éduquez et engagez vos salariés