Opinions, politics and sarcasm are all fair game on social media. So, you certainly know the feeling -- you read a post on line by a friend or family member and it's irritating, or frustrating and then that impacts our real-life relationships with these people.
Dr. Joseph Rock of Cleveland Clinic says that people post things on social media they wouldn't likely say out loud, in person, because our brains behave differently when we're not in the physical presence of others.
"When you're creating a post in a room where there's nobody else there, your filters are off. You're not worried about offending anybody; you just say what you want to say. And even though you're directing it to a wide variety of people, each reader takes it personally," Dr. Rock says.
Dr. Rock says that when you're talking to a group of people face-to-face, if there's one person in that group who you know has different political views or is offended by certain things, your brain will filter that out in an effort to protect the person and protect yourself. Also, a big chunk of communication is nonverbal - which we do not get to see online - which helps to give the comments some perspective.
However, when you go on social media you don't always know who the audience is.
If social media is causing stress in your life, Dr. Rock says you can find solace by just turning it off and tuning it out. But Dr. Rock says people often think they're missing something, but he reminds us that if we really look at what we're seeing on an average day - it's mostly a lot of menial things that we could really do without.
He said if you find yourself really having a difficult time turning away from your social media accounts, the first step is to recognize that you have a problem and admit it to yourself.
"Take that first step and admit, 'social media has the power to upset me. And a lot of times, it's people that I don't even like that much. Sometimes it's people I don't even know, who are getting me very upset,'" Dr. Rock suggests.
Dr. Rock says after you've admitted to yourself that your social media habits are causing you stress, you have to put your phone somewhere where you can't get to it that easily. While it's hard to kick the habit on your own, he says it helps if you have a partner or a friend that can help keep you accountable.