• Miriam Wheeler, ND

Why I Quit Social Media, And Why I Rejoined - Part 2

Updated: May 14



I quit social media several years ago and thought I'd never look back.


So, what prompted my return to social media? My commitment to the naturopathic principle of docere - the latin word meaning, "to teach". One of the most rewarding parts of being a naturopathic physician is having the time to educate patients. It's empowering for patients to learn about their diagnosis and treatment options. Yet, these conversations are obviously limited to my patients during their appointments.


After much encouragement from colleagues, friends, and my mentor, I finally accepted that I would need to return to social media to reach a larger audience. If social media is the platform our society is currently using to engage with one another and participate in meaningful conversations, then that's where I need to be. So here I am (literally, here and here - check my pages out and follow me to stay connected).


While I may be back on social media, the concerns I have regarding social media use and our mental health that kept me off for years, still remain. Staying mindful of this, I personally will be limiting my usage, so don't expect daily stories from me on IG. And if you send me a message on either platform, please know that I don't check my accounts daily. If you have an urgent question you'd like answered more quickly, I suggest you call my office and schedule a free 15-min phone consult or appointment. I'd also recommend checking out this article from Psychology Today if you're worried about your own social media usage habits. [1]


In addition to restricting my usage of social media, and only following people and companies I care about, I always disconnect from technology when exercising outdoors. The benefits of "green exercise" (a term that describes the synergistic benefit of exercise while being exposed to nature) was discussed in a literature review from the journal Extreme Physiology & Medicine in 2013. [2] It turns out, that exercising outdoors in nature not only improves our self-esteem, but we also might exert more effort since we perceive exercise outdoors to be easier compared to indoors.


So the next time you lace up, consider jogging around a lake at a park or going for a hike instead of walking on the treadmill. And consider putting your phone in airplane mode while exercising. You may be surprised by how much more enjoyable the experience is when you're experiencing the beauty of nature and not subconsciously listening for the ding of an update.


My first hike of 2020 at South Mountain, Phoenix, AZ


[1] https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/in-excess/201805/addicted-social-media Psychology Today: Addicted to Social Media? What can we do about it problematic, excessive use? May 07, 2018.


[2] Gladwell VF, Brown DK, Wood C, Sandercock GR, Barton JL. The great outdoors: how a green exercise environment can benefit all. Extrem Physiol Med. 2013;2(1):3. Published 2013 Jan 3. doi:10.1186/2046-7648-2-3


Free full text: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3710158/

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