Nowadays, we probably spend more time on social media than interacting with people in person. Our world has gone almost entirely online, and while this has undoubtedly been beneficial in many ways, it also comes with some significant negative impacts at the same time. See below to understand more about how social media can both negatively and positively impact your mental health and what you can do about it!
The Negative Impacts of Social Media on Your Mental Health
One of the main risks of social media is how it impacts our mental health. Social media has a major association with anxiety and depression, particularly in younger adults. With a constant flow of curated images, it can be easy to feel like everyone has a wonderful life, and some people report experiencing a fear of missing out or FOMO. But the truth is that many of these images do not accurately represent reality. It is easy to smile for a picture for a moment, but that doesn’t mean someone is happy or has a perfect life.
Additionally, social media use has an almost addictive quality, with many people finding themselves scrolling for hours on end, like playing a never-ending slot machine. At the same time, the rollercoaster of excitement and sadness over the number of likes an image receives can seriously impact self-esteem and confidence. Sometimes, interactions on social media can turn toxic, resulting in cyberbullying, which can be devastating for mental wellbeing.
The Positive Impacts of Social Media on Your Mental Health
Social media certainly has its risks, but it has also made it possible for us to meet and interact with people all over the world. Social media provides a quick avenue to share your life with friends and family, connect with new people, stay in touch with old friends, and get news and information at your fingertips. It has also been a massive avenue for social change with the growth of online activism and fundraisers.
Social media keeps us connected, and it can be a fantastic opportunity for socialization and meeting new people. It is still important to remember that it is not a replacement for real human connection and cannot ultimately provide the same benefits as face-to-face interaction.
How to Engage with Social Media in a Positive Way
Social media clearly has upsides and downsides, so how can we engage positively with it?
- Put a Timer on Your Phone
If you struggle with the addictiveness of social media or feel like you can’t seem to put it down, then try putting an app timer on your phone. App timers can track how much time you spend on each social media site and shut it off when you’ve reached a certain amount of time. If you use social media heavily, try weaning off this process slowly to make it more sustainable rather than going cold turkey.
- Avoid Social Media in the Mornings and Evenings
Starting and ending your day with the stress of social media content can gradually lead to these stressors influencing your daily life. Instead of checking your phone first thing in the morning, try to take some self-care time by engaging in a healthy morning routine. You might also consider leaving your phone outside of your bedroom in the evenings to avoid the temptation and improve your sleep, which is essential for mental health.
- Be Selective With Your News Feed
The great thing about social media is that we can also be selective by what we choose to see. If a person, group, or page is creating content that feels negative or stressful for you, try unfollowing or muting that content. You can also try following some more positive or wellness-focused accounts that can bring some uplifting content and help you use social media more consciously.
Now Accepting New Patients – Eastside TMS and Wellness Center in Renton, WA
Social media can lead to mental health issues in nearly any person. It may be time to seek outside support if you are feeling overwhelming depression or anxiety that doesn’t seem to go away. At Eastside TMS and Wellness Center in Renton, WA, we are here to support you in any way we can on your journey to a joyful life, with or without social media. Reach out to us today for more information!