SOCIAL MEDIA and MENTAL HEALTH
Do you start your day by checking your social media accounts? And end it with mindless scrolling before you doze off?
Do you pop your phone out for quick check-ins during the day— but before you realize it, you’ve scrolled through recent posts for nearly an hour?!
Social media often gets a bad reputation for being a contributor to negative outcomes but the coin has two sides. In other words, social media could be both harmful and helpful.
Social media offers plenty of opportunities to compare yourself to others.
Scrolling might leave you envious of your social circle’s lives, including their: fancy vacations, clean, cozy homes, tight-knit, smiling, well-dressed families, seemingly flawless bodies and much more!
Whitney Goodman, family therapist say that her clients often feel less-than after using social media, explaining that social media often creates a feeling of ‘never being enough’ or reinforces the idea that perfection is possible.
Seeing filtered slices from someone’s life can lead you to assume they’re living in complete bliss, even as you know you aren’t.
Research suggests, people who use social media, particularly at night, tend to go to bed later, sleep less and sleep worse
A 2016 study using survey data from 1,787 U.S. adults between the ages of 19 and 32 found a link between social media use and increased depression. Some people, for instance, may use social media to cope with existing feelings of anxiety or depression
Excessive social media use takes time away from doing other things that may benefit your mental health like connecting with others in person, spending time in nature and taking care of yourself in other meaningful ways
Social media can provide access to multiple resources — though, of course, you’ll always want to consider the source for potential inaccuracy or bias.
Social media can also help raise awareness for different causes,
Allows you to quickly and easily ‘travel’ beyond your city, state, and even your continent to expand your inner circle.
Provides an outlet for this expression since it creates the opportunity to: share your interests and pastimes with others, sharpen your skills by learning from others with the same interests and broaden your creative, cognitive horizons by learning about new hobbies and ways to try them
It can be used for good, or it can become problematic when used incorrectly or in excess
Ask yourself what function social media serves in your life.
Using social media apps first thing in the morning could potentially set a negative tone for the rest of your day. And, as noted above, using these apps at night could disrupt your sleep.
Pay attention to the kind of content that seems to negatively affect your mental health.
What are good boundaries for me on a regular basis?
Would I like to experiment with skipping social media for a day?
Can I keep my phone elsewhere to minimize use?
If you find yourself getting sucked into social media these days more than ever before, you might feel a little guilty about your habits. But going down the social rabbit hole is completely understandable.
The effect social media has on your mental health often comes down to how you use it, and why.
Just know that you want to be in control of your life! Are you ?