How Social Media Affects Mental Health and How to Overcome It

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As you may already know, Internet usage, specifically social media, has the power to affect your mental health in both positive and negative ways. In this article, we will be diving into the realities of social media usage and how it can impact your well-being.

We’ll start by discussing all the good and the bad that comes with social media usage, since we feel it is important to acknowledge both aspects of its presence. 
 

Positive: 

-Communicate and keep in touch with family and friends around the world 
-Find new friends and communities with similar interests, hobbies, etc. 
-Seek employment and/or network with other business professionals 
-Making an income as a content creator or influencer 
-Join and promote causes you feel strongly about 
-Seek emotional support when struggling 
-Use as an outlet for creativity and self-expression 
-Learn new things and gather information about topics of interest 
 

Negative: 
 
-Feelings of inadequacy 
-Fear of Missing Out 
-Feelings of Isolation 
-Stalking/Obsession 
-Depression and Anxiety 
-Cyberbullying 
-Self-absorption and narcissistic tendencies 
 

What are the signs that social media is affecting your mental health?

You may be negatively impacted by social media if you find yourself sacrificing real -life interactions to spend more time on the internet. This can be a sure sign of phone dependency if you find yourself needing to constantly check social media and comparing your social life to that of others. Furthermore, you can find yourself constantly worrying your missing out on the fun and constantly wishing you were somewhere else.
 

Comparing Yourself

If you find yourself having to seek out the approval of others, specifically in the form of "likes" and comments, having lower self-esteem, eating less, or feeling inferior to other people on the Internet, this might be a cause for concern. It's good to also remember that what people post online isn't always as it seems and generally people tend to highlight the best moments of their day/lives and downplay the negative.
 

Worsening anxiety and depression 

As opposed to working through negative feelings and improving your overall mood, too much Internet usage and self-reflection could result in anxiousness, depression, and/or loneliness. 
 

Being the Subject of Cyberbullying

You might find yourself being treated badly or being spoken to meanly. Another form of this can be people posting negative content about you.
 

Finding Yourself Distracted

You might feel pressure to post regularly, and engage with your friends’ comments regularly either in messages, or with likes and comments.  
 

Not Self-Reflecting

When you spend a lot of time on the Internet or focused on other peoples’ lives, you give up adequate time to take a good look at who you are, what you want, what you think, what you believe, etc..instead focusing on what the media and other people tell you to think and enjoy. 
 

Worsening anxiety and depression

 
As opposed to working through negative feelings and improving your overall mood, too much Internet usage and self-reflection could result in anxiousness, depression, and/or loneliness.  
 

How to Combat the Negative Effects of Social Media Usage

There are several steps you can take to improve your well-being and reduce any social media-induced feelings of loneliness and depression, such as: 

  1. Using an app to track your social media usage per day and limiting screen time
  2. Turn off your phone at certain times, such as when you’re working, during dinner time, when you’re spending time with family or friends, etc. 
  3. Don’t use your phone before going to sleep 
  4. Limit how often you check social media platforms 
  5. Delete the apps off your phone or simply take a break for awhile 
  6. Spend more time with your friends offline, plan in-person activities, join clubs, or consider reaching out to acquaintances you haven’t seen in awhile 
  7. Take time to recognize the things in your life that you’re thankful for, by reflecting, logging it in a journal, or practicing mindfulness 
  8. Get involved and volunteer for a cause you care about 

 

We hope this article has helped you brainstorm new ways to spend your time, as well as how to successfully combat feelings of loneliness and depression that often coincide with increased social media usage! We're honored to assist you in this journey and we hope these ideas bring about much success and happiness for you!

 

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