Is Social Media Affecting Your Mental Health?
Many social media platforms are designed to be addictive. This is largely because of the business model adopted by social media companies.
When someone creates a post, they can spend a long time framing and editing an image, writing about how good their life is, as well as timing it to reach as many followers as possible. When attacked with this constant demand for perfection, many people report dents to their self-esteem.
What are the Signs of Social Media Addiction?
While it’s important to remember that only a mental health or medical professional can diagnose addiction, there are some warning signs to watch for. Some warning signs and symptoms of addiction may include:
- Using apps despite negative consequences.
- Increasing time spent using social media.
- Foregoing social activities and hobbies because of social media use.
- Difficulty reducing the time spent on platforms.
Ways Social Media Is Affecting Your Mental Health:
Comparing our lives with others is mentally unhealthy
Part of the reason social media makes people feel socially isolated (even though they may not actually be) is the comparison factor. People fall into the trap of comparing themselves to others as they scroll through feeds, and make judgments about how they measure up.
Posting countless selfies and expressing your personal thoughts about every possible social situation can lead to an unhealthy sense of self. In fact, this type of self-absorption can put distance and drive a wedge between you and others in your life
Depression and anxiety
The more social media interactions you have instead of human interactions can increase your risk of developing or worsening depression, anxiety, and other similar mood disorders.
You are most likely aware that sometimes people behave or interact online in ways they would not in person. This might include bullying, using insulting language or other hurtful behaviors. When this behavior happens on social media, it is generally viewed and even shared widely — making it difficult to reduce its impact.
What are some ways you can cut down on screen time and social media use?
- Do a social media cleanse at least once per week where you stay off of media for at least 12 hours.
- Try to cut back on how often you check social media by limiting yourself to checking only twice per day.
- Leave or unfollow a profile/page/site if it is making you feel worse
- Limit your time on platforms. Some platforms, such as Apple and Google, have settings to help you do this automatically on your phone.
- Download an app that helps you track and cut down your media time.
- Turn your phone off for meals and at least 1 hour before bed.
- Start a new hobby to help keep your mind off social media.
Minimizing its Negative Impact
The truth is, social media and mental health can affect us all in a negative way if we let it. It’s something everyone needs to be aware of. Then, if it becomes a problem, it can be addressed right away. Contact Dr. Carla and set a time to discuss your problem with her.