How Does Social Media Affect Your Mental Health?

There are a lot of great things when it comes to social media. The ability for social media to help people easily share and connect and share news/information… it truly is remarkable when you really think about it. But it’s been very clear that it can have a major downside too, especially for millennials and Gen Z… two generations that grew up in front of plethora of screens.

Today, we’re going to explore how social media can affect your mental health, and how you can use social media in a healthy and positive way.

It’s An Addiction

There has been a lot of conversations lately about whether addiction to the internet is social media is an actual thing that can happen. Studies are beginning to show that it definitely can be an addiction. These studies highlight social media behaviors that fit the criteria of addiction, including but not limited to, neglecting of personal life and using popular apps for mood modifying experiences.

It Messes With Your Sleep

How many of you scroll through TikTok or Instagram or YouTube before you go to sleep? Yeah… me too.

People that use social media are more likely to

  • Go to bed at a later time.
  • Get less sleep than people that don’t utilize social media as much, or at all.
  • Not sleep well even they do get to sleep.

Personally, I think this all comes down to FOMO, also known as the Fear Of Missing Out. You’re afraid that if you log off for the night, you’re going to miss something big, or something really funny or exciting. This type of anxiousness is not good for someone trying to wind down at the end of the night.

It Can Make Your Anxiety and/or Depression WORSE

Yeah, you read that headline correctly. Scary, right? Your anxiety and depression can worsen with excessive use of social media, it can also promote an increased feeling of isolation

Warning Signs of Excessive Social Media Use

Here are 3 signs to look for when determining if social media if affecting your mental health:

  • #1 – You feel sad, lonely, or depressed after you leave the apps.
    • When you finally sign off at the end of the night, if you are feeling an overwhelming feeling of negative emotions, and you’re not sure where it’s coming from… it might be from your use of social media.
  • #2 – Content statistics determine your mood.
    • If you’re finding that your mood is being affected by the number of likes, shares, comments, or basic engagement from something you post – your mental health may not be in the best spot.
  • #3 – Your social media use is affecting your body physically.
    • If you find that you’re not starting to eat poorly, not exercise, and/or simply not take good care of your body physically, social media may be the culprit. You may need to cut back.

What You Can Do

Don’t worry, my friends! You can help yourself if things are starting to get a little out of hand. Here are some important tips on how you can take care of your mental health while using social media:

  • #1 – Spread Positivity – Focus on using social media for good, not just doom scrolling. There are a lot of really good people out there spreading healthy, positive energy.
  • #2 – Stay Connected To Real Life – Don’t blur the lines between real life and social media life. Stay present real life and set realistic goals based off of real life situations.
  • #3 – Find Time To Detox – Schedule time to NOT use social media, or set a rule for yourself. Rules such as “no social media an hour before bedtime” or “no social media during the daytime”. These things DO work and they keep you grounded. You can also schedule time to simply step away from social media for a couple days, or weeks… or, dare I say… MONTHS! (*internal scream*)

Social Media Is A Useful Tool… When Used Correctly

Social media has many benefits when it’s used the right way. It is clear, however, that it can definitely comes with many risks. Be mindful of these risks and both your physical and mental health. Don’t lose yourself within a virtual world. Stay grounded in reality and always put your mental health first.

Much love. Good vibes.

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