January 14, 2021
This week, I want to tackle a heavy subject: Social Media & how it affects our mental health. To some of you reading, this may be an obvious answer. We all know that being on our phones or online for too long can make us feel sluggish and unmotivated. There is also the aspect of friends and family only showing the “positive” moments. The best photos, the nicest vacations, etc. What some people don’t think about, however, are the subconscious side effects of scrolling 24/7. According to Help Guide: “Ironically for a technology that’s designed to bring people closer together, spending too much time engaging with social media can actually make you feel more lonely and isolated—and exacerbate mental health problems such as anxiety and depression.” Also mentioned on Verywellmind: “Some studies about social media and mental health reveal that there’s a correlation between networking websites and depression. Other research goes a step further, finding that social media may very well cause depression.” I, for one, don’t believe that social media causes depression but I do think it can worsen it in specific situations. I have personally noticed that limiting my social media time throughout the day has helped my mental state immensely.
There are a few things that I would encourage anyone to keep in mind while scrolling.
1. Limit your time: The number one way to improve your mental state, especially if you are feeling overwhelmed by life, is to stay off of social media. Sometimes we mindlessly scroll and hours can pass. This will in turn, result in us being sluggish and probably a headache from your screen.
2. Don’t take everything at face value: Often times our friends will post their best selfies. Celebrities looking seemingly flawless, engagement announcements, wedding announcements, babies, houses, vacations… The list goes on. If you think you are missing out on some milestones, remember: Everyone’s life path is unique. We don’t all graduate, have kids, get married, or buy a house all at the same time or age. This one is especially important to remember if you’re in your 20’s like me.
3. Before you post: THINK. Is it True? Is it Helpful? Is it Inspiring? Is it Necessary? Is it Kind? If not, maybe think twice.
4. “What other people think of me, is none of my business” – Gary Oldman. This last one is a hard pill to swallow. Often times when we do post on social media, our end goal is validation. When we get that, our brains release happy chemicals. External Validation can be addicting. It’s something that we can get almost instantly, just by posting a picture or two. On the other side of this coin, however, is when we don’t receive it. Did someone disagree with something you posted? Not enough likes or comments on your picture? This can cause feelings of anxiety and restlessness in extreme cases.
I hope you can keep these tips in mind the next time you’re scrolling. Remember, if it seems too good to be true, it probably is.
This week’s resources:
Thanks for reading, friends.
Veronica – Weekly Wellness Blog