Social Media – A Boon or Bane for Mental Health

Did you know that Teenagers’ most popular online activity is social media usage? It was reported that teenagers spend up to 18 hours per week online, well above the average of 10 hours per week. 91% of them aged between 15—19 years old. Social media has become a new way of staying connected with friends and family, sharing photos and videos, and updating about our whereabouts and interests. Social media is all this and much more. However, with the popularity of various platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, WhatsApp, etc., there are several concerns about their impact on users’ mental health. Social media is a broad term for websites or apps focusing on user-generated content. It’ll be easier to understand if we simplify it into two categories: Pro-social media (beneficial for your mental health) and Problematic use of social media (not so good for your mental health).

The benefits of social media

Let’s start off with the positive use of Social media for mental health Social media can help you get in touch with old friends and make new friends, which has been known to improve your mental health. If you have anxiety, depression, or any other mental illness, you can use social media to talk with people who are going through the same thing. If you have something specific you’re looking for, like a support group in your area, you can also search online and find what you’re looking for. Social media can also help you find a romantic partner and make new romantic connections, improving your mental health. If you have anxiety, depression, or another mental illness, social media can also be used to find and talk to potential romantic partners.

The negative effects of social media

Let’s move on to the negative impact of social media on mental health. A large number of people feel that social media is addictive. They feel anxious when they are not using social media and need to return to it as soon as possible after using it. Many people report having cravings to use social media, and many people feel like they can’t control how much time they spend using it. This can be a sign of problematic social media use. If you feel anxious when you are not using social media, or if you feel like you need to spend more and more time on social media, it’s possible that you are using it in a problematic way. If you have these feelings, it’s essential to talk to a friend or family member and figure out if there’s a problem.

8 Ways to protect your mental health to
  • Be mindful of your use – Being mindful of your use of social media can help you to avoid problematic use. If you notice that you feel anxious when you aren’t using social media, or if you feel the need to spend more and more time on it, you should talk to someone about it.
  • Don’t compare yourself to others – One thing that can lead to social media-related mental health issues is comparing yourself to others. If someone posts a photo of themselves on Instagram at a cool party, don’t compare yourself to that person.
  • Don’t compare your life to what you see on social media – Another thing that can lead to social media-related mental health issues is comparing your life to what you see on social media. Someone may post about how fantastic their vacation is, but that doesn’t mean you aren’t allowed to have a vacation.
  • Unfollow people who make you feel bad – There are some people on social media who will make you feel bad if you follow them. If someone posts things that make you feel bad, unfollow them or unfollow the whole account if you can’t unfollow individual posts.
  • Limit your time on social media – It’s essential to set limits on your time on social media. Don’t spend all your time on Instagram or Facebook. It’s okay to log off sometimes.
  • Realize that social media isn’t real – It can be helpful to remember that what you see on social media isn’t real. It isn’t real life, and it isn’t a true depiction of what other people’s lives look like.
  • Remember that you can’t control what other people post – It can also be helpful to remember that you can’t control what other people post on social media. You can’t control what your friends post, you can’t control what people you aren’t friends with the post, and you can’t control what companies post.
  • Be careful not to let social media negatively impact your life – It’s important to be careful not to let social media negatively impact your life. It’s okay to spend time on social media, but make sure that you don’t let it take over your life and consume all your time.
  • Remember that you don’t have to use social media – If you don’t want to use social media, that is okay. You don’t have to use it if you don’t want to.
  • Remember that you don’t have to use social media the way other people use it – You can also decide how you want to use social media. You don’t have to use it the way that other people do.
  • Remember that you don’t have to use social media if you don’t want to – You can also decide if you don’t want to use social media if you don’t want to. You don’t have to use it if you don’t want to.

Smartphones, Snapchat, Instagram, and other social media technology help you stay connected, but what if you find yourself becoming consumed by social media?
Hear what Dr. Khurram Sadiq, a 4-time TEDx Speaker, Neurodevelopmental Psychiatrist, Social Media, Gaming, and Mental Health Expert, says about the adverse effects of social media on mental health on The Pulse Podcast.
Watch the complete episode on:

Conclusion

Social media is extremely popular and can be helpful in many ways. However, it can also lead to mental health issues if it’s used in a problematic way. It’s essential to be mindful of your use, avoid comparing yourself and your life to others, and be careful not to let social media negatively impact your life. If you want to use social media, it’s important to remember that you don’t have to use it if you don’t want to and that you don’t have to use it the way other people use it. For expert advice, you can contact business@mypulse360.com