Impact of Social Media on Mental Health – These days social media is a ubiquitous part of our culture and our daily lives. It is how news is shared, how entertainment is delivered, and how stories are told. Nearly everyone has multiple social media accounts constantly available at their fingertips—meaning that hours every day are spent scrolling through social media apps and consuming content. And while social media can benefit your mental health by allowing you to form the social connections that are so integral to human nature, research has revealed that overuse habits are common and might be doing more harm than good.
How does social media affect your mental health?
The longer that social media exists as an integral part of our world, the more we understand about the effects that irresponsible consumption can have on your mental health. Some of the common negative effects of too much time spent scrolling on social media include:
- Mood disorders such as depression and anxiety
- Isolation and loneliness
- Feelings of inadequacy
- Brain fog
- Experiencing or participating in cyberbullying
- Insomnia or lethargy
- Panic attacks
These effects can stem from a variety of causes—from the lack of face-to-face time that is so important in establishing human connection to the constant comparison of your life to the seemingly picture-perfect lives of those online. However, practicing responsible social media use is a good way to begin reducing some of these symptoms.
How can I reduce the amount of time I spend on social media?
It is a major commitment to give up social media entirely—and not all aspects of social media use are negative. Because it is the chosen method of communication for most of our world, removing social media from your life can be very difficult if you use it to stay connected to others. Aside from deleting all your social media accounts entirely, the best way to begin mitigating some of the negative side effects of too much time spent scrolling is simply to reduce your amount of screen time. But this is much easier said than done! Here are some ways to begin to modify your social media habits in order to protect your mental health:
- Keep your phone in a different room at bedtime: The temptation to mindlessly scroll late into the night is strong but keeping your phone in a different room from the one you sleep in can help to curb the impulse.
- Delete the apps from your phone: Deleting the apps takes the ease away, reducing the mindlessness of time spent scrolling. If you are forced to manually log in each time that you feel the urge to scroll, you will be much less likely to give in.
- Restrict your time using apps: Download an app that will track your time spent on social media and alert you when you have used up your time. Some even prevent you from logging on once your time is up. This article suggests an apps that can help.
- Delete just one or two accounts: Rather than having five or six different social media accounts, try to remove one to begin weaning yourself off. If you are successful, remove another and another until you have a more mentally manageable number of accounts.
Being aware of the impacts that constant consumption of social media can have on your mental health is the first step in learning how to use social media responsibly. If you believe that your mental health is currently suffering due to the effects of excessive social media use, reach out to one of the experienced counsellors at Horizon Plymouth today. Our professional staff can help you work through your current struggles as you set goals for your future. Contact us today to begin your journey of healing and health!