How social media affects mental health

Social media has been described as being more addictive than drugs or alcohol. It has been normalised into our lives and there are no restrictions on when or where you can use it. Even Facebooks executives have admitted that their platform may pose a risk to users emotional wellbeing.

Many studies have suggested that long term social media and mobile phone use can produce symptoms of depression, anxiety, low self-esteem and you others say it can also provide many benefits. So do the rewards outweigh the risks?

Risks of Social Media

  • Mental Health issues like depression, anxiety, sleep problems and more have been associated with social media use
  • Not protecting yourself by having curfews on usage
  • It has not been determined whether spending more time on social media leads to depression and anxiety or if people with depression and anxiety spend more time on social media.
  • Some people are more susceptible than others to any ill effects. Especially younger people. More and more underage (younger than 13) are using social media heavily. They are doing this with and with their parent’s knowledge. Parents need to be aware that the effects can be incredibly negative for an underdeveloped mind who has little comprehension of the consequences.

Rewards of Social Media

  • Mental Health rewards like staying connected with family and friends to share important aspects of your lives
  • Creating a schedule where you last check your phone at 10 pm and prepare for sleep with a wind-down and time of relaxation
  • Rather than being isolated social media gives us an online community that can be a source of emotional support
  • For people with health conditions they can see that they are not alone, it can be an invaluable support network
  • It can be a great bank of your memories
  • Many influencers/business people are documenting their life for future reference
  • It is a business tool to both sell and to connect with other businesses
  • You can learn about products and services through the people you follow

Protect yourself

  • Limit when and where you use social media
  • Have periods of complete detox from social media
  • Pay attention to how it makes you feel
  • Switch off completely at 10 pm each night
  • Use social media with mindfulness
  • Stop following people or businesses that are not good for you and your mental health
  • Add accounts that are good for your mental health
  • Remember that social media is not real life. It is just an image that has been shared publicly

Consensus

It can not be agreed on wholey or disagreed wholely – there are both risks and rewards. There are MANY factors that determine the outcomes of social media usage on a person’s mental health. So while the risks need to be acknowledged so to the rewards as for many the potential to help is far greater.

If you are trying to stay away from social media why not outsource your business social media so you are on the platforms less. We can design a package that suits your need and covers the platforms that are ideal for your business.

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