Social Media and Psychological Well being – The Good, the Dangerous and the Ugly

This text was impressed by Alexa Curtis, a real inspiration for ladies of all ages, who encourage us to be fearless and true to our distinctive selves..  I do know you’ll love tuning into Alexa’s podcasts “Life Unfiltered” (

As with all type of know-how, the elevated utilization of social media in at present’s society comes together with its personal set of benefits and drawbacks.  You’re in all probability capable of listing a few of these by yourself.  For instance, social media allows us to share actual-time, locations we go and other people we see.  On the flip aspect, it may be time consuming and may typically distract us from different necessary issues.  What might shock you is that there’s a rising physique of analysis indicating that one’s expertise with social media can have a big impression on psychological well being.  As a Psychologist and mom of teenage daughters, this considerations me.  Because the probabilities of social media going away anytime quickly are slim, the higher we perceive this relationship, the extra we will concentrate on how social media might influence our state-of-thoughts.

Let’s begin out by discussing the positives, as a result of not all social media is dangerous.  Actually, the power to share experiences might be satisfying and rewarding.  It might assist us really feel related to a bigger group of individuals with comparable pursuits and is a good way to remain in contact with family and friends.  As well as, on the subject of objective setting, social media is an effective solution to keep accountable and achieve help from others that will help you keep on monitor.  For the youthful era, social media will help improve communication expertise and interpersonal connections. It could implement the essential social and technical expertise which might be necessary for functioning in day-to-day society.  

Sadly, regardless of these advantages, the growing reputation of social media comes with a worth.  Research have proven that elements such because the variety of social media platforms somebody has or the time spent every day on social media, has an oblique correlation to measures of psychological well being.  This doesn’t imply that social media per se is the primary purpose for psychological well being points, however it does point out that it has an general impression on nicely-being.  Let’s take a better take a look at why this can be occurring.

The primary and most blatant cause is that the extra time we spend on social media, the much less time we’ve for different issues in our lives, like constructing wholesome, sustainable relationships.  Typically social media may give us a false sense that we’ve got lively social lives, when it reality, it might forestall us from spending high quality time with these round us.  Within the brief-time period, social media interactions might really feel satisfying, however over time they will result in emotions of isolation and ultimately melancholy.  Face-to-face time is crucial for creating true bonds with others.

Just like this, overuse of social media has been discovered to negatively impression efficiency in different areas of life, together with work, faculty and different day-to-day duties.  Some specialists declare individuals can turn into hooked on social media a lot in the identical approach they turn into hooked on different dangerous habits.  This will ultimately end in penalties that result in emotions of inadequacy or failure.  For instance, somebody who spends nearly all of their day scrolling by way of their Fb feed, might not end their work on time, inflicting them to really feel burdened and dissatisfied with their job.  In flip, they could look to the moment gratification of social media to tug them out of their rut, solely to dive deeper into this damaging sample.  

Along with serving as a distraction, the adrenaline rush skilled by means of approval (within the type of likes or feedback) serves as a short lived temper enhancer, leading to a ‘crash impact” when our expectations will not be met.  Individuals typically discover themselves feeling insufficient because of the “in-your-face” pal tallies, standing updates, and footage of others having a superb time.  This could alter our sense of actuality and impression self-worth, notably in terms of physique picture.  

So what can we do about this?  Listed here are some easy techniques that will help you monitor your use of social media so you possibly can nonetheless take pleasure in, but in addition maintain a verify in your sanity.

  • Determine on a selected chunk of time every day that you’ll put down your telephone and give attention to the current.  You’ll discover your consideration and focus develop into stronger on what you’re doing within the right here and now.  An awesome instance of that is my highschool junior who places her telephone upstairs when she does homework.  It takes her half the period of time and she or he is extra correct.
  • If you should have your telephone by you (anticipating that decision from you Dr.), flip off notifications so that you don’t turn into distracted.  Typically I put my telephone on “Airplane” mode or “Do Not Disturb” when I’m at my pc making an attempt to get work completed.  This manner it’s shut by, however I can select to make use of it as I want.
  • Delete apps that contribute to unhealthy physique picture or different emotions of inadequacy. Add apps that make it easier to really feel higher about your self or encourage you to interact in wholesome behaviors. 
  • Use apps that inform you about your utilization. It will assist to extend your consciousness of how a lot you’re partaking with social media and is a superb actuality verify.
  • Use an alarm clock as an alternative of relying in your telephone.  As a basic rule, I by no means have my telephone close to my mattress.  Sleep time is essential for restorative well being and I wish to reap the benefits of each minute.
  • Take a day without work from social media to concentrate on different issues. Sunday is an effective suggestion since it’s a day once you in all probability aren’t in class or at work.  Your loved ones will recognize this and it is possible for you to to spend extra high quality time collectively.
  • Ditch your telephone on the dinner desk.  Time for supper must be about dialog.  There’s nothing that essential on social media that may’t wait till you’re completed consuming.  
  • Contemplate how you’d ideally wish to spend your time. Ask your self: How a lot time do I need to spend utilizing social media? How can I join with individuals I care about in different methods, reminiscent of speaking on the telephone or assembly in individual?

Consciousness is the primary key to understanding conduct.  In case you are studying this, you’re off to a very good begin by recognizing the dangers platforms akin to Fb, Instagram and Twitter have on psychological well being.  By understanding these pitfalls, individuals of all ages can profit from making their social media experiences constructive ones that improve relationships and sense of self, moderately than creating vicious cycles of time consumption and self doubt.  Use social media correctly and to your benefit!

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Updated: August 25, 2019 — 3:20 pm

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