The rise of technology has transformed how we communicate, interact, and even feel about each other. From the moment we wake up to the moment we go to bed, we are constantly bombarded with digital stimuli. This constant exposure to technology can hurt our mental health, particularly for young people.
A recent study by the American Academy of Pediatrics found that social media use is linked to increased rates of depression and anxiety among adolescents. The study also found that social media use can lead to cyberbullying, body image issues, and sleep deprivation.
Other studies have shown that excessive screen time can lead to problems such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), obesity, and decreased academic performance.
While technology can be a powerful tool for communication and connection, it is important to use it in moderation. If you are concerned about the impact of technology on your mental health, talk to your doctor or a mental health professional.
Social media can be addictive:
People who use social media excessively become dependent on their digital devices. They may feel anxious or restless when unable to use their devices and neglect their personal lives in favor of social media. This addiction can also lead to mood swings and withdrawal symptoms.
5 Signs You May Be Addicted to Social Media
- They spend more than two hours a day on social media.
- They check their social media accounts first thing in the morning and last thing at night.
- They feel anxious or restless when they cannot use social media.
- They neglect their personal life in favor of social media.
- They experience mood swings, such as irritability or depression, when not using social media.
Social media can make us feel unhappy:
Using social media can make us feel unhappy. Researchers have found that people who use social media more often tend to be less happy at the moment and less satisfied with their lives overall. This is because social media can promote comparison, leading to feelings of inadequacy and jealousy. It can also be a source of stress and anxiety, as we are constantly bombarded with negative news and images.
On the surface, it seems like social media can help us stay connected with others and be more socially active. However, the findings suggest that connecting through social media undermines our relationships and makes us unhappy. Social media can lead to shallower relationships, as we only see a curated version of people’s lives. It can also lead to social comparison, as we compare ourselves to others’ idealized images.
How to Take a Break from Social Media and Feel Better
- Set limits on how much time you spend on social media each day.
- Delete social media apps from your phone.
- Only follow people who make you feel good.
- Unsubscribe from groups or pages that make you feel negative.
- Take breaks from social media throughout the day.
According to research, How Endlessly Scrolling Through Social Media Can Make You Feel Worse.
- Evening is the preferred time of day to doomscroll. This is likely because people are winding down for the day and are more likely to be exposed to negative news stories and content.
- Americans will likely doomscroll about social issues, health, and economic/financial news. This is likely because these topics are important to people and can be anxiety-inducing.
- The most effective ways to cope with doom-scrolling are limiting news sources, using apps/tools to regulate screen time, and practicing mindfulness/meditation. These methods can help people to reduce their exposure to negative news stories and to focus on the present moment.
- About 72% of workers admit to missing a deadline or underperforming on a task due to doomscrolling on the job. This is a serious problem, as it can lead to lost productivity and missed opportunities.
Social media platforms often make people feel insecure about themselves, their living standards, and their homes. This is because we are constantly bombarded with images and posts of people who seem to have it all. We see their perfect vacations, beautiful homes, and seemingly flawless lives. This can lead to feelings of inadequacy and inferiority, contributing to depressive symptoms.
How Social Media Can Trigger Feelings of Comparison
- Seeing a friend’s post about their recent vacation to a tropical island can make you feel like you’re not living your life to the fullest.
- Seeing a coworker’s post about their new promotion can make you feel like you’re not good enough at your job.
- Seeing a neighbor’s post about their new baby can make you feel like a bad parent.
It’s important to remember that social media is not a realistic representation of people’s lives. People often only post the highlights of their lives, and they rarely share the challenges they’re facing. So, when you see someone’s perfect vacation photo, remember that they may be struggling with debt or a difficult relationship.
Take a break if you feel insecure or inadequate after using social media. Step away from your phone or computer and focus on your own life. Do something that makes you feel good, such as spending time with loved ones, pursuing hobbies, or exercising.
Remember, you are enough. You don’t need to compare yourself to others to feel good about yourself. Focus on your unique strengths and accomplishments, and be proud of who you are.
It keeps people coming back:
Social media can be addicting. Indeed though it can make people feel bad, they keep returning to it. It’s like a medicine that you suppose will help you feel more, but it makes you feel worse. Most people feel they need to keep using it despite feeling sad and unfair. This is common in numerous other dependencies.
Social media has played an important part in connecting people from all over the world. It has allowed people to stay in touch with cousins and musketeers they would not have been suitable to else. Still, counting on it for emotional support isn’t a good idea. Using social media in temperance is the key to maintaining a healthy balance in your life and precluding it from harming your life.