If sitting is akin to smoking, then what does that mean for our social media behaviors? Not only do we sit while we browse, but we find it difficult to disconnect ourselves while we tackle other tasks. Just think about how often you pick up your phone absentmindedly and open a social media app. You scroll for a few minutes, close the app, and then immediately open the same app or a similar one to scroll again. You don’t need a scientist to tell you just how negatively that is impacting your mental health, do you?
The Effects of Social Media
Well, it isn’t just a problem for the youth, it’s impacting you, too. If it’s affecting you, though, you can imagine just how great the impact is on our teens and younger, when you consider the cyber-bullying element.
One of the most damaging things we do for our self-esteem is constantly comparing our lives to that of others. Social media amplifies that. You know that amazing picture that Sandra shared? She took dozens of them and when she finally found one she liked she used an airbrush app to fix it up. Tom shares amazing photos of his meals and travels, but he doesn’t tell you about the issues he has at home. Social media is a snapshot of a life, and it’s usually only the positive bits. Which means you are comparing your life to an imaginary existence. That’s not good for anyone. This is just one of the issues, though. There are more.
While the experts may not agree, I believe it’s fair to say that social media addiction is real. We are addicted to opening the app and looking for an escape, something to occupy your mind, distract you, and boost your mood. The problem is that it rarely does boost your mood. Lately, it’s become a battle between memes and politics. There is also the question about what motivates us to use social networks, and that is different for extroverts and introverts.
2. Social Network
Just because you have 1,000 followers and 750 friends doesn’t mean that you’re a social person. Nor does it mean that your social life is better. Many of the people you interact with are strangers and you’re choosing them over real connections. You sit at home and scroll, instead of going out and spending time with the people you love. Loneliness and mental health problems go hand in hand, so an active social life is vital to your well-being.
The more you use it, the happier you are… wait, that’s not right. You seem to be getting sadder the more you use social media. Not to mention how stressed you feel when you need to be constantly connected. The more time people spend on various social media platforms, the more they perceive themselves to be socially isolated. Which isn’t good for anyone.
This doesn’t mean there aren’t benefits to using social media. It simply means that we have to work harder to maintain our active social connections and spend less time turning to social media for a mood-lifting boost. Want to limit your time? Delete the apps or log out each time you close it, so you can’t access it as easily.