Mental Health

Mandy Kloppers

Understanding the Effects of Social Media on Your Mental Health

We love social media for all the good it does in our lives, like keeping us connected to our family and friends around the globe, boosting our businesses, or being a steady source of flavorful content. However, with the good comes the bad.

 

From experiencing social anxiety in real life to chasing unrealistic beauty standards, social media can be everything you don’t need for your mental health. Let’s dive into this a bit more by exploring some effects social media can have on your mental health and how to work through them successfully.

 A Segue to Cell Phone Addiction

People use social media every day and sometimes all day. When your life revolves around scrolling on social media apps, you become accustomed to using your cell phone all the time. This can be a segue to cell phone addiction.

 

If you ever feel anxious when you’re away from your phone for a while, have a hard time getting things done, or are disengaged from the physical world, you may be a cell phone addict.

 

To avoid or ease your way out of cell phone addiction, set daily limits for your cell phone use. Then, take those limits a step further by drawing a line for social media use as well. Then, you can fill your time with hobbies, time with your loved ones, and personal development to keep you positive and productive.

Social Anxiety in Real Life

We don’t talk about it as much as we should, but using social media too much can lead to social anxiety. Social anxiety is much more than feeling a bit uncomfortable in social settings. Instead, it’s overwhelming anxiety that peaks its head every time you have to socialize.

 

Social media can exacerbate social anxiety by making you feel like you have to look perfect and be the life of the party if you want to go out. And if you can’t meet these incredibly high standards, there’s no point in going outside at all and trying to connect with people. That constant pressure is quite harmful to your self-esteem, self-worth, and overall confidence.

 

If you’re experiencing social anxiety or think you might be, the next step is to see your doctor. After that, they may have you see a specialist to get an accurate diagnosis. From there, you can work with them to create a plan to manage your social anxiety disorder, so you don’t have to hide behind social media’s walls.

Striving for Unrealistic Beauty Standards

Social media is a playground for unrealistic beauty standards. There are way too many photos and videos on these platforms with people in them that seem to have no flaws. As a result, we find ourselves taken by the idea that maybe everybody is that beautiful and you’re the odd one out. But this just isn’t the case.

 

Do your best to avoid striving for unrealistic beauty standards. Every time you look at a photo or video on social media, remind yourself that it’s probably photoshopped and filtered in some way.

 

People aren’t perfect. Even those considered to be some of the most beautiful people in the world struggle with acne, fluctuating weight, thinning hair, and other imperfections.

 

As much as we’ve heard this saying, it must be said over and over again until it sinks in: Beauty comes from within. All that matters is you feel good about yourself and continually work on loving yourself unconditionally.

Losing Touch With the Physical World

Social media is causing people to lose touch with the physical world. They’re so afraid of missing out on something online that they fail to engage in life offline. Being this disconnected from real life almost guarantees an isolated life, void of any purpose or passion.

 

Always remember that social media isn’t a replacement for the real world. Instead of spending most of your time scrolling down social media timelines, make it a point to experience what the outside world has to offer.

 

For instance, immerse yourself in nature and get your body moving by going on a hike or nature walk. You can release stress, work on your physical health, and foster feelings of inner peace when you seek the thrill of outdoor adventures. Just be sure to hydrate, tell someone where you’re going, and that you’re aware of any pertinent laws or seasons whenever you decide to get lost in the great outdoors.

Attention Becomes Number One

It’s a regular practice of people on social media to engage in behavior simply for attention. Whether it’s doing a dangerous challenge, saying something outlandish, or going heavy on the sex appeal, as long as it generates likes, right?

 

Many people would say yes. However, it isn’t a good idea to let attention become your number one priority. There are plenty of social media users out there addicted to not just attention but negative attention. They’ll continue to do harmful, unruly things so long as they get the attention they crave.

 

One of the best things you can do to starve yourself of empty attention on social media is to go on a digital detox. Digital detox means taking a break from all electronic devices, logging out of social media, and giving the internet a rest.

 

It might be hard to do this the first time. But if you fight through, you’ll hopefully become less and less reliant on social media for attention and instead, give yourself the positive attention you deserve.

Conclusion

Understanding social media’s influence can help us better our physical, emotional, spiritual, and mental health.

 

When you understand how social media can negatively affect your holistic health, you can do things to avoid being sucked into its storm. Implement the tips above to better work through the challenges social media presents on your mental health.

A useful guide: Social Media Addiction – socialmediavictims.org/social-media-addiction/

 

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