Here’s your weekly Mental Health Monday after two weeks of break! This week we’re examining social media and our wellbeing.
Social media offers us some amazing benefits, and chiefly among those is the chance to connect with friends and family. If Covid has taught us anything, it’s that were it not for technology, keeping in contact with those we’re closest to would have been a lot more challenging during lockdown.
However, since the likes of Facebook, Instagram and Twitter are new technologies that haven’t been around for long, we don’t yet know what their long-term impacts on our wellbeing are. What we do know is that multiple studies have found a strong link between heavy social media usage and an increased risk for depression, anxiety, loneliness, self-harm, and suicidal thoughts. Comparing ourselves with what we perceive as people with “perfect lives” triggers feelings of unhappiness within us about our own existence.
Much like gambling or other addictions, social media use can create psychological cravings. It can also mask underlying problems, such as stress, depression, or boredom.
If you wish to cut down in your social media use, see this excellent guide from HelpGuide.org International: Social Media and Mental Health – HelpGuide.org