With last week celebrating World Mental Health day, I figured I’d write about 3 ways social media can negatively affect your wellbeing. Yes, social media is a powerful tool. But with all that power, comes danger. Let’s go over the three things to be aware about when using social media.
Thriving for perfection
Hundreds of selfies, numerous filters and countless edits is the reality of many images being posted on social media outlets, such as Facebook, Snapchat and Instagram. People are spending so much time arranging their meals and coffees to capture ‘perfection’. This is not real life.
People follow influencers with pretty photos, and think that that individual is living a perfect life. I’m not saying they aren’t, because they very may well be. However, chances are, a lot of work went into creating the perfect picture that fits into that individuals brand. It’s an image, not necessarily the truth.
It’s important to remember that when comparing oneself to an image found online.
Lack of human connection
Constantly using social media can give the false impression of friendship and companionship. As per the Six ways social media negatively affects your mental health article, many avid users may feel lonely due to actual human contact. People spend hours upon hours on social media, creeping their friends, family members, high school acquaintances, their dog walker and many other people. Heck, I’m guilty of this. But guess what, that’s not creating a meaningful bond with these people. Just because you know that your cousin twice removed had chicken pesto pasta for dinner, doesn’t make you close to one another.
It’s also important to take time to actually connect with friends and family. Don’t spend your time on your phone during your outings! It takes away from meaningful time spent with one another.
People think that a computer screen is protection. They can type and say horrible things. This facilitates bullying. It facilitates file transfers, it’s immediate, and it’s permanent. That being said, don’t let these negative comments get you down. If someone is bullying you online, chances are, they aren’t your friend. As Katie Hurly stated in Social Media and Teens: How Does Social Media Affect Teenagers’ Mental Health, it is difficult to build empathy and compassion (our best weapons in the war on bullying) when individuals spend more time “engaging” online than they do in person. Use that negative energy and turn it into something positive. Don’t let it get you down, let it help you get stronger.
And one thing to always remember, if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say it.
How do you maintain positive mental health as a social media user?
3 Things About Social Media and Mental Health https://bit.ly/2QQR2Uz
Social Media and Mental Health: 3 things to look out for https://bit.ly/2QQR2Uz