A recent survey of the American Psychiatric Association states that more than a third of adults in the country view social media as harmful to their mental health.
Only 5% view social media as having a positive impact on mental health, while 45 percent say social media has positive and negative effects.
The survey revealed that two-thirds of respondents believe that the use of social media is linked to social isolation and loneliness. In addition, many studies have linked the use of social media with depression, envy, decreased self-confidence, and social anxiety.
Also Read: Social Media Detox
Is social media good for mental health?
A recent survey revealed that one-third of US adults think social media is bad for their mental health. Only 5% think it is good for mental health. Here are six suggestions for reducing the bad effects of social media on mental health.
1. Limit the time and place you use social media
Using social media can influence direct communication with other people. By turning off social media notifications or turning on airplane mode at certain times each day, you can get in touch better with other people. For example, not checking social media when eating with family and friends, when playing with children, to when talking with a partner. Avoid social media so as not to interface with work or divert conversations with colleagues. Specific advice, don’t keep your cellphone or computer in the bedroom, because it will disturb your sleep.
2. Schedule a ‘detox’ period
Several studies have shown that ‘detoxification’ of social media or ‘pause’ for five days to a week from Facebook can reduce stress levels and increase life satisfaction. So start scheduling daily breaks from social media for a few days.
The reduction does not have to be extreme which makes you uncomfortable because you cannot access social media, for example using Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat for 10 minutes a day for three weeks can cause lower loneliness and depression. At first, it might be difficult, but you can ask for support from family and friends by saying ‘detoxing’ social media. Another thing you can do is delete your favorite social media applications.
3. Pay attention to what you are doing and how you feel
Try using your favorite online platform at different times and durations in a day to see how you feel then and after. You might find that using social media in a short amount of time will help you feel better than spending 45 minutes to explore the entire site feed in depth.
If you feel you are wasting energy accessing Facebook every midnight which leads to a bad feeling about yourself, you should not open the page after 10 pm.
Keep in mind that people who are passive using social media, just looking at other people’s uploads, feel worse than people who are actively using social media, uploading about themselves and interacting with others in cyberspace. It’s better to focus on online interactions with people you know offline.
4. Use mindfully social media: why am I doing this?
If Twitter’s opening has become the first thing to do in the morning, is it because you want to know the latest news or just a habit of escaping in facing a new day? Do you choose to see uploads on Instagram instead of doing difficult tasks at work? Please answer this question honestly to yourself. When reaching for a telephone (or computer) to check social media, answer this question: why am I doing this now? Decide if that is what you really have to do.
Over time, many people or organizations that you follow on social media. Some content is interesting to look at, but there are many that will be boring, annoying, annoying or can be even worse. This is the right time to stop following (unfollow), mute, or hide your contacts (hide). They will not realize if you ‘cut’ social media. As a result, your life will be better.
This was revealed in a recent study about the life information of Facebook friends could affect people more negatively than other content on Facebook. Meanwhile, content filled with inspirational stories actually creates feelings of gratitude, vitality, and admiration. Trimming a few “friends” and adding a number of motivating or funny sites tends to reduce the negative effects of social media.
6. Social media is not a substitute for real life
Using Facebook to find out how your cousin has just given birth is a good thing, but don’t delay the visit after months. Twitter on Twitter with colleagues can be interesting and fun, as long as the interaction does not replace direct communication with them.
When used with awareness and consideration, social media is a useful additional tool for your social life. However, only the person sitting in front of you can fulfill the basic human need for connection and self-existence.