How to use social media, according to a mental health expert
When used thoughtfully and deliberately, social media can be a useful addition to your social life, but only a flesh-and-blood person sitting across from you can fulfill the basic human need for connection and belonging.
Using Facebook to keep abreast of your cousin’s life as a new mother is fine, as long as you don’t neglect to visit as months pass by.
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You may find that a few short spurts help you feel better than spending 45 minutes exhaustively scrolling through a site’s feed.
The rise of social media has meant that we as a global population are more connected than we have ever been in the history of time.
However, our reliance on social media can have a detrimental effect on our mental health.
A study conducted by the University of Copenhagen found that many people suffer from “Facebook envy”, with those who abstained from using the popular site reporting that they felt more satisfied with their lives.
Becoming more conscious of the amount of time you spend scrolling through other people’s online profiles could help you focus more on yourself and boost your self-confidence.
It’s so important for us to be able to communicate and forge personal connections with one another. However, it can be hard to do so when we’re glued to rectangular screens, becoming more acquainted with our friends’ digital facades than their real-life personas.
A study published in the American Journal of Epidemiology that assessed 5,208 subjects found that overall, regular use of Facebook had a negative impact on an individual’s wellbeing.
In girls, frequent social-media use seemed to harm health when it led to either cyberbullying and/or inadequate sleep and exercise.
But these factors did not seem to have the same effect on boys, and the study didn’t pick up on specific ways that social networks could be harming them.
“It’s about getting a balance between social-media use and other age-appropriate activities, and ensuring that there aren’t specific negative things happening online."