6 ways to protect your mental health from social media's dangers
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Commit to not checking social media during meals with family and friends, and when playing with children or talking with a partner.
Make sure social media doesn’t interfere with work, distracting you from demanding projects and conversations with colleagues. In particular, don’t keep your phone or computer in the bedroom–it disrupts your sleep.
Even a five-day or weeklong break from Facebook can lead to lower stress and higher life satisfaction.
Publicly declare you are on a break. And delete the apps for your favorite social media services.
You can also cut back without going cold turkey: limit your use of social media to 10 minutes a day for three weeks and you'll see improvements in your mental health.
Experiment with using your favorite online platforms at different times of day and for varying lengths of time, to see how you feel during and after each session.
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.
The level of happiness is part of our genetic makeup - we have a set level and cannot rise above or fall below it.
Some scientists envision the day that we can manipulate our happiness genes with precise nanoscale technologies. These mood bots will travel inside us to a part of the brain and manually turn on genes to up or down our happiness set point. But, scientists assure us that we are more than biology and that a mood bot will not guarantee happy and satisfying lives.
Happiness has always been difficult to quantify because it is subjective, depending on if you have a short- or a long-term outlook on life. Recently, researchers have started to distinguish between two types of happiness:
People will always be happy when they see their children prosper when they feel loved, secure, and well-fed.
But, this formula for happiness is so obvious that most people dismiss it. They would rather look for a secret ingredient. The answer is that there is no secret.