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Six ways social media negatively affects your mental health without you even knowing

Social media

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.

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Six ways social media negatively affects your mental health without you even knowing

Six ways social media negatively affects your mental health without you even knowing

https://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/health-and-families/social-media-mental-health-negative-effects-depression-anxiety-addiction-memory-a8307196.html

independent.co.uk

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Key Ideas

Social media

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.

Self-esteem

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.

Human connection

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. 

Memory

Social media can be great for looking back fondly on memories and recounting how past events occurred. However, it can also distort the way in which you remember certain tidbits from your life.

We are guilty of spending far too much time trying to take the perfect photo of a visual marvel, all the while not actually absorbing the firsthand experience of witnessing it with our own two eyes.

Sleep

“Getting worked up with anxiety or envy from what we see on social media keeps the brain on high alert, preventing us from falling asleep,” explained Dr Bono. 

“Plus, the light from our mobile device just inches from our face can suppress the release of melatonin, a hormone that helps us feel tired.”

Set yourself a strict rule of not going on your phone for at least 40 minutes before going to bed, and see if that makes a difference to the quality of your sleep. 

Attention span

While it’s incredible to consider the amount of information readily available at our fingertips thanks to social media, it also means that people have become far more easily distracted. 

If you’re unable to not check your phone for at least a few minutes, then you’d do well to practise exercising your willpower on occasion. 

Mental health

In March 2018, it was reported that more than a third of Generation Z from a survey of 1,000 individuals stated that they were quitting social media for good as 41 per cent stated that social media platforms make them feel anxious, sad or depressed.

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Limit your use of social media
Limit your use of social media

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 ...

Have “detox” periods

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. 

Pay attention to how you use social media

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. 

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Have ‘detox’ periods

Schedule regular multi-day breaks from social media. 

Pay attention to how you feel

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. 

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It dismantles self-esteem

Many times, we get intimidated by the seemingly perfect pictures that people upload on social media or by their so-called perfect dates and relationships.

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Fear of missing out

As our friends and family share pictures of all the good times they have on social media, we often end up feeling like we’re missing out on something important. 

This feeling is accompanied by social anxiety and low mood.

Sleep disruption

Social media keeps us awake, sometimes until late at night, causing us to have fewer hours of sleep.

Research indicates that people who have terrible sleeping cycles were 6% more likely to be depressed. 9% were more likely to be unhappy than those who had good sleeping habits.

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