Social Media and Mental Health
Welcome back to my blog! I hope 2023 is off to a great start for all of you. I’ve just been trying to stay well and healthy during the first few months of the year, and I hope that you all have been doing the same.
This blog is dedicated to the effects that social media can have on mental health, as well as providing suggestions to spend less time on social media apps. Social media can include apps such as Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, TikTok, and Twitter. According to oberlo.com, the average amount of time that people WORLDWIDE spend on social media each day in 2022 was a little over two hours per person. That is a very large amount of time that one spends not just during the day, but in a year: over 700 hours a year spent on social media is quite a large amount. I find this statistic provided to be reasonable and credible.
So we all know that social media is a good, convenient way to stay in touch with others and follow news and celebrities, but can too much social media be detrimental to one’s mental health? The answer is an emphatic YES. According to studies, including the Economist, social media is linked to anxiety, depression, sleep issues, and the fear of missing out or FOMO.
Social media users were surveyed by the Economist and they stated that increased usage of social media led to increased anxiety, instances of depression, and sleep deprivation. In addition, according to the Economist, an experiment that was designed by neuroscientists in 2014 concluded that Facebook (this applies to other social media platforms as well) can “trigger the same impulsive part of the brain as gambling and substance abuse”. In other words, there is a clear link between addiction and social media from this experiment.
One point that I’ll reassert is that social media can indeed be addictive. There is no debate in this argument. When the average amount of time that a person checks social media is over two hours a day, one has to clearly acknowledge the addictive features of social media. My suggestion is simple: spend less time on social media each day. There will ALWAYS be a presence of social media because many people get their news sources from social media and like to stay in touch with others. However, going on social media for an excessive amount is simply time-consuming and unhealthy.
I need to do a better job myself of checking social media these days. But I am making progress because I deleted several social apps on social media. Elaborating on my suggestion to spend less time on social media, I believe deleting the social app from your phone, but not deleting your account may prove to be an effective solution. That way, you can resist the urge of checking the app on your phone constantly when you are on your phone. Once you have spent a decent amount of time off the social media app which you deleted, then you can redownload it. Repeat the process until you no longer feel the constant urge to check social media apps.
Another suggestion, which may also sound cliché, is to put your phone away while you are working or studying, so you don’t get distracted checking social media. This suggestion can be coupled with the aforementioned one.
In short, social media can be an integral part of many people’s lives. But it should not take up too much of one’s life because it can negatively affect your mental health. There should be an enjoyment and use of social media to moderation. I’ll admit, even myself, that I need to do a much better job at checking social media not as frequently as possible.
Thank you for reading my blog about social media and mental health. I hope you enjoy this blog and take it to be insightful. If you have any questions, do not hesitate to reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org
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