Social Media plays a huge part in our lives today. In a lot of cases, it is the first thing we check in the morning, and the last thing we look at at night.
So, how is this impacting our mental health?
There has been many studies focusing on this question. Some studies show that social media can have a positive impact on a person with interactions between friends and families, news updates and information sharing. Other reports suggest a negative impact and relate it to depression, anxiety and low self esteem.
In recent months we have seen an emphasis on social media and it’s effect on our mental health. The government are trying to regulate the negative consequences of social media. We have also recently seen Facebook making a big change to their social media platforms encouraging more “meaningful transactions” between people, rather than the endless scrolling on news feeds.
The CEO’s of Twitter and Facebook have both publicly announced their responsibility to change how we use social media to positively change it’s effect on our wellbeing. Jack Dorsey, CEO of Twitter states:
“We’re committing Twitter to help increase the collective health, openness, and civility of public conversation, and to hold ourselves publicly accountable towards progress. We have witnessed abuse, harassment, troll armies, manipulation through bots and human-coordination, misinformation campaigns, and increasingly divisive echo chambers. We aren’t proud of how people have taken advantage of our service, or our inability to address it fast enough“.
Zuckerberg recently posted on his Facebook:
“The world feels anxious and divided, and Facebook has a lot of work to do — whether it’s protecting our community from abuse and hate, defending against interference by nation states, or making sure that time spent on Facebook is time well spent”.
Although it is a positive change we are seeing , we are still responsible for how we use social media and whether it is having a positive or negative impact on our lives.
Below are our top tips for having a healthy relationship with social media:
- Schedule time to use social media and times to step away
- Be clear about what your purpose is when logging onto a social media site and stick to it. This will help reduce the unnecessary scrolling through your news feed. Be mindful of the reason you have logged on, and once you have achieved this, be sure to log off
- Monitor how you feel after your engagement with social media. If you are noticing you are feeling down after interactions, reduce your time spent on the apps. Substitute this time with going for a walk, or meeting a friend.
- Being mindful of private information you share about yourself or others on social media. Consider how you might feel if what you’re sharing was exposed to a third party.
- Supervise your children. Be sure to have parental controls activated on your children’s phone. Actively monitor your children’s online activities and connections.