Year of Wellbeing

How social media affects wellbeing

Social media can have a massive effect on our wellbeing and how we feel without us even noticing. Here is how and what you can do about it.
That is a lot of notifications. The more you use social media the more negative you feel.
That is a lot of notifications. The more you use social media the more negative you feel.

Social media can affect our wellbeing positively and negatively. using social media, we can connect with anyone at any time by sharing photos with friends and family. It can be used to fill moments of downtime or while relaxing in front of the TV.

However, social media can also negatively affect how we feel. Here is how.

Lower self-esteem

Lots of people sitting and using their phones.
Chasing likes can lower your self-esteem.

For many, social media can become an obsession. As well as regularly posting online, it can become very easy to start obsessing over the likes, views and comments posts receive. 

Comparing what you post and the amount of likes you receive is natural. Checking the increasing likes and comments can make you feel good and encourages constant checking. However, self-esteem can be severely affected when you constantly compare yourself to others, and it becomes a vicious cycle.

Less sleep

We have already talked about how sleep is vital for maintaining your wellbeing. The blue lights on phones, laptops and TVs can disrupt your sleep by preventing us from feeling tired. Social media use can also cause someone to feel anxious and worried, stopping a good night’s rest.

It creates a false perception

Lots of people at a concert trying to take a photo on their phones.
Try to spend time enjoying the moment rather than capturing the perfect photo for social media.

People often like to use social media to remember and document the good times they have. This can cause people to obsess about getting the perfect photos that they end up not living in the moment they are in. Looking at others posting about what others are doing can also give us a sense of missing out.

On social media, it is easy to assume that someone else’s life is perfect and that they’re always out having fun, but the reality is that this is not true.


When bad news hits, it’s natural to want to seek information and knowledge. But if you are not careful this can lead itself to “Doomscrolling,” where you trawl through social media without pause or thought to an excessive amount.

Receiving a barrage of constant bad news through your phone alter your perspective on things. Studys have shown that increased phone usage can lead to signs of depression and anxiety.

Three tips to improve wellbeing when using social media

Someone taking a personal photo while enjoying lunch with someone else.
Use social media so that it improves how you feel.

We have three simple tips for you to use to make sure you use social media in a healthy way that improves how you feel rather than makes you feel worse.

1. Limit yourself

Many studies show that the more someone uses social media, the more negative they feel. So limit your time to stop yourself from scrolling endlessly and needlessly.

Most phones have the technology to show you how much your screen time is and what apps are used the most. Use this to limit yourself. You could also restrict yourself to using social media at certain times of the day only.

Consider turning off notifications so they can’t tempt you to check in. When with friends and loved ones, make a commitment that you won’t check your phone. This will help you to live in the moment more and reduce time spent on social media.

2. Have a social media clear out

A positive social media post printed on a wall of a building.
Make sure you only see messages you want to see on social media. The more positive the better.

If you’ve been using social media for a while, then chances are you have unwanted people you follow.

Take some time to organise your feed so that you only see posts that benefit you. If you see something that negatively affects how you feel, take steps to remove it from your feed.

3. Take a social media detox

Deleting all the social media apps off your phone will help highlight how you are using social media. Taking time out will prevent you from clicking on them absentmindedly. Make sure you decide how long your detox will last and stick to it.

Make sure you fill the time you’d have spent scrolling through social media with another activity you enjoy.

For example, if you have to wait for a train, ensure you have a book with you or perhaps a crossword puzzle.

Want to know more about improving how you feel?

We have lots more tips and information to share with you that can help improve how you feel.

Join our Year of Wellbeing and make a pledge to improve your wellbeing this year. Once you have made your pledge, we will email you with tips and information you easily can put into practice – as well as helpful reminders to help you achieve your wellbeing goal.

This is your time to feel healthier and happier – join the year of wellbeing today.

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