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.
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.
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
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.
Three tips to improve wellbeing when using social media
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
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.