5 Ways We Can Utilize Social Media to Improve Our Mental Health
Updated: Mar 26, 2020
By Michaela VanDerVelden, Creative Content Producer
Social media plays a massive role in our lives in this day and age. With this, comes effects on mental health. As a result, the prevalence of online networks is causing social media use to begin at younger and younger ages each year. Studies show that humans are most impressionable around the ages of 6 years old to 14 years old. Today, it is very common to see someone as young as this age demographic navigating social media. We all have heard many times how social media is harmful to one’s mental health. It is shown to cause anxiety, loneliness, and even depression. Everyone constantly talks about how social media can harm our health, however, not many people are discussing what we can do to improve this. In an age where technology is so prevalent, sometimes our daily lives and careers are centered around social media. So what can we do to better our mental health while still utilizing social media?
1. Be selective with whom you are keeping up with online:
Monitor how you feel when you view certain content. Understand that what people post on social media typically only focuses on the positives and the highlights of their lives. Not everyone’s life is as perfect as they portray it to be online. If someone’s content continuously upsets you or makes you feel down, consider unfollowing them.
2. Think about your influence online:
Just as the content that you view affects you, the content you post can affect your viewers. Being inclusive and spreading kindness on social media can truly impact someone’s mood for the better. Studies show that social media can help those with conditions like depression, schizophrenia, or bipolar disorder by giving them a sense of community and civic engagement.
3. Reconnect with others:
Social media allows us to stay in touch with those who may not be near to us. Connect with family and friends that may not be near you geographically or those whom you have not had contact with recently. Rekindle your relationship with them and be involved in their lives. You can also use social media to meet new people that you may not have otherwise met before.
4. Get involved in the community:
One of the great things about social media is that it keeps you connected and involved in your community. Using social media to facilitate in-person interactions is a good way to join in on local events and support the people around you. Use social media to join organizations, attend events, and participate in activities that you enjoy doing.
5. It is okay to take a break:
Taking a break from your screen is a good way to reset and take some time to think about the impact that social media has on your life. Recharging and working on in-person social interactions will help you create a good balance between online life and “real” life.