Tips for Thought

Social media has become ubiquitous in everyday life. When our personal and professional lives are intertwined, it can be hard to sit back and log out. Unfortunately, that’s easier said than done.

Social Media and Mental Health

While it possesses many benefits, we should not ignore the impact of social media on mental health. Here are just a few instances of how social media can affect our mental health:

Self-esteem.

Sites like Instagram and TikTok have a reward system for attractive people. Many beautiful women go on and have thriving careers are influencers and models if they have a large enough following. This phenomenon may affect how vulnerable teenagers see themselves, especially if they compare themselves to these women.

Many online platforms like to preach “effortlessly beautiful” selfies. However, reality shows that it takes a lot of tries to get that perfect shot.

Celebrities with access to a glam squad and talented edited team also do a fine job of controlling their social media presence. These factors can affect an average girl’s self-esteem because they compare themselves negatively and hence, feel they are not reaching the societal “ideal.”

Interestingly enough, TikTok operates by showcasing attractive content creators to entice new users. With a careful censorship system, it’s easy to see why girls nowadays want to look “TikTok pretty” instead of embracing their natural looks.

Depression

It’s difficult to prove that social media causes depression. However, research does show that increased social media use can affect overall mental health, which can be linked to depression.

Online culture practices can lead people to depression and self-harm. Some practices like online bullying, doxing, harassment, and threats can strongly impact a person’s sense of safety and confidence.

Disturbed concentration

Social media is designed to capture attention and make waves. Platforms like TikTok that have videos with time limits often make it easier to consume and move on to the following video. Additionally, this content always focuses on showcasing the “next big thing,” like a meme, a viral video, or anything that distracts us from our job.

Sleep deprivation or lack of quality sleep

The blue light from electronic devices interferes with our body’s natural ability to fall asleep. Combine that with entertaining videos on anything and everything; it can seriously harm your sleep cycle.

How to Minimize My Social Media Use?

If you find yourself engaging with social media on an unhealthy level, it might be time for a detox. Here are some handy tips for minimizing social media use:

1. Focus on balance. Social media can be fun, but it’s not a necessity. As much as possible, try to find hobbies outside the online world, ranging from cooking to working out. Avoid taking pics of every second of your life; enjoy the moment as they come. This mindset will help you slow down and give you a more fulfilling life outside the internet.

2. Turn off notifications. Many people go online because they can’t resist the notification bell. Unsubscribe from that conditioning by turning off your notifications for all social media. You can find it in your phone settings.

3. Curate your online experience. Social media sites use algorithms to spoon-feed you content that may not be good for your self-esteem.

Take charge of your online experience by avoiding content that will hurt your confidence. Actively unfollow celebrities, influencers, and clout chasers—chances are, they’re just trying to sell you something you don’t need.

4. Keep your life private.

As tempting as it is to play the online game of vulnerability, there’s strength in keeping things private. Posting everything about yourself makes it easier for online trolls and advertisers to use your information against you. Some sites might even sell your information for nefarious purposes.

5. Keep your phone away from you during sleep.

Falling asleep is a process that requires relaxation. The blue light from social media can affect your natural sleep rhythm, so shut your device off and put it away in your drawer.

6. Get professional help.

Suppose your excessive social media affect many aspects of your life. In that case, you should seek professional help from a counselor. These people are trained to help you find the tools and knowledge to deal with your issues.