There’s no denying that social media is ingrained into our daily lives. It can help us feel connected to each other, to the world, and is a tool for self-expression. But it can also come with a host of negative effects like impacts on self-esteem, and causes users to measure their self-worth based on comments or ‘likes’. So the question becomes: is social media impacting your mental health? Keep reading to find out how to identify and manage the impact of social media on your life.
Is social media impacting your mental health?
Because checking social media is something we engage in almost without thinking, it can be tough to tell whether it’s having a real impact on mental health. Here are a few ways to check in with yourself to determine if social media is impacting your mental health.
- Your screen time is high: How high is too high? That’s up to you. While 3 hours per day might make one person feel awful, it can feel like a totally reasonable amount to another. Every person is unique and how much you choose to use social media is up to you — so long as it’s not making you feel bad.
- You’re comparing yourself: For most, social media is a highlight reel of their lives. We don’t see the struggles and challenges happening in the background that led up to the grand moment of posting. While some influencers are now making a point to show more real and honest moments, the majority of social media is still filled with posed, edited, or thought-through posts. It’s important to remember these aren’t always real. If you find yourself constantly comparing your rawest moments to the curated ones online, it may be time to take a step back or reframe your thoughts.
- You feel worse after scrolling: This is a telltale sign social media is affecting your mental health. Try getting in the habit of checking in with yourself after scrolling. Ask yourself questions like:
- Do I feel worse now that I’ve scrolled?
- Am I comparing myself to what I just saw?
- Did that bring up positive or negative feelings for me?
If the negatives are beginning to outweigh the positives, social media could be having a big impact on your mental health.
So, social media is negatively impacting your mental health. Now what?
If you feel worse after online time, there are things you can do to either scale back or cut it out completely.
- Limit screen time: The good news is, our phones now have tools that can help us manage our screen time. Whether you’re on Android or Apple, both allow you to track and manage device screen time through your settings. Setting daily limits on apps (especially those that make you feel worse after scrolling) can have a huge positive impact on your mental health. So go ahead, make your phone work for you.
- Delete apps: This may sound like a drastic option if you’re always on your phone, but we promise it’s not as dramatic as it feels. It’s an option that’s always available to you. Deleting apps may be the right step if you’ve already tried to manage screen time or you’re just ready to go cold turkey. Remember: this doesn’t have to be a permanent decision — you can always delete an app for 1-2 weeks to see how it makes you feel.
Get support in your journey
Quitting or limiting something as addictive as social media is not an easy task — but it can be easier with the right support. Wellin5’s team of registered clinical counsellors help clients limit their screen time, use social media in a healthy way, and boost their self-esteem. Get matched to a counsellor in as little as 5 minutes, and book in your first meeting in 1-3 days.
Ready to start using social media more intentionally? Get started today.