Social media has created a great space for people from around the world to connect and stay in touch. From Instagram to Facebook, the fad is no longer limited just to the younger generation. Rather, all generations are indulging in this stream of meet-and-greets. You may be wondering what’s wrong with spending some time on the internet and using social media and how there can be effects of social media on mental health. Well, the problem is that there are severe effects of social media on mental health.
That’s right, these tiny apps on your phone, which may seem harmless to you, hold the potential of messing up your mental health and the way you perceive yourself and life. And it’s not just you. According to statistics, nearly 49% of teens have problems with their mental health, and a higher percentage of these problems are caused by social media.
Now the question is, does this mean the existence of social media will affect your mental health? Definitely not. Only when you fail to draw a line between reality and the social media version of things in life and become addicted to the social media version, should you be concerned. Let us learn more about social media addiction and its effects on mental health.
What is social media addiction?
Think about the first thing you do when you wake up in the morning. Do you start your day by scrolling through social media on your phone? Also, do you use every spare second of your time to look at Instagram or Facebook? If yes, then you might be addicted to social media. In fact, various surveys conducted pertaining to the same issue have found that 90% of the youth wake up to their mobile phones and resort to social media every 10 minutes.
When it becomes physically impossible to stop yourself from scrolling through your social media over and over again. Even when you may have more pressing concerns at that moment, your instinct tells you to check the updates on your social media account. When everything else takes a back seat and the occurrences on social media become your priority, know that you have gotten addicted to social media. And that is not all; there are other, more severe indications of social media addiction, which you should read through in order to determine whether or not you are an addict. Take a look.
Shooting anxiety levels when you are unable to go through your social media
It so happens that in addition to the general, obvious signs of social media addiction, there are certainly more pressing and severe signs, such as anxiety, in case you do not have access to social media for any reason. You might find yourself severely irritated and confused as to what you do with that time wherein you are unable to scroll through your Instagram account. The moment you start craving social media, you know that there is a problem that needs to be addressed.
A lot of your time goes into deliberating what to post
Has it ever happened to you that you decide to post something on social media but fail to follow through spontaneously? Instead, it takes you an eternity to decide what will look best and which filter to use, and don’t even get me started on how long it might take you to land on a caption. Such an unhealthy obsession with your virtual persona might be indicative of a distorted sense of self.
The constant need to get an update on what you have posted
This begins with us double-checking the story we’ve posted a million times to ensure that our crush or ex has seen it. After all, they’re the intended audience, right? But before you know it, the obsession has become an addiction, and now you are checking your phone every other second after having put up a post to see how many likes you have and if there is a new comment.
It doesn’t stop there. Before you know it, you’re comparing your current post to your previous posts to see if you’ve gotten enough likes. If not, that puts you in a bad mood, and you start thinking about what went wrong with this post for you to not get enough likes. You start to compare your worth with the number of likes you are receiving, and that directly affects your mental health.
Every time you hear a phone buzz around you, you check yours
By this point, you and your phone have become soul mates, and it is difficult for you to get through your day without keeping a constant check on social media. It gets to the point where the sound of notification makes you instantly reach for your phone, even if the sound did not actually come from your phone. The constant need to check social media is a clear indication of poor mental health.
Your hobbies have been replaced by social media in their entirety.
Remember the time when you used to read books? Just before sleeping, you would flip through pages and feel the various emotions rush to you while reading an interesting story. That hasn’t happened in a while, has it? Now, your morning starts with social media, and the day ends with it as well. Hobbies have taken a back seat as you carry social media with you on your daily commute.
What to do about the effects of social media on mental health?
These are some clear signs of being addicted to social media and how that affects your mental health. In our everyday lives, it is easy to lose track of time and actions, but once you start analyzing your day and the various actions undertaken by you throughout your day, you will have a better understanding of where you currently stand.
And of course, we are here to help you out to the best of our abilities, which is why we will now discuss the best ways to resolve the issue of social media addiction and safeguard your mental health.
Do not sleep with your phone by your side
The best way to start your social media detox is to make sure that your phone and social media are not part of your morning routine. The first thing you see in the morning should not be your phone. So keep your phone at the study table or in another room before you go to sleep to make sure that you are not waking up to your phone.
If you feel yourself reaching out for your phone first thing in the morning, despite having taken the necessary precautions, then consider starting with a quick morning routine of getting off your bed and freshening up, followed by a bath. Do this right after having woken up, all of this is going to keep your mind off of your phone. Make it a point to not go anywhere near your phone till you have at least had your breakfast.
Stop focusing on the number of likes and comments
The way others see us can often be misconstrued through the means of social media. We end up believing that the number of likes and comments on our posts will be the determining factor of how the world perceives us. This kind of thought chain is highly dangerous for a healthy mind. Once you’ve posted something, you should put your phone away.
This will prevent you from checking every like as soon as you get it. Make sure that your phone stays out of your way for a while before you go back to it. The distance will help you realize that irrespective of the number of likes and comments you may or may not be receiving, the real world is interacting with and seeing the real you.
Time to turn the notifications off
If you are one to open social media every time you get a notification, it is time you try a different methodology and turn the notification off. This way, you will not be dragged into the urge to check on every new meme that has been shared with you or be a part of every live session carried out by your followers on social media.
We understand that it is not always easy to put a hold on your craving for social media. With the source of addiction always in plain sight, it can make you want to cheat a little bit. This is why you need someone who can keep track of your social media usage for you.
SocialX is going to become your best friend in your fight against social media addiction since it will make sure to track your social media time usage, and once you have set a target to use social media for a certain amount of time in a day, SocialX will block usage entirely for the day. It will also block your social media notifications, ensuring that you do not feel compelled to return to them.
Understandably, social media addiction and its grave effect on mental health are something of which we have all been victims at some point or another. But what is necessary is that we realize our self-worth and how much more we are as compared to what we see and receive on social media. It is time we ditch the virtual world of filters, likes, and comments and come back to the real world of peace, health, and happiness.