It is no surprise that young people are avid social media users. Staying connected and being fully updated is an important aspect of communicating today. Furthermore, social media creates positive reactions. It has been proved that for teenagers, social media can have the same effect as seeing a loved one or winning large amounts of money. However, using social media has been linked to mental health problems such as anxiety and depression.
Social Media Influences How Young People Think
Popularity is intrinsic to social media and is heavily linked with how young people think. The more likes and positive responses to an online post creates a greater sense of self. The problem with this is that when there is a lack of positive response, this can greatly impact self-esteem, and mental health.
Social media is simply part of people’s lives now, so it is entirely impossible to get away from it completely. As a result, it can be difficult to understand how to use social media less but without being cut off from the rest of the world. Indeed, less time on social media can be beneficial for overall mental health, but it isn’t the only solution. Knowing how to properly use social media safely can be a potential aid for mental health issues.
How to Use Social Media to Improve Mental Health
Keep your phone out of your room.
It is well known that both mental and physical health are linked to sleep. Lack of sleep greatly impairs the body’s ability to function, making it hard to get through the day. The blue light of a phone screen as well as the constant need to check social media can have a serious, negative affect on your sleeping pattern. Choose to leave your phone charging in a different room whilst you are asleep and only check in the morning after you’ve woken up. Buying an alarm clock also means you won’t have to rely on your phone to wake up either.
Adjust your news feed
Sharing the interesting parts of your day with others can be fun. It can also be fun to learn what everyone else is up to in their daily lives. However, the constant bombardment of other people’s lives can lead to comparisons being drawn. For young people who are learning their own identities, this can be a significant problem for their self-esteem. Therefore, it is a good idea to adjust who and what you see on your news feed. Take off adverts that bother you or make you feel self-conscious. If there is a person you draw comparisons with, it might be a good idea to mute their posts or turn off notifications for specific people.
Establish time away from your screen
Quite often, it can become a habit to pick up your phone and stay on it for long periods of time. Instead, set yourself periods of the day where you set aside your phone and not use it. Don’t stop using your phone altogether as you still need to talk to people but choose to limit use to answering messages and only check social media a few times per day rather than in an hour.
Do something else when you’re bored
Phones are great when you need to use up time or you have a spare ten minutes. This can add up so instead chose to take on other activities like reading, drawing or mindfulness.