Chances are if you’re between the ages of 12 and 70, you likely have at least one account with a social media platform, if not more. For most of us, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram are the three major social media platforms we check in with daily, but there are many others that people frequently make use of.
Social media definitely has its positives, but like any good thing, it’s got its fair share of negatives. I’ve read a few different pieces discussing the negative impact social media can have on an individual’s mental health, and the truth is, these findings don’t surprise me. Often times I find myself mindlessly scrolling through my newsfeeds, comparing myself to others and the lives they project through a screen, feeling glum and somewhat empty.
I think the main component of the association of depression with social media is the dependency users place upon it. According to experts, almost 20% of people with social media accounts cannot go more than three hours without checking them.
Isn’t this a little disturbing?
And as disturbing as this finding is, I wouldn’t say it shocks me. If I haven’t checked my feeds for a few hours, I feel a nagging sense of anxiety creeping into my conscience, telling me I need to check meaningless posts and status’ that have no relevance to my life. Why? I really couldn’t tell you, but it’s a sensation that makes me deeply uncomfortable, and I know it needs to be controlled.
Studies have unveiled that obsessive social media use can result in anxiety, depression, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), impulsive disorder, cognitive difficulties, paranoia, and loneliness. It’s fascinating how social media can trigger so many problems yet continues to be such an integral component of our daily lives.
My advice? Put the phone down for a few hours, go outside and enjoy living in the moment. It’s what I do when I’ve had enough, and your feeds will still be there when you get back.
Photo credit: <a href=”https://visualhunt.com/author/f5a12d”>Jason A. Howie</a> on <a href=”https://visualhunt.com/re/5e939a”>VisualHunt</a> / <a href=”http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/”> CC BY</a>