The Advantages of A Social Media: In a world without social media, how would your mental health appear? It’s difficult to imagine, isn’t it?
Many of us have so many social media accounts that it’s challenging to recall our previous activities.
Online connections provide many benefits, but how can we maintain equilibrium with the constant barrage of input from friends, family, celebrities, and companies jostling for our attention?
The Advantages of A Social Media Break Plus 30
Healthline and Psych Central are inviting you to take part in our 10-Day Digital Disconnect Challenge on Instagram in order to assist you in doing just that.
We recently asked readers of Healthline how they felt about social media in a survey. Of those we questioned, 25% indicated that they believe it has a detrimental impact on their mental health, and 53% indicated that they believe reducing consumption might be beneficial.
In individuals who had a mental health illness during the pandemic or saw it get worse, that percentage rises to 66%.
In addition, 46% of respondents who are between the ages of 15 and 24 stated they require at least a few days of a break to reap the benefits of a social media hiatus, up from 29% overall.
We’re urging you to examine your social media usage introspectively in order to determine how it affects your mental health.
Through interactive diary prompts, advice on creating digital boundaries, and some difficult-to-hear social media truths over the course of ten days, Healthline and Psych Central will assist you in developing a positive, healthy relationship with social media.
Don’t worry, we’ll also enjoy ourselves a little along the road!As we completely disconnect, unwind, and unlearn the social media behaviors that might harm mental health, our feed will go dark along with thousands of other social media users. We encourage you to do the same.
How Social Media Affects Mental Health
What does the science indicate about social media’s impact on your health and wellbeing, then? You might be shocked to learn that not many research have positive results.
In fact, your brain might be pleading with you to take a break from scrolling.
According to a 2015 study, children in the United Kingdom were twice as likely to report having high or very high mental health scores if they utilized social networking sites for at least three hours during the school day.
A tiny 2018 study discovered a clear connection between lessening social media use and reductions in loneliness and sadness.
In a 2021 ExpressVPN poll, 1,500 Americans were chosen at random, and 86 percent of them stated that social media has a direct detrimental impact on their happiness and self-image.
Anxiety, loneliness, and despair were all reported to have negative consequences by between 79 and 83 percent.
An online study conducted in 2022 across the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia, and Norway revealed that people who utilized social media for amusement or to combat loneliness during the pandemic had worse mental health.
There was a link between spending more time each day on social media and having worse mental health overall, even while utilizing social media for personal contact and maintaining connections was linked to better mental health.
Contrarily, a 2021 pilot study of 68 university students revealed that the majority of them experienced an improvement in mood, a decrease in anxiety, and better sleep both during and right after a break from social media.The facts appear to be quite obvious.
Making some changes to your social media usage may be a good idea if you don’t want to suffer from issues like a negative self-image, anxiety, despair, loneliness, or even bad sleep.
Things To Do instead of Social Media
Your mental health is more important than your Instagram aesthetic. So, what can you do instead of curating and scrolling?
The beautiful thing is the world is your oyster! When you step away from the screen and into the three dimensional world, there’s an endless array of options depending on your needs.
Once you identify why you’re feeling the urge to log onto your social media accounts, you can redirect this feeling in other ways.
If You Use Social Media To Relax
If you find you reach for your phone when you have a little down time, consider swapping for these options instead:
- Walk the length of the block.
- Play some tunes.
- Use candles or essential oil diffusers to create the right atmosphere.
- Peruse a book.
- Try making things or drawing.
- Make something tasty via baking.
- Have fun with a pet.
- Try meditation or yoga.
- Drink something warm and comforting, like tea or hot cocoa.
- Take a look at old pictures and reflect.
If You Use Social Media To Connect With Others
If you find yourself longing for some human connection and the desire to check your feed arises, try these activities instead:
- Call a friend or member of your family (a video call earns extra points!).
- Invite a guest over for a meal or some beverages.
- Offer your neighbors something you’ve baked while sticking around to speak.
- Plan a weekend brunch, hike, or outing for you and your buddies.
- Visit Meetup.com to find groups with similar interests and go to events!
- Contribute your time to a nearby food bank or other nonprofit.
- Take a course offered by the parks and recreation department in your community.
- Join a club, NGO, or church in your town.
- Attend a goat yoga session; you’ll probably leave smiling.
If You Use Social Media For Entertainment
Instead of memes and 30-second videos, opt for some IRL entertainment:
- Go see some live music.
- Check out an arcade (Skee-Ball, anyone?).
- Try a paint your own pottery studio, like Color Me Mine.
- Learn an instrument.
- Take a dance or martial arts class.
- Take a hike (literally).
- Take a trip to a local museum.
- Try your hand at gardening.
- Listen to a podcast.
- Read a book.
- Gather some friends or family and play a board game.
There’s a lot of power in knowing your motives for logging onto your social accounts. Once you do, you can make a choice to meet that need in another way.
How To Set Healthy Social Media Boundaries
While taking breaks from social media is great, it’s important to be realistic (and not militant) about your use.
If social media is a part of your life, that’s OK. There are ways to lessen the negative effects and enhance the positive effects of social media, even while you’re using it.
For instance, you can:
- Unfollow accounts that have a negative effect on your mood or self-image.
- Remove photos from your own profile that trigger self-judgment.
- Delete any negative DMs, trolling, or spam.
- Unsave posts that encourage you to compare yourself to others.
On top of that, you can set an example for mindful, authentic posting, so others can be inspired by your feed and perhaps follow suit.
For starters, you can:
- Skip the filter and showcase the real you.
- Post photos of the “messy” moments, not just the perfect ones.
- Remind others in your captions that you’re a real person with flaws, hang-ups, and insecurities — just like them.
- Post encouraging comments on others’ posts.
- Post about taking breaks when you take them to remind others they can do the same.
For most of us, social media is simply a part of our lives, for better and for worse. At the same time, we can use it in a way that emphasizes the positive over the negative, both for us and for others.
With a little conscious use, occasional breaks, and balance with other activities, social media can be a healthy tool for self-expression and connection.