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There’s no denying that social media plays a big role in how we connect with each other these days.  Many of us turn to sites such as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter to communicate, share and express ourselves. This can be hugely beneficial for our creativity, social connection, networking and personal development. Our blog this week looks at Social Media and our Mental Health. 

There are many reports in the news, however, that suggest that excessive social media use can negatively impact our mental health, and its ability to skew our perceptions of both ourselves and others is becoming more recognised. The average UK user spends around an hour and 50 minutes a day on social media. **

Because of this, we can often feel and/or experience: –

  • FOMO (or ‘fear of missing out’)
  • Doubts about the way we look, or how others perceive us
  • That social media gives people a ‘licence’ to be unkind
  • That online activity decreases our face-to-face social interactions
  • That ourselves or others are being inauthentic
  • Feelings of imposter syndrome – that although we give an air of success to our followers and friends, self-doubt creeps in and we can feel ‘phoney’

Because of the profound impact social media can have on individuals, in particular young adults and teenagers, the charity YoungMinds have gathered together some useful tips and advice for those that feel using social media to excess is having a negative impact on their mental health. *  Here are some things you can try: –

  • Ask yourself – ‘What’s on my news feed?’ Taking some time to identify and remove the things from your news feed that are making you feel anxious, worried or stressed can help you to have a more positive online experience
  • Try limiting yourself to the amount of time you spend on your social media feeds. Starting and ending the day scrolling endlessly through social media can be overwhelming and take up time you may have set aside for other interests or self-care
  • Connect online with accounts that nourish you – be it a hobby or interest, passion or health and wellbeing tips
  • Connect with your friends. Ever thought to yourself how many friends you have on social media that you’ve lost touch with? Say hello! You may just brighten their day, and yours in the process too
  • Block, remove and mute the accounts that evoke negativity

By taking control of the content and information we expose ourselves to online we can help make the most of the benefits that come with being a part of social media, and use it for what it was designed for – to connect.

At The Eaves we have a variety of trained counsellors, psychologists and psychotherapists in Guildford, Godalming and Farnham that can provide support if you’re struggling. Our professionals see individuals of all ages, families and young people 12 hours a day, Monday to Saturday between 9am and 9pm.  

Please contact the referrals team on 01483 917000 who will be happy to help source a suitable therapist for you.

You can also enquire through our website. Click here to find out more.

References:

*   https://youngminds.org.uk/find-help/looking-after-yourself/social-media-and-mental-health/

** https://www.tigermobiles.com/blog/how-much-time-do-people-spend-on-social-media/#:~:text=The%20average%20UK%20users%20spend,on%20social%20media%20per%20day