Research has shown a link between social media use and depression, anxiety, and loneliness. However, as people are increasingly spending more time isolated from others, social media seems to be the only link to other humans.
Another study has found that the prompts for phone use seem to be common. This means that people are using their phones as a coping mechanism for awkwardness, boredom, and fear no matter the age.
But as social media is designed to be addictive, that one-time check can easily lead to endless scrolling, which exposes us to adverse effects, including being influenced by how we see ourselves and the world.
The COVID-19 pandemic has already led to a significant spike in depression and anxiety levels. Let’s give our mental health a break and use social media strategically.
Delete social media apps from your phone
This may seem like an extreme measure, but hear us out. By deleting the apps from your phone, you lessen the chances of succumbing to endlessly scrolling through your feed the next time you feel bored. And the less access you have to these sites, the better you can protect your mental health.
Manage your use
This step is entirely up to you. Others go on a social media detox for a pre-determined period. But if you’re not ready to go MIA on social, we suggest setting aside some time—an hour is good—to check your accounts on your computer, not your phone.
Another way to get more screen time is by playing video games or watching the latest TV series. But remember that it’s best to keep everything in moderation.
Decreasing your time on social media apps means that you have more free time to peruse high-quality information sources, like books, podcasts, or important press conferences. Being strategic about your content consumption also ensures that you won’t get caught up in unverified information on Facebook or Twitter, which can easily lead to hours of endless scrolling.
By decreasing the chances of endless scrolling, you also reduce the chances of comparing yourself with others. It’s best to keep in mind that everyone’s dealing with the pandemic in different ways, and not everyone will emerge fit and toned, mastering a new language, or finding a newfound passion as a baker. You are not missing out on anything if you decrease your time on social media.
Instead, you get to focus on what you need and what feels right for you. And when you’re focused on consuming content with substance, your mental well-being will improve, which will make you less stressed overall.How often do you find yourself on social media? We’d love to hear your thoughts.