Updated: May 5
Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat… the list goes on and on. Social media connects the world together as well as conveys ideas and news in a flash. Many of us spend so much time on social media each day simply because it is easy to turn to. In turn, this may cause the decrease of other activities. Spending an excess amount of time on social media can negatively affect our mental health, which can also affect our social and physical health. Before I get deeper into the effects, let me just put this out: Social media usage is completely fine if we know our limits. There are even some benefits to its usage. However, dedicating some time off of it may make us happier and more energized. If you have never tried a social media break, I suggest you start small. For example, you can decrease your usage to only a certain time slot of your day, then gradually, increase it to a day, a week, multiple weeks, and even a month!
Negative Effects of Excess Social Media Usage:
-Comparing our life/appearance to others: Many times, posts on social media show only the highlights. However, this does not stop us from comparing.
-Depression and anxiety: Because social media does not involve face to face interaction, the probability of developing mood disorders is more likely. This will negatively impact social health as well.
-Cyberbullying: About 10% of teens are bullied on social media. In addition, offensive comments are prevalent.
Reflection on what drives social media usage will help us improve our overall health. Think about these questions: Why do you use social media? Are you trying to avoid any emotions? What can you do instead of social media?