Social Media and Mental Health

Something I have really been noticing lately, is how bad my mental health (depression and anxiety) is after I spend a significant amount of time on social media. I see others and what they are doing and the accomplishments and success that they have and I feel so behind. I have to remember that 1) Social media is not an accurate depiction of someone’s life and 2) LIFE IS NOT A RACE! I’m exactly where I need to be, and I’m probably ahead of others in some aspects, such as being married at 23.

I also find myself comparing my looks to others online. Which I’m sure a lot of people do, but I think we often forget that most pictures on social media, has a filter or has been photoshopped. Remember, THAT ISN’T REAL! I try to post most of my pictures completely natural. I don’t even have any photoshopping apps on my phone or computer.

I’ve started to filter through who I follow on my accounts and delete people that either 1)posts negative things excessively or 2) I just really don’t care about knowing what is happening in their life. A lot of the people I follow are from high school and the people I want to know about, I keep in touch with anyways. Filtering out people has been somewhat helpful, but not completely. I have been contemplating completely deleting my social media accounts, but I honestly have serious FOMO, when it comes to that. I know that is silly and stupid, and I agree. I just haven’t been able to bring myself to do it.

Another thing about social media, that I’m sure everyone is aware of, is the lack of human interaction we have with people. Everyone is focusing on a screen. I too am guilty of this, as I’m sure many people my age are. I’ve been trying to make a conscious effort on putting away my phone and soaking up the world around me and interacting with those around me. I think relationships with humans are much more fulfilling than a relationship with your phone.

That is another reason I like to blog. I like connecting and interacting with people, and blogging lets me do that. I have always been able to express myself better through writing, so at this point in my life, blogging is perfect for me. I haven’t been blogging very long, and I just started on this blog; but so far, I have loved it! I know this post is pretty short, but it was just something I was thinking about!

What do you think about social media?

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15 Replies to “Social Media and Mental Health”

  1. Great post and so relevant! My views on social media are I’m afraid rather dim. In truth, in my mind the balance is out. Yes, social media has its place and is great to reconnect with old friends etc and as a marketing tool for businesses etc but that’s about where I draw the line. I once read something that made a lot of sense to me …. in essence what it was saying was that if you spend your time looking at other people’s lives and consequently feeling a bit down or ‘looking over the garden fence

  2. Sorry, pressed the button …..
    ‘Looking over the garden fence and seeing that the grass is greener’, then it’s time to STOP and instead, start watering your own grass instead. ie make your own life the best it can possibly be by getting out into the world and making a life of your own with real friendships, real experiences, real travels etc etc.
    This made a whole lot of sense to me and has really changed the way that I view Facebook etc, because it is NOT real! My friends who post beautiful airbrushed pictures of their kids on holidays in the Caribbean don’t tell you that the youngest has just been expelled from school for doing drugs and the husband is bonking his secretary and secretly they’re miserable!! Anyway, forgive my rambling, but suffice to say I LOVED your post and totally understand! Katie xx. (Ps WordPress isn’t like Facebook at all! It’s fab!).

  3. I quit social media two years ago after my daughter was born with a medical condition. My accounts lay dormant and I’m not active on them. Yes, it’s an easy way to connect with long lost relatives and high school friends but in a world without social media, are these extra connections really necessary? We are exposed to more people than we could ever imagine and I really don’t care what these people are doing or lying about on social media. I noticed that people will exaggerate the truth to make themselves look good. What are they trying to prove here? These people aren’t really my friends. Did they reach out to me after I told them I was taking a hiatus and gave them my contact info? Nope.

    Yep, I know who my real friends are and they certainly aren’t on FB! Instagram is another platform that gives me a lot of anxiety. For people who have depression and anxiety, it’s healthier to just stay away from things that cause you more pain than joy.

  4. I unplugged a few years ago and I’m better for it. I use social media strictly for work (Recruiter), but that’s totally different than personal use. Personal social media is proven to negatively affect people’s confidence, and I’m sure mental health sufferers are especially prone to that impact. I have a hard time understanding why the majority of people think they MUST do social media in light of these findings. Actually – wordpress and medium.com are my social media, but again i feel that’s way different than FB and similar platforms. I don’t see much abuse on writer platforms.

  5. This is literally how I feel and what I’ve been doing. I’ve started only posting natural pics now. I don’t want others to feel the way I feel when I look at some peoples pics. It takes nothing to be honest so I’m trying to stay honest and natural, both on my blog and my social media’s 🙃 This post is brill. Well done 👏🏽

    1. Yes!!! All my pics are natural. I barely even wear make up on a day to day basis, so my pics usually have no makeup. Some of course do, but not very many. I dont want anyone to feel bad about themselves when the see my pics.

  6. I’ve deactivated my Facebook account – got sick of Zuckerberg making money selling my life to Cambridge Analytica and no doubt others that we don’t know about. I’m still on twitter but only from the point of view of my campaigning for clean air – not personal stuff. I think you have a wise attitude to social media and are aware of the dangers. It’s fine as a tool sometimes but not when it starts making you feel inferior. You are absolutely NOT inferior to anyone. Nor am I. We just have to remember it.

  7. I often feel the exact way. I used to always compare my life to those I had on social media. I’m currently a semester shy from obtaining my Bachelor’s and I feel proud of myself until I go on social media and see that some of my high school friends are already a year away from obtaining their Master’s Degree, some are already in a professional career, others are married, others are living their life on vacation after vacation. I started feeling less than, wondering why I was still here struggling while they were having the time of their life, where did I go wrong? I started noticing my thoughts becoming negative and comparing myself to those on social media and slowly cut out all apps. The first and easiest was facebook, it took a while to delete twitter, snapchat I rarely used. The only app I have left is Instagram and it resonated with what you mentioned, how you have FOMO. That’s the main reason I haven’t deleted it because I love to keep up with my favorite influencers and so on through there. I think it’s fine to have social media, it’s just important to step away from your phone for a certain amount of hours and intake everything around you. I loved this blog post, I felt like you were speaking directly to me.

    1. Thank you! I have the same struggle. Im about to get my bachelor’s but it has taken a little longet than most of my high school friends because i switched majors 3 times and took a semester off because of my mental health. So its definitely been hard seeing them all graduate or in scho for their masters. I just try to remember that life isnt a race.

      1. Yes, exactly. It took me three years to receive my associates alone, and most of my friends completed it around a year and a half to two years. A part of me felt stupid and dumb because I took so long but I knew it wasn’t my fault. During that period I had a new diagnosis with mental illness and I took my time with my education. All that matters is that we try because as you mentioned it isn’t a race. At the end of the day, we need to do what makes us happy, no longer how long it takes.

  8. Yes, exactly. It took me three years to receive my associates alone, and most of my friends completed it around a year and a half to two years. A part of me felt stupid and dumb because I took so long but I knew it wasn’t my fault. During that period I had a new diagnosis with mental illness and I took my time with my education. All that matters is that we try because as you mentioned it isn’t a race. At the end of the day, we need to do what makes us happy, no longer how long it takes.

  9. Social media has completely changed mental health practice. It has such an impact on my clients. While there are a lot of benefits such as networking groups and sharing of events and information, it has complicated things considerably. As a therapist, I have to spend a lot of time researching and understanding implications of various social media outlets because I won’t be able to understand my younger clients otherwise.

  10. I post things for family on FB and tbh it’s easier to invite specific people on FB for my three daughters who were born in November rather than invite all three of their entire classes. Otherwise I have been very selective of who my friends are on social media. Even though I’m selective, I still don’t do much on there. I’ll check it once a day, maybe two and my life on FB also looks pretty “fake.” I only post happier things because those who are in my daily life know what’s going on and those outside of my daily life don’t need to know. I treat it kind of as though it were like I was when I was a kid and we wrote letters and that took a while, or actually had to call someone to talk. Otherwise I try very hard not to compare my life to others. I also take a break from social media. After 7pm I don’t get on (other than here). I’m busy raising my kiddos and I’d rather live in the moment than spend most of my time boasting on social media. It’s been a blessing to balance it out. Much better for my mental health too. I don’t always do this or get it right or balance it well (when I don’t have my kids on rare occasions I find myself breaking my own boundaries in regards to social media).

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