When social media started its main selling point was centred around connectedness, however it has now become a technological addiction that many of us face today. What is now becoming more prevalent, is social media’s impact on mental health. With nearly 6% of the population being addicted to the internet, symptoms of anxiety, lost sense of time, work avoidance, depression, and feelings of euphoria are more widespread today than ever before.
What does a healthy social media approach look like?
Like most things, whether it’s an activity or your favourite food, moderation is important. With social media use and mental health so closely connected, the repetitive use of social media can have a crippling effect on your social skills. It is important to make sure there is a clear distinction between your online interactions and the ones you experience in real life. Putting your cell phone aside while in a social setting (family meals, walking, talking to friends) will allow you to enjoy your face-to-face interactions and live in the moment – not every interaction needs to be documented!
Change of perspective and accountability
An important factor to consider is looking at what purpose social media serves in your life. Evaluate why you spend your time scrolling through various news feeds and what value you get from doing this. If you dig deep enough and find an answer, your perspective on social media may change. Because social media is an open forum, being aware of what you post and consume is important. We are responsible for the pictures and messages we put online, so we must be sure to not act on impulse. Whatever we post online whether we delete it or not, remains on the internet for ever. Take the time to think about the words we have chosen to express ourselves.
Social media and mental health have become a topic that should hold more weight. Let’s learn how we can grab the reigns in our own lives around what we let affect us through social media and how we can ensure we have a happy and healthy relationship with our mind, body, and technology.
How can CBT help your relationship with social media?
At NuHypnosis, we are specialise in creating long-term behavioural changes through evidence-based treatments. Because social media use and mental health are almost symbiotic, CBT can help you break the negative cycle that you may have found yourself in when it comes to the incessant need to always be present on social media platforms. Seeking validation here is a dangerous path to head down but learning actionable skills to break this habit is what CBT is all about.
The importance of building a strategy
A large concern with social media and mental health in this day and age is the unending need for validation, whether it’s of your appearance or certain personality traits. This is affecting a large percentage of the youth today, especially young girls wanting to match the image of airbrushed skin and slim models on platforms like Instagram. This can lead to body image issues, low self-esteem, and social anxiety.
CBT can help with all of these issues through sessions and the CBT toolkit.
Many of us feel ill-equipped to deal with the challenges that social media and mental health present to us on a daily basis. The effects negatively impact your personal life and how you view yourself, as well as within your professional relationships. Seeking ways to cope with these challenges is what CBT can offer you. The adversities of life are difficult as they are and with the added impact of social media use on mental health, it is important to build a toolbox to tackle these.