Social Media use is one way we can stay connected to one another. With the current social distancing rules and regulations, social media is a resource we can use as a platform to share thoughts, opinions, emotions, and current news. Whether it be the political climate, uncertainty of the current health crisis or sharing good news with friends and family, social media platforms are used to share and communicate to stay connected to one another. We need to remember that all these topics hold weight and take up mental space.
Social media can be used in many ways. It can be used as a distraction to find temporary relief, but it can be used as an avoidance tactic. It is important to make sure how you see social media affecting your mental health and stress levels. It can be seen as a stress reducer but if used too often it can heighten and intensify feelings of anxiety and depression. Below are some questions to ask when thinking about the benefits and the negative impacts social media can have on you:
- When I am on social media do, I feel a sense of relief as I temporarily escape reality?
- Do I have a hard time turning off my screen?
- After I turn off my screen has my anxiety increased?
- Do I feel flooded with topics, problems and opinions and feel overwhelmed on what subject to process first?
- Am I enjoying the content I choose to view?
- Do I have a hard time checking in with myself presently? Do I feel like I am foggy or feeling it hard to be present?
- Am I questioning my worth in what my achievements, goals, personal appearance look like to others?
- How do comments and “likes” affect my well-being and perceptions of myself?
These are just a handful of questions we can ask ourselves to remain mindful of our intentions and interactions with social media.
Natasha Griffin is a marriage and family therapist trainee. She is supervised by Christopher Coble, LMFT #48859.