Fort Wellness Counseling

How to Have a Healthy Relationship
with Social Media

How to Have a Healthy Relationship with Social Media

In today’s world, there’s no escaping the presence of social media.  More than half the world (4.7 billion people – or 59% of us) are using social media, and 227 million users logged on for the first time last year.  Additionally, studies show that social media usage will continue to rise.  And with new platforms emerging monthly, it’s not hard to imagine why.

While we cannot entirely avoid the presence of social media in our lives, we can control its impact.  If this sounds like something you’re interested in, today’s blog post explains how to have a healthy relationship with social media.

How Social Media Affects Mental Health

Before delving into how to have a healthy relationship with social media, why should we care?  Well, social media significantly affects our mental well-being.  Multiple studies have demonstrated a strong link between heavy social media use and an increased risk of depression, anxiety, loneliness, self-harm, suicidal thoughts, and more.  Specifically, social media promotes negative experiences like:

  • Cyberbullying
  • Isolating oneself
  • Feeling self-absorbed
  • Feeling addicted to social media
  • Fearing that you’re missing out (FOMO)
  • Feeling increasingly depressed or anxious
  • Feeling inadequate about your life or appearance

Ways to Have a Healthier Relationship with Social Media

How you choose to use the platforms will determine whether social media has a positive or negative effect on your life.  If you’re wondering how to have a healthy relationship with social media, here are some suggestions:

Write Social Media Use into Your Schedule

One way to maintain a positive relationship with social media is to schedule your usage.  Balance is key when it comes to tackling social media use, and experts recommend setting aside specific times to browse (and times to log off).  It’s especially important to stay off social media before bedtime and when you’re socializing with friends and family.

Understand Your Purpose for Using Social Media

Are you logging on to post a photo of your Pad Thai?  Or maybe you’re trying to remember a friend’s birthday?  Whatever it is, take a moment to consciously understand why you’re logging on to social media at that moment.  Then, sign off when you’re finished. Doing so puts you in control of your social media usage (instead of letting the algorithms and other users take over).

View Posts as Inspiration, Not Comparison

It’s far too easy to get swept down the comparison rabbit hole.  However, we encourage you to resist the urge. Remember that social media is a highlight reel, and the moments people share aren’t necessarily accurate depictions of their lives.  Instead, view posts as inspiration to achieve your own goals and be selective about who you follow.

Think Before You Post

If you want to have a healthy relationship with social media, you must think before you post.  Don’t stress about the number of likes you’ll receive or how the post will impact people’s perceptions of you.  Instead, focus on posting content that’s encouraging, supportive, authentic, and uplifting.

Prioritize Your Mental Health

Because social media has such a profound impact on our mental well-being, it’s important to check in with yourself before using it.  If you’re feeling down, try going for a walk outside or calling a friend before scrolling mindlessly through your feed.  And if receiving (or NOT receiving) notifications throughout the day makes you anxious, delete or mute certain apps. Instead of scrolling on social, consider using 15 healthy coping skills for stress management.  

Causes of Unhealthy Social Media Use

Hopefully, today’s blog post revealed how to have a healthy relationship with social media. And if you struggle with social media addiction or similar habits, understanding your motivation can help you overcome it.  If you aren’t sure where to start, here are some common reasons for unhealthy social media usage:

Fear of Missing Out (FOMO)

Because we fear being left out of the conversation, FOMO draws us back to social media time and time again.  Maybe you’re afraid of missing some juicy gossip?  Or that your relationships will suffer if you don’t immediately like, comment, and share? Regardless, our FOMO convinces us that social media cannot wait.

Using Social Media as a Security Blanket

Sometimes, when we’re in social situations where we feel lost, awkward, or lonely, we’ll use our phones to distract ourselves.  Social media has instant gratification, and it’s often the easiest thing to mindlessly scroll through until the feeling passes.

Masking Underlying Problems

If you’re struggling with feelings of depression, anxiety, stress, or boredom, social media sometimes masks them. Therefore, if you catch yourself spending more time on social media when you’re feeling low, it might mean a larger problem is lurking under the surface.  Consider whether or not you need to attend therapy with a therapist.  

Best Counselors in Fort Worth, Texas

Whatever your relationship with social media, the Fort Wellness Counseling team is here to help.  Social media addiction is difficult to overcome on your own.  However, our team of qualified professionals can guide you.

Using an individualized, patient-centered approach, our therapists will help you get to the bottom of your social media usage.  Then, we’ll equip you with proven strategies and tools to accomplish long-term change.  You don’t have to become a victim to social media. Book an appointment with our team today.

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