In a digital era, social media had negated the need for actual human interaction, and hidden behind a keyboard and a screen, people have discovered they can be anyone they want to be. While many still believe that social media has a positive impact on those who suffer from depression or anxiety disorder because it offers a virtual reprieve from isolation, it actually has the opposite impact most of the time. In a world where popularity, connection, and self-esteem are generated by likes, shares, comments, and notifications, delving into social media for interaction can have severe negative effects on your mental health. In today’s post, we will explore some of the ways you can prevent social media from taking a toll on your mental health.

Be Aware of the Negative Impacts

As human beings, we are social creatures who thrive on connection and a sense of worth that is validated by others’ opinions of us. However, many of us choose to connect online with strangers, acquaintances, and people from our past, no matter how brief or shallow the connection was. We use social media to compare our lives to theirs and keep up to date with the goings-on. Being aware that online relationships can be as toxic as real-life ones and just because you met someone (either in real life or online), does not mean you need to invite them into the trust tree that is your profile. Create a safe space by connecting only with those who you have an actual healthy connection and limit your social media time to reduce feelings of isolation, anxiety, depression, and fear of missing out. Instead of worrying about how many “friends” or likes you have, focus on the quality and substance of your online interactions.

Make Your Social Media Usage Positive

Social media can be used as a very powerful mental health tool when used properly. Connecting with others who suffer a similar condition as you or taking solace in confiding with a stranger who has no stake in your life can be liberating and cathartic. There are plenty of online support groups, group therapy, and even simple groups of like-minded individuals who can help remind you that you aren’t alone.

Unplug and Be Present

Being present in your life, no matter how painful, is paramount to the success of your mental health. There really is no substitute for actual meaningful human connection. If you struggle with mental illness, it is important to understand that no amount of online friends or conversations will take that away. To find the healing you deserve, it is better to confide in a compassionate ear or seek out a therapist.

At InnerSource of Loveland, Dr. Beth Firestein offers a wide range of treatments for a host of mental health conditions. Whether you are overcoming past trauma, coping with your identity, or need support through a recent loss, she is a counselor you can count on to offer a judgment-free ear and advice based on decades of experience and research. Explore her online resources and connect with us to schedule your appointment today.