New York, NY – Technology is advancing and social media is constantly growing. But is this a good thing? Or is social media another problem that goes overlooked?
Studies show a strong link between heavy social media use and an increased risk of depression and anxiety. Some users report that social media leads to feelings of inadequacy. “May your life be as good as everybody pretends to be on Facebook,” the saying goes. No matter how fictitious a profile may be, many social media users can’t help but to “compare and despair.”
According to onlinetherapy.com, nearly 60-percent of Americans say social media use negatively impacts their mental health.
- Among those affected, 64% experience anxiety from social media use.
- Users also experience depression (56-percent), dissatisfaction with life (52-percent), fear of missing out (52-percent), and body image issues (51-percent) as a result of these apps.
- Seventy-one-percent of users who experience negative mental health impacts from social media blame misinformation and disinformation.
- Facebook, Instagram and TikTok top the list of social media platforms that are most harmful to mental health.
This study, however, does not even mention cyberbullying — a problem affecting both schools and the workplace. Social media postings can [and have] led to serious workplace disputes. In the world of constant news feeds and algorithms, it would appear that when it comes to social media, someone is always paying attention.
Can any of this be good for our mental health? In short, the answer is an obvious no. Reports show that heavy social media use is not helpful to our personal wellbeing — and, people who overuse social media are distracted and detached from “real” life. Abusing social media can lead to low self-esteem, dissatisfaction, lack of attention, and, of course — boredom.
Although some users look to building a better online presence, political views and personal history can lead to trouble in online forums. It is also important to note that intention and interpretation does not always match. Or, put simply, not everyone has the same tastes or the same sense of humor. So, be mindful of your social postings.
Helpful ideas to improve and limit “screen time” include turning off all notifications and/or taking your social media accounts off of your cell phone. Improve interpersonal activities that are more face-to-face, check-in with friends, be honest, be open to change and look to find other satisfying activities that do not involve technology.
It is clear that the creators of our technology know what they are doing. It is also true to say that social media distractions lead to unnecessary accidents which can happen on the job, at home, on the sidewalk, or in the car. However, since social media is also a workplace issue, I will quote an old supervisor who once said, “You’re paid to work, not scroll through your phone or check your text messages.”
So put your phone down!
Ben Kimmel is a proud member of the IUOE Local 94, as well as an Author, Writer on thewrittenaddiction.com, Mental Health First Aid Instructor, Wellbeing and DEI Content Provider, Certified Addiction and Recovery Coach, Certified Professional Life Coach, and Peer & Wellness Advocate. Ben can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org