Three Reasons to Delete Your Social Media Accounts
Everyone loves ‘likes.’ We love scrolling through photos of exotic locations, seeing what old friends are up to, sharing our thoughts with thousands - instantly, and of course, gawking over cute dog photos. Social media has become an integral part of our lives. But when do our online lives become detrimental to our mental health? Studies show that social media use is linked to depression, low self-esteem, anxiety, poor sleep, and body image issues. Here are three ways social media hurts our mental health and three ways to combat its negative effects.
The Problem: Social Media is Addictive
Social media infiltrates the brain’s reward center by using the promise of positive feedback to release dopamine, the chemical that makes us feel good. Basically, you can think of a “like” as an instant dopamine hit. The more we get, the more we want, until we're stuck in a feedback loop craving that validation. This instant gratification is what keeps us checking our apps and scrolling further.
The Solution: Consider Healthier Ways to Satisfy Dopamine Cravings
Instead of reaching for your phone, opt for a run in the park, lunch with a friend, or taking up a new hobby. You can also try using an app designed to help you limit screen time.
The Problem: Social Media Triggers Low Self Esteem
More time on social media means more time comparing ourselves to others. Since social media is basically a highlight reel of people’s best moments, it’s easy to think that everyone’s life is better, prettier, and more exciting than yours. The pressure to post carefully crafted online personas and hide the struggles of day-to-day life, makes us compare ourselves to unrealistic ideals. When the lines between the real world and the digital world begin to blur, depression, anxiety, and low self-esteem can follow.
The Solution: Learn to Recognize the Illusion
Practicing gratitude and mindfulness can help us bridge the gap between the digital self and the real self. And never hesitate to reach out to a therapist or an SCL physician, we’re here to help!
The Problem: Social Media Eats Up Precious IRL Time
The average person spends 144 mins on social media apps, every day*. That's over two hours! Twenty-four-seven hyperconnectivity and the excessive amount of information social media users are exposed to everyday, has also been shown to narrow attention span, affect concentration, diminish focus, and disturb sleep
The Solution: Log Out!
If you aren't ready to get rid of your accounts all together, consider deleting the apps from your phone, or simply logging out so mindless scrolling isn't as readily available. Turn notifications off and try turning your phone off completely in situations where you want to be 100% present.