Managing use of Social Media for Better Mental Health
We are all well aware of how much impact social media has in our daily lives. It’s no secret that social media can influence our mental health as well. Learning to control our use of social media is now a part of our management of our mental health. While it may be tempting to delete all of your social media accounts and quit cold turkey, social media can also be an important tool for remaining connected with people and organizations that are truly important to us. What are some actions that you can take to start using social media rather instead of allowing social media to use you?
- Take a moment to turn inwards and ask some questions about your use of social media. Does your use of social media impact your sleep, mood, or relationships? How dependent to are you on social media? Do you fear missing out so much that you use social media while driving, or stay up late into the night to keep up with what is happing in your social media sphere? This awareness can hep you recognize how much social media is affecting you and is a great motivator for changing your social media habits.
- Look for possible warning signs of addiction to social media. Do you checking social media compulsively when you don’t want to? Do you use social media for longer periods of time than you want to? Do you still engage with social media even when it results in negative consequence such as cyberbullying or family conflict?
- Develop a schedule for when you will use social media. There are apps and settings on many phones, tablets, and other electronic devices that can help you set times where you cannot use social media.
- It may be a good exercise to scroll through friends and pages that you have followed and consider how each of these are affecting your emotional and mental wellbeing. Take steps to remove any negative influences that are not helping you move towards a more satisfying lifestyle.
It can be easy to let social media just happen. Learning to exert your own control over how you use social media is an important step towards managing your mental health and wellbeing.