The effects of social media on a person’s mental health or their general sense of well-being is becoming more and more publicised of late. So I thought I would write about it here in the hope that people will connect with my experiences, and become more aware of how social media can change their mood throughout the day.
I’ll start back when I would say I was ‘addicted’ to social media, or to be more specific Facebook. I remember that after posting an update or a profile picture change etc. I would feel constantly drawn to check it to see how many likes/comments I’d received.
It would be fair to say that my mood in the moment was, to a large degree, a result of how my latest post was doing on Facebook. So if my expectations of a post weren’t met I’d feel a sense of lowness, almost like a mild feeling of ‘nobody likes me’, and question people’s reasons for not interacting.
Similarly if I spent too much time looking at what other people were up to it gave me a sense of lack inside, like my life wasn’t enough. This occurred for no other reason than I was being bombarded with the daily achievements of 10’s, and if I scrolled for long enough, probably 100+ people. How can one person match the achievements of many? But in the moment rationality isn’t present and these feelings were created.
After so long, and I can’t remember how I became aware of Facebook’s effect on me, I realised that I needed to change my approach to using it. I didn’t want to stop using it altogether, after all it’s a great way to catch up with people and see what your friends are up to.
So my first move was to have some time off completely and go ‘cold turkey’. After a month or so I started using Facebook again, but just messenger to stay in touch with people. Then I set up all the positive quote pages etc. that I followed, to come up first on my newsfeed so I was always greeted with posts that made me feel good (not that I’m not happy to see what my friends are up to, but it’s the bombarding effect that Facebook has that has the negative effect on me).
After all: We are finite people living in a world that is fast becoming infinite with information, and we need to control our intake for the sake of our own well-being.
I still like to see what my friends are up to, and as I said before Facebook is such a good way to do this. So I will scroll the feed on the odd occasion these days, but only if I’m feeling particularly strong that day, and if I begin to feel any adverse effects I will just come straight off.
Nothing is worth losing your sense of well-being for…
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