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Is it Possible to Have a Healthy Relationship With Social Media?

Mary-Lauren O’Crowley, NCC, LPC

There is no doubt that the internet has revolutionized our modern-day way of life. It has affected almost every aspect of our lives in both positive and negative ways. Without question, it has its benefits; however, everything seems to come at a price in this world. Some of the negative implications of social media include addiction, loss of efficacy at work, school, and even in our relationships, and mental health issues. One can avoid falling victim to these issues by keeping their social media use “in check.” Here are some effective tips for this purpose:

1)  Know the purpose of social media

Social media is meant to connect us with different people from all around the world. It is supposed to help people find others with common interests and goals. It has also proven to be a decent source of information about a lot of things. It is a platform through which people can share their ideas and insight with others. It may be helpful to remind yourself what your “why” for using social media is. What purpose does it serve for you? 

2) Inspiration over comparison

One must acknowledge that pictures and videos of the people in their news feed may be and often are edited and even staged to some extent, and they show only one small snippet of a person’s life. If we are having a bad day and scroll past pictures of beaches and families and all of the things that we wish we had but currently do not, we naturally start comparing our life with theirs. It can make us feel depressed and may even rob us of the contentment that comes with being ourselves. Some of these accounts are especially unhealthy in the way that they portray airbrushed, pore-less photographs, and while we cannot simply ask these people to take them down, we can show restraint in refusing to linger over these images or simply block the page itself. It can be useful to remind ourselves to utilize social media for inspiration rather than comparison.

3) Schedule your screen time

There is an option in smartphones that tells us about the expenditure of our time on different applications. It can help us keep a check on our use of social media apps. We should use these apps carefully and wisely.

4) Think before you post something

Being a part of this society, it is our duty to spread positivity and negate negativity. It is important to have some awareness of what you are posting and how it may impact those who see it. The authenticity of the shared content is very important and can have far-reaching implications. 

5) Assess if you are an addict to social media

Social media can be very addictive for a lot of individuals. Spending hours without having satisfaction and day by day increasing time of social media usage are the warning signs of this addiction. Some mental health experts report that a simple “test” may help to assess your behavior. They recommend that you refrain from touching your phone for a few hours and try to keep yourself busy in the real world. If you experience some irritability and have an urge to check your social media account after every minute or so, you may be dealing with an addiction to social media. Another sign is missing out on experiences in day-to-day life and instead prioritizing the use of social media. 

Much like anything in this life, social media has both pros and cons and requires restraint and healthy boundaries in order to enjoy it without harming yourself. 

If you or someone you know is struggling with a social media addiction, please reach out to the intake specialists at Symmetry Counseling today! 

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