What a week it has been when we think about social media. First Elon Musk made changes to Twitter, which sent the internet into a whirlwind and then we had the release of Threads. Social media can be fantastic, but it can also have an impact your mental health.

Threads is a new mobile based social media platform from Meta, the creators of Facebook and Instagram. We’ve signed up and it seems pretty good, a simple slick layout, simple interface and despite having over 50 million users sign up already, it seems quieter and calmer than other platforms.

Why We Love Social Media

As humans, we have a primal need to be connected to one another, tribal instinct. Social Media gives us a modern was to achieve this, without needing to be in the same place as someone. This fits with how society has evolved and can be incredible.

Not only are we connected, we can make new friends, keep up to date with people’s lives, share important milestones with them, show support and love. We can connect with celebrities and brands that we love and support, find out about our fave musicians and even shop through social media.

It grows communities, both local and global, which can be empowering, hilarious and incredibly rewarding. Communities that teach us, whether it is cooking recipes, cats jumping off of things or how to clean your cooker with products at home, social media has given us all outlets for creativity, knowledge, support and if we’re honest nosiness too!

impact your mental health
Photo by Tim Mossholder on Unsplash

How it can Impact Your Mental Health

It can have it downsides though. Some people use social media as a way to affect others, cause upset, spread hate and just be down right nasty. We have ways of protecting our accounts from those kinds of people, but the impact that comes from within is much harder to protect.

With social media comes the pressure. Do I have enough followers? Do I have enough likes? How many people viewed that video? That is with out thinking about our appearance. Do I look okay? Should I use a filter? Does my home look amazing? Just a few of the questions we’ve asked ourselves.

We constantly compare ourselves to the images and comments we view and look for validation in the people who ‘follow us’ and who we ‘follow’.

Social Media can therefore affect our self-worth, our confidence and self-belief. It can cause us to sit for hours on our phones, trying to get those numbers up, or post something that will go viral, because despite these connections we now have, it can make us feel so isolated and we sit searching for that tether.

What can You do

Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

If you do feel the pressure from social media and impact on your self-esteem and confidence, you can make changes to lift your mood and get you feeling tip top again.

Remember social media is not real life. Every one on there from Taylor Swift to Gill in the corner shop have the same thoughts as you – do I need a filter? Is this picture good enough? Keep that in mind when you see perfect images of people, they are just like you and feel the same pressures.

Try not to compare yourself or your home to others. Much of what we see on socials is staged, someone posts a picture of their office area, you see a small corner that looks immaculate. Behind that corner is a home that most likely looks lived in just like yours. Your success and happiness is not measured in comparison to people on Instagram and Pinterest.

Take breaks. Step away from your socials, don’t spend all of your spare time scrolling TikTok or Tweeting, give your eyes and thumbs a break, instead spending some time on self-care, you can check our Wellness and Self-Care section for some in depth ideas, but you could read a book or go for a stroll.

Be kind to yourself. You are the only you there is. That makes you special, no one else is able to be you so embrace that. You might not have a posh car in the driveway, you might not even have a driveway or a car, but you can be happy if you appreciate the things and people in your life. Be grateful for them and proud of who you are. Put those other people in the back of your mind, social media is entertainment, sharing and promotion, it’s not a true representation of the world around you.

If you are worried about yourself or someone else who has been affected by social media, perhaps affecting their food habits, their self-esteem or belief in such a way that you know help is needed, speak to your doctor, family, or friends. If you can’t seek help there then look on our Therapy page for ideas of who to talk to or google for your local area.

We do love social media for the right reasons and would love for you to connect with us! We can build a community that is supportive and positive, feel free to reach out on TikTok, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and of course on Threads!

About Author

Erika is bright, bubbly and friendly. Studying to be a counsellor, she is committed to helping others in the pursuit of better mental health. Having suffered from mental health issues herself including severe anxiety and PTSD, she wants to show others that the light at the end of the tunnel is not just a cliché!
Erika enjoys spending time with her little one, friends and family, crafting, reading, writing, music gaming, cooking, creating art, cacti and llamas.

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