Is Social Media Bad for Mental Health?
If you are a millennial or a parent of one, you probably are familiar with MySpace. MySpace was released in August of 2003. Not even a year after, in February of 2004, Mark Zuckerberg launched Facebook. That was the beginning of the social media era. Up until this point, flip phones and Blackberry were still widely used by the public. The first iPhone was released in 2007. As Apple releases a new iPhone model every year, other major technology companies start inventing their version of the smartphone. Pew Research Center conducted a survey in 2019 and it showed that 81% of Americans own a smartphone, compared to 35% in 2011. The popularity of social media transpires due to the widespread use of smartphones. Smartphones make the accessibility to the world possible just by a click of your finger. Today, along with Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, Reddit, TikTok, etc. are some of the popular social media platforms that are used by people of all age groups. Today, people have become more and more dependent on the use of smartphones, especially younger adults.
The Advantages of Social Media
Convenience: The first and foremost advantage of social media is its convenience. Nowadays, you don’t even have to jot down people’s birthdays in your calendar because Facebook reminds you several days in advance. You can connect with people with just a click. It makes it so much easier to keep up with everybody’s lives in today’s busy world. Just open up Facebook or Instagram, you’ll find out which ones of your high school classmates who just got engaged, moved to another state, or just had a baby.
Accessibility: Long gone are the days you have to wait for the daily newspaper to be delivered to your mailbox. Today, you can catch up with the latest news on Twitter while having your morning coffee or during your subway ride to work. Social media also provides platforms to bring people together. In addition to that, these platforms are free, so people are less hesitant when they click that sign-up button.
Up until this point, with all of the advantages of social media listed above, you might wonder how bad is social media for your mental health?
Social Media Is Bad for Mental Health
Social medias’ ease of access comes with its downside- time expenditure. Time spending on social media indirectly affects your mental health because it takes away the amount of time that you could use to improve your mental and physical health. According to the Brain & Behavior Foundation, along with exercise, a healthy diet and adequate sleep, disconnecting from electronics and social media is one of the main recommendations for reducing the risk of mental illness. You don’t have to cut yourself completely off of social media, but it is good to have a social media-free period every day. Allow yourself to unplug! Instead of scrolling through social media endlessly, you should spend that time reaching out to your loved ones or get involved in some activities that are meaningful and fulfilling such as volunteering.
In addition to the time commitment aspect, dwelling yourself in social media can be overwhelming. It is very easy to compare your life with others which leads to a sense of failure or unfulfillment if you are not where you want to be in life. That is the root of the younger generation’s anxiety and depression.
What Do We Do to Help at Rise in Malibu?
We believe in a healthy, balanced approach. That’s why we don’t just treat a disease or disorder, we use holistic medicine for your care to optimize all of the outcomes. Here at Rise in Malibu, we tend to your mental, physical, emotional and spiritual health.
Again, how bad is social media bad for your mental health? The short answer is not that bad, if you are the one who is in control. Like anything else, it can become unhealthy if usage gets to be out of control. We are here to help. Along with medication therapy, we offer holistic appointments which include massage therapy, yoga and meditation. More than that, what can be better to use this time to connect with the beautiful nature? Rise in Malibu also has off-site weekly experiential therapy that introduces equine therapy, rope courses, hiking and more! Any more questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to reach out to our caring, expert staff. We are here to help you, and we believe in your recovery.