Have you been guilty of excessive social media use?
Did you feel emptier, unhappy, and sense of restlessness maybe?
What if less use of social media could make you happier, productive, and creative?
Do you know, excessive use of social media not only deprives you of meaningful, happier, productive, creative hours you can spend offline but also causes catalyzes depression and loneliness?
Research from University College London shows that girls spend much more time on social media than boys (participants in study). And they are more likely to display signs of depression due to interaction on social media platforms such as Instagram, WhatsApp and Facebook though they both are prone to depression.
In 2014, an experiment was conducted by 5 neuroscientists which concluded that Facebook triggers the same part of the brain thats normally linked with gambling and substance abuse (drugs).
Lets have an overview of risks linked with excessive use of social media and how we can manage them.
Before talking about risks and how to manage then, lets pause for a moment. If you have persistent depressive moods, or maybe finding difficulty to manage anxiety due to social media or some other cause. Then probably youll find a lot of help by talking to a psychologist via video consultation
or appointment with him/her.
According to research, spending too much time on phone (social media) causes illnesses e.g.:
Lower back problems.
Also, it can lead to:
Risk of stroke.
Certain types of cancer as well.
Mental health issues
According to research, the use of too much internet can lead to depression, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), impulsive disorders, paranoia and loneliness.
Excessive use of social media creates feelings of unhappiness as one compares his or her life to people having seemingly perfect or great life. Sometimes, some people may even feel suicidal.
Excessive use of social media also creates FOMO, fear of missing out. Its a feeling where you either are paralyzed or look for by looking at the other shiny experiences that youre not having, events you were not invited to.
How to manage negative effects of social media
Realize that most people only post the great stuff on social media. If your life doesnt feel as awesome as your newsfeed tells you, it wont get better by just sitting over there. Get out of phone and either set goal, plan and take action or enjoy your life in the real world. Build meaningful relationships, memories, experiences in the real world.
Focus on balance
Limit your phone usage time. Make sure you are engaging in social interactions offline and have time for offline activities. This will help to build your identity and build meaningful relationships.
Limiting social media use to about 30 mins everyday can lead to major improvement in your well-being.
Turn off notifications
Social media companies are getting more aggressive with design of notification to make you interrupt whatever youre doing and engage in with phone so you spend more time on social media apps.
Switch off notification for everything on phone except calls and messages.
Mindful use of social media
Be honest with yourself how time spent on social makes you feel. You can apps from app store that track time spent on apps and give you reports on how much phone or apps/which apps you use for a day or the whole week. They send daily report as well in your notification to notify you your daily usage.
Practice meditation. Use apps like Headspace or Calm to get some headspace. This will help you to be mindful and disengage from social media interactions that drain you, or increase unhappiness in you.
Dont overeat your social media diet
You can app blockers from app store to set specific times for social media apps. This will only allow you to access the apps at specific times, even if you open the phone and try to use them, you wont be able to open.
This will help you to have phone-free conversations, dinners with the people who matter to you and be productive rather than being busy.
Phone-free time bubble before sleep
Just like using app blocker to limit time, create a time-bubble before you sleep where you cannot use your phone. Keep the phone in another room before sleeping. Block 20-30 mins of time on phone before you usually sleep.
Partner up with a family member to enforce policy of no smartphone in bedroom after a specific time, and keep each other accountable. Use an old-fashioned alarm clock instead.
Social media is a great place to connect with people, and get inspired. But excessive consumption of anything is never healthy.
Using less social media than you usually do, does lead to significant decrease in depression and loneliness. How many hours you would block using app blocker?
If you already have depression and reducing phone use doesnt help, then its best to talk to a psychologist who listens you unconditionally and helps you through it. You can talk to psychologist via video consultation or direct appointment by visiting Marham.pk
Were so busy in our lives. We hardly slow down, think and feel the moment. Whenever were free, we pick up our phones.
If youre reading it. Focus on your breath, and count to 10; 1 with rising of chest and 2 with falling back. Notice the sound in your surroundings, notice the touch on your device.
Doesnt it feel slightly fresher, calmer, maybe happier?
You deserve to be happy. And having a healthy relationship with social media and your phone can be a step closer to that. The latest technology trends in health industry
are revolutionizing the way user interact with different health sectors. We need to use the technology in a right way.