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Four Reasons Why Social Media is Good for Mental Health & How to Use It Right

Four Reasons Why Social Media is Good for Mental HealthSocial media has become synonymous with negativity. But still, you and I, along with millions of others, log into it daily to update ourselves on what’s happening in our social sphere.
Is it all in vain, and are we all exacerbating our mental health problems with social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and TikTok, or do they have something better to offer? Can social media be good for our mental health?
According to Rachel Blank, Founder, and CEO, of Allara, “you can still find reasonable and intellectually sound people on Twitter and elsewhere on social media. There are some writers and thinkers on those platforms whose content is thought-provoking and interesting”.

For that reason, social media remains worth it to many people. She believes it may even have some mental health benefits, and I agree.

What Makes Social Media Good for Mental Health?

Feeling Connected

Social media apps and platforms make connecting with your family and friends easy, even if you stay far away from them. You can easily post comments on their pictures, tag them on posts and engage in deep, meaningful personal communication.

The simple act of commenting or getting comments, reacting or getting reactions, and being included in a post or including others in your post through tagging develops close relationships with mutual trust, recognition, and a sense of belonging.

Promoting Authenticity

Social media is a good place to post your authentic self. When you present yourself in a way you indeed are, and your followers, friends, and family appreciate and accept you, it boosts your self-acceptance and, eventually, self-esteem.

You can also do the same for others and motivate them when they get authentic on social media.

Participants in a research study said that they derived confidence and self-worth by being able to motivate their friends or lend support to others or events happening worldwide.

Improving Your Ability to Cope

Stress is commonplace, and venting becomes necessary. This is where social media plays a significant role. You can easily express your frustrations or anger on such platforms without being judged or shamed.

However, when seeking a solution to a problem and curbing stress, the effectiveness of social media depends on how you use it.

For example, seeking support from a large audience could be effective if you desire a solution to a rare problem causing stress.

However, when only sensitive, emotional support can mitigate stress, it’s best to seek help from close friends or family you trust.

Encouraging Creative Self Expression

Creativity reduces anxiety, depression, and stress and can also help you process trauma and start your journey toward mental well-being.

Popular social media sites, such as Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, and Snapchat, provide extensive opportunities to express your creativity and assert your self-identity through pictures, text, audio, or videos.

Here are some examples of people on Instagram using their creativity to talk about mental health –

Even if you don’t have the traditional skills of an “artist,” you can be creative on social media. The tools provided by platforms like Instagram and TikTok are so accessible that anybody can express themselves creatively, and there’s always an audience available for what you create.

“Instagram and TikTok encourage people to experiment with new dances, makeup trends, or ideas. The talent on these digital platforms is astounding. The artistic capabilities of users will only increase over time, and it’s exciting to see,” said Ann McFerran, CEO of Glamnetic.

How to Use Social Media & Not Ruin Your Mental Health

David Reid, Sales Director, VEM-Tooling Co. Ltd., doesn’t believe social media can cause psychological well-being.

He said, “social media has not helped me feel better about myself. On the contrary, it has further exacerbated my mental health issues.”

As social media frequently provides an idealized and carefully controlled portrayal of other people’s lives, he and many others experience feelings of inadequacy and low self-esteem when comparing their lives to those of others.

“This has resulted in me experiencing stress, anxiety, and other mental health issues. Social media addiction has led to an increase in isolation for me,” he said.

These negative experiences are common among social media users.

But there are ways in which you can benefit from the positive aspects that I talked about while minimizing the negative experiences that come with unhealthy social media habits.

Here’s what children, young adults, and adults can do to use social media without ruining their mental health –

Be Mindful

People who use social media passively, browsing and consuming others’ posts, feel worse than those who actively post their material and engage with others online.

It’s only through active participation that we can connect. So, to use social media and not ruin your mental health, you should be deliberate and mindful.

When you get the urge to use Facebook or Instagram, ask yourself, “Why.” Is it to engage with someone, post something yourself, or escape from whatever is causing you trouble?

Sometimes it’s okay to use social media as an escape; I do it too.

But if it becomes a habit and you start doing it for long periods, you’ll end up hurting your mental and emotional health. Excessive social media usage is never a good idea.

Scroll With More Awareness

You should perceptively look at feeds, conscious that social media users selectively share what they choose. Remember that the posts you see on social media feeds may be the highlight reel of someone’s life.

Don’t browse with the sense that every image indicates that others are happier and living better lives than you.

If you see that some account is triggering feelings of FOMO, consider muting or unfollowing so that your feed gets closer to being filled with content that supports your mental health.

Stay Away from Toxic Followers

Social media makes it easy to expand your friend circle and include an array of people who are widely different from you.

Engaging with people different from you is good and can help you learn more and expand your horizon.

However, it may also be that in your circle, some people are just trolls trying to gain attention.

They may be sharing boring, annoying, infuriating, or worse content. Repeated exposure to such content can take a toll on your mental health, and that’s not what you need.

“I am very careful about who I follow and what kind of content I engage with, which is incredibly important if you don’t want social media to have a negative effect on your mental health,” said Nina Joanna, Blogger, Goals Calling.

But you can get out of there and interact with people who add value to your life, like Nina, who likes to follow motivational speakers and personal development experts on Instagram. “They always make you feel good about yourself,” she said.

Just unfollow, mute, or hide toxic contacts.

Don’t Let Social Media Replace Real Life

Using Facebook to keep up with what’s happening in your cousin’s life is OK, as long as you don’t neglect to visit them in person as months pass.

When used thoughtfully and deliberately, social media can be a valuable addition to your social life. It may compensate for diminishing face-to-face social interactions in people’s busy lives.

But only someone sitting across from you can fulfill the basic human need for connection and belonging.

If you overly rely on such platforms and apps, try limiting social media and embracing life outside.

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Published by Admin, On Mar 08, 2023