Social Media and Mental Health: Scroll For Self-Love
by Nina Westbrook
by Nina Westbrook
Ah, social media, where do we begin? From Instagram and Facebook to Twitter, Tik Tok, Pinterest and Reddit, these platforms are a massive part of our everyday lives. Now we aren’t all immersed with every social media platform known to man, but instagram alone reached the 1 billion global user mark at by the end of 2020. What’s interesting is that many of us dedicate a great deal of time and energy to the act of cultivating healthy relationships with people who bring joy, strength, and support to our journey while often neglecting to cultivate a healthy relationship in regards to how choose to social network.
Although social media can be a wonderful source of connection and inspiration, it can also be the source of a lot of anxiety, depression, comparison, and pressure. I recently watched a docuseries on HBO max called “Fake Famous,” and I believe it accurately depicted the painful truth about instagram and “influencer culture.” I will spare you the details, but the series did touch on the pressure to post the ‘right’ angle, pressure to engage in the ‘right’ way, pressure to portray that you live a ‘desirable’ life. Not everyone is looking to be an influencer, but we are all privy to seeing them as we browse and scroll through our social medias. So, how do we protect our mental health and well-being while tapping into these platforms for the good they can give?
How to protect your mental wellness while engaging in social media.
This seems like a basic concept, but People! Do not believe everything you see and read on social media. It is the job of an influencer to present themselves in a desirable way. Unfortunately for most, this means luxurious lifestyles and seemingly perfect looking people. I am here to reassure you. Nobodies perfect. It’s almost scary how much you can alter your face and body using an app.
Comparison kills, so don’t compare yourself to what you see on social media. Comparison kills your mood, your joy, your dreams. I personally believe and have experienced first hand the negative impact that comparison can have on ones mental health. If you see something that you like, literally, “like it ❤️,” and keep scrolling. Since it’s literally impossible to determine what all goes into a single moment in time, aka a photo, try not to fill in the blanks. It’s almost a total waste of your energy. The old saying, “a picture is worth a thousand words,” does not age well into the world of social media.
Don’t forget, YOU HAVE THE POWER! Yes, I am aware of algorithms and all of the tech stuff that is beyond my scope, but you still have a say in what you see on social media. Carefully curate a social space compiled of things that inspire, motivate, uplift, educate, and bring you joy. By doing so, you can take advantage of all of the positive parts of social media.