Mental Health

Social Media

Social media creates a space for people to connect with friends, meet new people, explore different interests, & express themselves. But what happens when it all becomes too much? Many have reported feelings of stress and anxiety due to cyber bullying, social comparisons, and a negative body image influenced by their use of social media.

If you feel you may be using social media too much or have experienced feelings of stress or anxiety triggered by cyber bullying, fear of missing out (FOMO), or social and/or physical comparisons, consider these tips: 

  • Turn off your notifications for at least a few hours each day (which you can gradually increase); try putting your phone in “Airplane” mode or “Do Not Disturb”.
  • Delete apps that contribute to unhealthy body image or other feelings of inadequacy (such as Instagram, Facebook, TikTok, or Twitter). Download apps that help you feel better about yourself or inspire you to engage in healthy behaviors.
  • If you don’t want to completely remove these platforms from your life, consider putting a timer on the apps if possible. In your settings, you are able to set a limit for how much time you can spend on an app throughout the day.
  • Mute notifications from social media apps so you are not tempted to open the app again when a notification goes off. You are also able to mute accounts and posts, so if you are not liking the content you see, you can select that you dislike/ are uninterested in that post, so you will see less content like that.
  • Take a day off from social media to focus on spending time with friends or family, reading, playing a sport, or another hobby you enjoy. Sunday is a good suggestion since it is a day when you probably aren’t in school or at work. 
  • If possible, consider putting your phone in grayscale, especially at night. This makes your phone less enticing to look at. With the colorful apps and notifications changed to gray, they may be easier to ignore. 
  • Start a habit of placing your phone near the door when you come home — doing it with a friend, partner, or family member can help you stay motivated and accountable! Make a plan with a group of friends to spend more time hanging out in person and less time interacting via social media.

Persistent feelings of anxiety or depression should be taken seriously and discussed with a trusted adult as soon as possible. 

(reference: National Center for Health Research)