Social Media & Your Mental Health
Stop that scroll! Just for a second.
Look, we’re not about to say that social media is always bad and none of us should be using it (obv, have you seen how much fun we’ve been having on TikTok lately?)
Buuuut there’s something to be said for everything in moderation. And since a lot of us spend hours and hours scrolling our phones, it’s pretty safe to say we might be overdoing it.
In fact, research shows that too much social media can have some pretty nasty consequences.
What scrolling does to your brain
Social media helps us connect. It’s VERY cool that you can see what your friend is doing even if they’re traveling thousands of miles away.
But the thing is that scrolling socials can take a toll, especially if you’re doing it a lot. Studies show that too much social media can:
- Mess with your sleep
- Make you feel like you don’t measure up (decreased self-esteem)
- Make you less satisfied with your life
More research shows that people who don’t use social media very much are usually happier than people who use it a lot. And if you’re living with depression, social media can make your symptoms worse.
It’s a similar story with anxiety. Bet you can guess what we’re gonna say, right? Yep, social media can make anxiety worse.
And we haven’t even talked about the time suck it can be. Spending hours a day on social media means you’re not spending that time on activities that could be helping your mental health. Every hour you scroll is an hour you didn’t spend chilling with friends, exercising, cooking a healthy meal, doing a hobby, learning a new skill, enjoying nature — you get the idea.
How to take a break
Check in with yourself. If you notice that you usually feel bad when you close a social media app or website, it’s probably a good sign that you should consider giving it up — or at least taking a break. Choosing times to disconnect can go a long way toward protecting your mental health against the negative impacts of social media.
If the thought of deleting Instagram sends you into a cold sweat, we get it. You don’t have to fully nix your socials to get some benefits. Instead, you can try some beginner-level digital detox tactics. Here are a few ideas:
- Pick an hour this week. During it, put your phone in a drawer and don’t look at it.
- Move your apps to a different spot on your screen. You might be surprised how much you click to open Facebook just out of habit. Once they’re in a new spot, you’ll have to consciously make the choice to click — or to say nah, I don’t think that will make me feel very good right now.
- Put your phone in black and white. This easy change makes looking at your screen less satisfying, and it can help to put some distance between you and the social media stuff that’s messing with you.
- Add apps to your phone that offer an alternative. Maybe you choose Duolingo and learn a language instead of doomscrolling.
- Track how much time you spend on socials and consider putting a limit on it (like no more than an hour of scrolling each night).
If you try any or all of these changes, check in with yourself after. Do you feel better? If so, it might be a sign it’s worth taking further steps to limit how much you’re on social media.
Social media isn’t all bad. But if you overuse it, it can definitely do you more harm than good. All we’re trying to say is: be mindful.
And if you need something fun to do that isn’t attached to your phone, stock up on Doughp! Heat it or eat it raw. Either way, it’s a great way to enjoy some screen-free time.