The advent of social media has brought many wonderful changes to modern life, including more convenient and instantaneous ways to communicate, greater global connectivity, and expanded business marketing opportunities. However, it has also had negative effects, especially on our mental health. Since May is Mental Health Awareness Month, this is a perfect opportunity to look into the effects of social media on our mental health, both positive and negative.
Positive Impacts of Social Media
Used sparingly and with the right intent under the right circumstances, social media can have a very positive impact on daily life and can even boost our mental health. According to ZocDoc, the primary ways social media usage can positively affect our mental well being includes making it easier to meet new friends and stay in contact with old ones, sharing art and music, finding communities of people who share similar interests, and having a place to explore and express our thoughts, ideas, and opinions.
Negative Impacts of Social Media
Unfortunately, when used too often and for more detrimental reasons such as a fear of missing out, responsibility avoidance, or mindless habit, social media can also negatively affect our mental state. Help.org lists the following as the primary ways excessive social media use can harm us:
Warning Signs of Unhealthy Impacts
What are some signs you can watch for in yourself, your child, or other loved one to warn you that social media usage is becoming unhealthy and potentially damaging?
If you or someone you know is experiencing the negative effects of social media usage, consider downloading a usage app, turning phones off at certain times of the day, disabling social media notifications, or even removing social media from phones altogether as simple ways to cut down potentially harmful levels of social media use.
Visit Mental Health America for more information on Mental Health Awareness Month
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