Social Media and Mental Health

Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat. The list goes on. We all engage in social media. You are reading this right now on a social media platform. Social media does many things for us. It connects us in many ways. We are able to find support groups online, and engage freely and anonymously. We are able to meet people far from us. The things we are able to learn are boundless. The people we are able to meet are endless. Some of us have met our significant other or best friends because of social media.

I recently did an interview for a podcast (Bernie and Marly), regarding social media and mental health. We spoke in detail about how social media can affect our mental health by actually disconnecting us, and increasing anxiety and depression.

If you look a bit deeper, there can be a dark side to social media.

Picture this: We lay in bed, scrolling through Instagram or Facebook, and see the absolute best of others’ lives. The “trailer” to their movie

Then we get out of bed.

We wake up the kids for school, brush our teeth, pick up toys in the living room, yell at the kids to hurry (they got distracted playing with the dog). Then we rush out the door, trying our best to look like we at least brushed our hair.

Our day already looks like a mess… nothing close to {insert name here}’s post about their weekend at Disneyland – one that ended with a clean house that included a closet full of Marie Kondo folded clothing.

We suck…………..

Little did we know that {insert name here}’s day began with a toddler tantrum, baby spit up, and crying after stepping on a Lego…all while looking for lost keys.

We didn’t call. We didn’t run into this person at the grocery store—or at least we didn’t see them—we were looking at our phone—trying to find a quick recipe for dinner. We had absolutely no interaction with them but the Instagram photo from this morning.

We end the day feeling “less than.” We end the day wondering what we are doing wrong and why we can’t do better.

Now its bedtime. We lay down next to our partner. We scroll through the same Facebook and Instagram…the posts confirm it.

We do suck……

That may have been a dramatic representation of a friend’s day (I swear...). But it was also a familiar experience for many of us. What would it look like if we had called that friend and asked about their Disneyland trip (they actually forgot the sunscreen and the hotel was terrible), and new folding habit (its actually relaxing for them)? What would it look like if we cuddled with our partner at the end of the night and talked about our days?

We are slowly becoming more disconnected in our “real lives” as we are more connected in our “virtual lives. Disconnect, isolation, loneliness. These all contribute heavily to not only dissatisfaction in life, but also anxiety and depression.

Listen to the podcast for more information on social media and mental health, (and hear my random reference to Thanos…lol) and tips on how to counteract the negatives of social media while still experiencing the positive.

Let’s truly experience our reality without the constant lens. Contact me to learn how!