Random Thoughts: #2

Is social media good or bad for your mental health?

I’ve been taking a mental health break from Instagram for about a month now, and it’s made me ponder on this question quite a bit. As someone who struggles with anxiety, I’ve realised that social media has both a positive and negative effect on my mood and mental state. Even for those who don’t have any diagnosed mental health issues, social media still has the power to affect your mood – and that’s why I think it’s important to analyse the relationship between social media and mental health.

The Good

As I mentioned before, social media does sometimes help me cope with my anxiety. When I need to take my mind off everything that’s bothering me, social media sometimes provides the perfect distraction. I spend long periods of time on Tik Tok watching video after video, and it helps improve my mood. I’m not advocating for social media as some kind of cure, but sometimes, a good laugh is just what you need, and social media platforms have plenty of funny videos and memes to keep you entertained.

Social media platforms are also a good place to find support groups and people you can relate to. When your mental health has taken a turn for the worst, it’s so easy to isolate yourself, and that never helps. With social media, you realise that you’re not alone and that there are people going through the same thing you’re going through. Sharing experiences and coping mechanisms help to take a load off.

The Bad

As much as social media provides a good distraction, sometimes the last thing you need on a bad mental health day is being glued to your phone screen. Much healthier distractions include stepping out and enjoying nature, spending time with friends and family, and exercising. Even when you don’t have the energy or willpower to do these things, they’re more beneficial to you than social media.

Did someone say triggers? There are plenty of those on social media and they’re the fastest way to send you spiraling. I can’t even begin to tell you how many times I’ve come across things that trigger me on various social media platforms. Sometimes it almost feels like these platforms are deliberately gunning for me and showing me the kind of content that only serves to exacerbate my anxiety.

Overall, I think social media platforms can do more harm than good depending on how you use them and what content you consume. If we’re being honest, it’s hard to be completely off the grid and avoid social media completely, especially in the technological era we live in. So rather than avoiding it, simply change the way you use it to ensure that it’s working for you and not against you and your mental health. And don’t forget to take a break now and then.


3 thoughts on “Random Thoughts: #2

  1. I think social media definitely has some good and bad and you’ve summed both up really well. Social media also helps me a lot when I feel anxious or stressed out. But it can also become a form of escapism. So you have to be careful.

    Liked by 1 person

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