Digital Media Use and Mental Health

Digital Media Use and Mental Health

Do you find yourself not being able to stay away from your phone for very long? Are you constantly refreshing social media apps because you’ve already seen everything on your feed? Do you find yourself feeling depressed or sad after you have been scrolling on social media? If you answered yes to any of these questions, then you may be overusing digital media. 

I know I am guilty of doing some of these things from time to time. Especially during breaks from school. Sometimes after feeling burnt out from finishing finals, all I want to do is sit on my phone and not use my brain. I’m sure we have all been there. I would have a list of things I would want to do while I was on break from school, and then not end up doing any of them by the time school starts again. This is a habit I want to break in 2021. I have found that the times that I did focus on learning new hobbies or skills, I felt a lot better about myself, and my mental health seemed to agree with me.

Do you have goals, or a hobby that you want to accomplish? Let’s put our phone away and make things happen this year!

The Role Social Media Plays in Mental Health

There are a number of ways that social media can affect mental health. Social media can sometimes feel like a toxic relationship. It has the power to build our self-esteem and give us a rush when we get a lot of likes or comments on a picture. This can give some people a sense of belonging. It can also bring down your self-esteem by causing you to make comparisons to people you see online. 

This can lead to people seeking validation online because they want the self-esteem boost that social media can temporarily give. It is important to remember that this feeling is fleeting. For some people it can get to the point of obsession, which can then turn into an addiction. Although there is no medical recognition of social media addiction, the term is still being used as an overuse of social media that is linked to a decrease in happiness and satisfaction.

How Limiting Media Use will better your Mental Health

  • It will give you more time for hobbies and spending time with people in real life
  • You won’t be constantly comparing yourself to strangers online
  • If you are consistently limiting media use, you will have decreased risk for depression, anxiety, sleep problems, eating issues, and suicide risk
  • You may create a better relationship with digital media by not allowing it to consume all your free time

If you want to better your mental health in 2021 by limiting your digital media use, then join us in doing a 21 Day Digital Wellness Challenge at the end of January!

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