Social media offers you a unique way of observing people. For instance, language used on Twitter can be used to predict if someone is at risk of dying from heart disease! Analyzing Facebook updates shows that women are generally warmer than but also as assertive as men are, while individuals with extraversion tend to express positive emotions. According to this Seattle web design agency, social media is a critical online marketing strategy for expanding a brand’s exposure and boosting website traffic.
However, with the increased incidences of victimization, sexting and cyberbullying, there are concerns that social media may have a negative effect on mental health. Considering this, is there a way you can tell if your use of social media is healthy or a reflection of some underlying mental health issues? If you’re concerned about your social media usage or that of a family member, here are some things to watch out for.
The Tone of Content Posted
One of the things that distinguished users with reported high well-being versus those with anxiety or depression was what and how they wrote the message. Depressed individuals tend to lean towards negative language, reflecting on what has gone wrong or complaining about other people and life. They’ll also tend to post angry emotions and thoughts.
After writing your post, go through it once more. Look at the tone. Find ways of focusing on some of the positive things occurring in your life, not just the negatives.
Your Time Online
A survey indicates that many adults will spend an average of two hours every day on social media platforms. In addition, 50 percent of young people are heavy users of social media, with a quarter of them reporting that they are constantly online. According to studies, depressed people tend to spend more time online, while other studies were not conclusive on this fact.
Feeling addicted to social media is associated to high levels of depression. On the other hand, there is verifiable evidence that simplifying your life, including spending less time online has great well-being and health benefits. If you’re concerned about the amount of time that passes by while you are on social media, it might be time you consider stepping away from social media platforms for a couple of days.
Social media offers opportunities for you to compare yourself with others, for worse or for better. At the same time, you can use social media to find support groups that’ll encourage you to achieve a set goal. For instance, a Strengths Challenge on social media was used to encourage individuals to look for the best things in themselves and co-workers, leading to increased levels of well-being.
However, comparing yourself with others can be quite destructive, especially for depressed individuals who are likely to view others as better than themselves. And herein, envy plays a destructive role! If you find yourself jealous of others in your social networks, it’s a good time you disconnect and find other ways of building up your self esteem.
At the End of the Day
Social media is not going anywhere, any time soon. The platforms offer you a great way of connecting with others, but they can also exacerbate social anxieties that already exist in the offline world. This is why you should take a moment to consider how social media is making you, your family and friends feel.
Is social media a positive inclusion in your life or does it just make you feel bad, consume your energy and time you would have rather used in other ways? Taking stock of your social media habits will help you choose ways that keep you healthy.