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How Does Social Media Affect Mental Health

By Mosh
Treat Mental Health
5 min read
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Key Takeaways

Social blues? This post explores how social media use can impact your mental health, from FOMO to anxiety. Learn tips for healthy social media habits and find the balance that works for you!

If you’re wondering, ‘How does social media affect mental health?’ you should know that you’re not alone. With the amount of time people spend on social media each day, it’s common to wonder what it can do to our psychological and emotional well-being.

To get answers to questions like ‘How does social media affect mental health?’ and find ways to better take control of it in your life, Mosh can help. We connect you with health practitioners who can give you medically-backed advice and support. Read on to learn more about the impact of social media on mental health and what you can do.

What are the five downsides of social media to your mental health?

While social media is an integral part of our daily lives, it’s important to acknowledge that it has some potential downsides when it comes to how it affects our mental health. A few of those issues include the following: [1]

  1. Increased risk of depression, anxiety, and stress. Prolonged use of social media platforms have been associated with adverse symptoms and signs of mental issues such as anxiety disorder, stress, and depression.
  2. Pressure to conform to social norms. The use of social media can potentially create pressure for people to present themselves in a particular way or conform to social expectations or stereotypes.
  3. Reduced face-to-face social interaction. In-person interactions have been proven to be protective against mental disorders, and the increased usage of social media leading to social withdrawal is known to be associated with numerous mental disorders.
  4. Cyberbullying. Social media is being increasingly used for cyberbullying which is a top cause of feelings of anxiety and depression for many individuals.
  5. Addiction. Individuals may feel highly dependent on social media and the excessive use of it can have a negative impact on one’s mental health. 

If you’ve noticed a negative change in your mental well-being and feel like you may need help, you can reach out to a medical professional through Mosh. Simply fill out a quick questionnaire and and a doctor will get in contact with you with helpful answers to your questions and concerns, such as ‘How does social media affect mental health in teenagers?’

How can I reduce the harmful effects of social media?

Excessive use of social media is known to have negative effects on one’s mental health and well-being. There are a few steps you can take to reduce these effects, such as the following:

  1. Reduce the amount of time you spend on social media. You can try limiting your use of social media to a specific time of day or you could also set a time limit for yourself on your gadget’s settings.
  2. Move social apps off of your home screen. It can be hard to resist the urge to check social media apps when they appear as soon as you unlock your phone. Taking them off your home screen is a good way to lessen the temptation of opening them from the get-go.
  3. Schedule specific times to check social media or set a timer. You can easily create more structure around your social media usage by scheduling specific times to check them or by putting on a timer to remind you to stop. This can help you avoid mindlessly scrolling for hours on end.
  4. Put your phone on silent or use ‘Do Not Disturb’ features. Putting your phone on silent or turning your notifications off makes it easier to resist the urge to check your social media accounts with every notification you get. You can also use ‘Do Not Disturb’ features to block notifications during specific times of the day or when you need to focus on other tasks. [2]

It’s important to note that social media can still be a useful means for staying connected with others, with evidence suggesting that it can also be an effective tool for supporting young people who may be at risk of suicide or who are suffering from psychological distress, especially in situations where face-to-face interaction is limited. [3]

However, using social media in moderation and taking breaks when needed, especially when one is looking for answers to questions like ‘How does social media affect mental health?’ can help individuals learn how to use social media responsibly.

Where can I find mental health support online in Australia?

There are several resources available for online mental health support in Australia that can help you discover professionally backed answers and advice to ‘How does social media affect mental health?’ These resources may include organisations, charities, and online platforms that provide various forms of support, including online chat, email, and phone support.

If you want more information on how to take care of your mental health and well-being, let your Mosh doctor know. They can provide you with useful information related to ‘How does social media affect mental health?’ and can answer different questions you may have surrounding mental health such as ‘What is clinical depression?’ or ‘What is high functioning anxiety?’

If your doctor, after assessment, finds that treatment is necessary for your situation, they may even provide a personalised treatment plan to help you cope with your specific issues, such as how to deal with anxiety attacks.

Find support and take care of your health with Mosh

Mosh is an online health platform that’s revolutionising the way people access mental health care and learn things such as what to say to a friend who is depressed. By normalising mental health and making support more accessible, we’re helping thousands of Australians improve their lives as we connect them to professionals who can responsibly answer questions such as, ‘How does social media affect mental health?’ ‘How to know if you’re depressed?’

If you have a question or query, you can easily connect with us through email, live chat, or our website portal. Our team is always ready to direct you to the best person to support your needs. Get in touch with Mosh today.

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