Hi all – when the team announced this topic, I was so pumped, as I know so much with this topic; the good, the bad and the ugly.
My relationship with social media has been a rollercoaster since I first started online with Myspace, MSN, Facebook and Instagram.
I have been grateful that I have been working towards a more intentional focus on my platforms, as I use my Instagram for past business and to share my Mental Health journey.
If I didn’t, I wouldn’t be here talking to you as part of the Positive Relations Media Team. As the Founder, Natalie, saw my content and we reached out.
I will summarise on the good, bad and the ugly on social media and Mental Health:
You can communicate via message and video call to family and friends, strengthening friendships.• As one of our Media Contributors, Simon, discussed which I want to touch on – It’s pretty cool that you can talk to anyone around the world and you’re not alone.• If you are wanting to create an income from social media, online business, networking, programs etc. Instagram is a great place for visibility and building your brand.• Community, knowing what you are going through someone else is too. Knowing that makes you feel not alone.
As I was watching the Social Dilemma, although most of the facts were related to USA and I am based in Australia, its still scary the percentages of self-harm and hospital admissions due to bullying online and at school. I know I was bullied at school and then when I went on social media I was bullied further. I felt like I had no escape and many people believe they don’t. Self-esteem and self-worth is based on followers and likes, which is impacting peoples overall Mental Health.
Suicide has impacted my life personally and professionally. Due to social media, without the appropriate relationship, it can be very harmful. If you have Mental Health conditions already, I would talk to a trusted family, friend or any specialist – if you believe it is impacting your sleep, quality of life including screen time. Some are the ugly stats above including Mental Health conditions• Depression and Anxiety. Do you spend several hours per day browsing through social media? …• Cyberbullying.• FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) …• Unrealistic expectations. (Filters and people posting the good in their life not the bad)• Negative body image.• Unhealthy sleep patterns• General addiction.
I used to run a business and I was always concerned with what to post, always in my inbox and I wasn’t really present with family, friends and my wife. Always wondering should I post this? or stories or content creation with pictures. I knew I had a problem when I took time away from social media and all I could think is ‘I am missing out?’.
But what I know to be true is that I was missing out on life right in front of me. My tattoo states ‘Be Here Now’. Instagram and social media will still be around until the end of time. Our family, friends and husband and wife won’t be.
Tips to leave you with• Take time away from your phone- You do not need to tell anyone.• Screen time. On your phone you can lock your social platforms when the time limit is up.• Wear blue light glasses.• Limit your time on the phones before bed.• Check in and reflect how you are feeling when you are social media (good and bad).
As to summarize, social media can impact your Mental Health regardless how you use it, as it gives our brains some dopamine. For example, when you post a picture you get likes, comments and views on your story. The brain says ‘oh I like this, do more’.
Lastly there is nothing wrong with posting pictures, taking pictures or stories, but I ask myself what am I trying to achieve with this post?
Am I trying to help myself, others?
Is this going to trigger me or trigger others?
If anything has come up for you and you want to chat more.
I am happy for you to privately message me on my Instagram or directly email me.
Would love to keep the conversation going. What is your relationship with social media?
Thanks again, I hope I added some value and enjoyed reading this as much as I did write this
Positive Relations Media Contributor