Is Social Media Bad for Our Mental Health?

It’s no secret that we’re all a little bit addicted to social media – it’s our window into other people’s worlds, it’s great to see what our pals are up to, it’s perfect for showing off our work, achievements or family; but it’s also a breeding ground for needless comparison, envy & false advertisement. What I mean when I say this is, nobody’s life is perfect – but you wouldn’t know that if you judged everyone solely by their feeds, which is essentially what so many of us end up doing.

I for one, am a little addicted to social media; I use it to promote my blog, to see what my friends are up to, to see what’s going on in the world, to engage with people, & as someone with anxiety, it can be a bit of a lifeline – those months where I couldn’t leave the house meant I wasn’t socialising physically, but I did have social media as my “window” and link to the outside world. It kept me in the loop and made me feel like I wasn’t missing out so much. The fact is though, you can get too much of a good thing, and soon that ‘link’ became the only link I had, and it became toxic.

don’t have a ‘perfect’ life, but take a look at my Instagram feed & you might think I do. The truth is though, you only get to see what I want you to see – I’m hardly going to document the depressive low I’ve sat in for four hours, the fact I don’t have all my family around me or the outbreak of spots on my neck that won’t do one. Because why would people want to see that?! (Though I do think I’ve gotten so much better at being real & honest.) I truly believe this is true of so many of us; we only show what we’re comfortable with people seeing – what we want people to know about us, what we want them to think. You might see me snapchat myself in Lush, but that doesn’t mean I’ve got bags of money & have gone potty in there. I wish. 

Social media can be bad for our mental health because we as humans find it all too easy to compare our lives to others – we’re programmed that way I think. In fact I ran polls on Twitter & Insta asking the question ‘Do you think social media is bad for your mental health?’ & it was pretty staggering the amount of people that clicked ‘Yes 100%’. We judge ourselves by our social medias; by how many followers or subscribers we have, by the amount of likes or retweets we might get. It becomes validation, and we develop a need for it. We see someone else succeeding, gaining followers or doing well with their blog, and we might try to ‘compete’ with them. & for what?! All this achieves is the idea that we’re not good enough – that we don’t compare to so’n’so, that our lives aren’t perfect; it’s bulls*it & yet we’re all suckered into it.

I’m guilty of it, hook, line & sinker. I judge myself against others, I wonder what I’m ‘doing wrong’, I worry that I’m not gaining followers, I fear I’m not writing about what people like, I monitor what I say incase I say the ‘wrong’ thing; I get scared to publish a mental health post every time for fear of some form of bitchiness or judgement; I think my life is nothing compared to someone else’s. I get jealous, think I’m not good enough, I get upset, I throw my phone off the bed. It’s an ugly cycle & I’m fairly confident I’m not the only one to have felt like this.

I actually remember telling my boyfriend the day that I started my blog, that it would be for me; for my mental health, for my wellbeing & no matter what, it would be my passion project – I asked him to remind me of all that if I ever lost sight; & honestly, he’s had to remind me of that a lot. It was never supposed to be about likes/stats/followers etc. In actual fact he’s told me numerous times now, to get rid of all my social media & my blog because he’s said it has too much of a negative effect on my mental health – I seem to spiral when I’ve had too long a scroll session or I’ve spent too long comparing. You too?

I’m not saying by any means, that social media is awful – I’d be a bit of hypocrite to say that but continue using it anyway – I’m just saying, in short, that it’s great, but in small doses. It’s great as long as we remember that we’re only getting a glimpse of somebody else’s life – as long as we remember nobody has a perfect life. It’s great if we find a balance & try not to judge ourselves by it (although this is bloody hard). It’s great for meeting new people – I actually met one of my best pals through Instagram! It’s great as long as we don’t abuse it. The fact is though, it does have the potential to stop us living a little bit. We obsess over what we should be posting & feel compelled to show off ‘perfection’; we get lost in a technical desert and give ourselves headaches; we compare and compare and compare.

The comparison loop aside, it can also see people being picked on over, or because of their social media; people are all mouth behind a screen & it can hurt us. We can get judged pretty harshly and without real reasoning. It could make us ill, and sometimes it does. It’s a false sense of reality because it’s not always real life; it can be time wasted and it’s seen a fuck lot of cyber bullying, which makes me so sad. It can be dangerous.

I know I need to take a spoonful of my own advice here, but if you take anything from this post, just know that you’re so much more than your social media; remember that nobody’s life is perfect; take a f*cking break from it all every now & again; text your pal instead of just ‘searching’ what they’re doing; maybe have a real look at who you’re following & if they’re a good influence on your life, and if you’re a blogger like me that gets suckered in & forgets why you started, take a step back & remind yourself. Don’t forget to actually go live. Many an evening I’ve ruined because I’ve obsessed over social media, rather than spend quality time with my boyfriend.

Do you feel like social media is bad for your mental health? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!

Big kisses always,

http-signatures-mylivesignature-com-54494-355-4f5963f54c5592ff541aa0878ca957e3

 

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20 Comments Add yours

  1. This was a really great post lovely 🙂 everything you said I totally agree with! It was weird because i never really used to be in to social media at all and barely used it but since re-starting my blog in October last year and building a following on insta with my nails it has kind of taken over a bit and don;t get me wrong I have been loving it but can get suckered in to all the numbers bit and as I suffer with anxiety am constantly worrying about it all the time and that I’m not good enough and can lose sight of why I started it at times, so I now try to have the weekends away from social media and take some time out as I can feel very overwhelmed at times by it all! But, I will stop blabbering on now, just was really refreshing reading your thoughts! Have a lovely week, take care, Chantelle xx
    http://www.chansbeautycorner.blogspot.co.uk

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Katie Rose says:

      Aw thank you so much Chantelle! I’m sorry you suffer with anxiety too, social media really rattles it doesn’t it?! I’m exactly the same, I wasn’t on it all half as much before my blog, now it’s like a semi-addiction & I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t whipping my phone out every 10 seconds! (Ok maybe not THAT bad haha) It’s such a good thing that you take weekend breaks from it all, I might have to take a leaf out of your book – it’s wonderful to get some headspace and clarity outside of the technical world, it’s too easy to get swallowed up in it! Thanks so much for reading lovely, hope you’re having a relaxed Thursday eve! ❤ xxx

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  2. mrsbeirne says:

    Hi Katie, I think when used correctly and with a good dose of realism social media can have great advantages but I do feel that for younger children and teens it is seriously hazardous. I have a 12 yo daughter and she is extremely affected by social media and it doesn’t seem to matter that I tell her, “that’s what people want you to see, the good bits of their lives” she still compares herself to unattainable goals. I do feel this is going to be a big problem for her self esteem 😞

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Katie Rose says:

      I’m so sorry that your daughter is already experiencing such negativity with social media, and at 12! So young 😦 it’s hard to try and explain it as well, especially if they don’t really want to hear it. I find distracting myself with reading or going for a walk is a good way to get some space away from the technical world, but I agree, it can be such a toxic environment. Let me know if there’s anything I can do to help & sending you lots of love ❤ x

      Liked by 1 person

  3. insidemegansmind says:

    Love this post because it’s so true. Social media, if abused, can be terrible for a person’s mental health. What I struggle with is the fact that, as a blogger, I feel like social media is almost as important as the blog itself. This makes it hard to take breaks or cut off social media because if you want a successful blog you have to market yourself somewhere. I guess it’s just about finding a healthy medium where social media doesn’t take over.

    Really enjoyed reading this, great post!

    Megan

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Katie Rose says:

      Thanks so much Megan! I could not agree with you more if I tried – sometimes I’ve spent time talking my blog on social media, than I have actually ON my blog – which defies logic sometimes! It’s such a shame we get so swallowed up in it all isn’t it? A balance is definitely the answer, let me know if you manage to find one!! I reckon we can do it. 🙂 Sending you lots of love, thanks for reading sweet! ❤ xx

      Liked by 1 person

  4. This was a lovely post to read. I’ve seen lots of discussions lately around social media and mental health and I think it’s definitely causing a lot of us to compare our lives to the ‘perfect’ ones we see on social media. But I know that on other hand, it’s hard to simply turn off social media. Yet, I think we need to take it with a pinch of salt and remember it’s not always real (although I’m guilty of doing the opposite)

    https://all-about-the-experience.com/

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Katie Rose says:

      I’m EXACTLY the same Rachel! It’s like I know that I need to take a step back, that I’ve fried my eyes looking at it all & that it’s making me feel rubbish, but I can’t tear my eyes away, bizarre! It’s so addictive isn’t it?! I guess it’s about learning to find a balance, but it’s hard to break a habit (as it were!) Hope you find a balance my love & let me know if you have any tips on it all! 🙂 xxx

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  5. Facebook is the worst I think. Constant bragging about life events…
    Twitter has actually helped me since starting my blog. I feel like I can be myself here and the blogging community is so supportive, it has really lifted me x

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Katie Rose says:

      I agree actually, I think Twitter is one of the more positive forms of social media, it’s the place where I’ve found the most support among us bloggers definitely! Facebook is very showy-offy isn’t it?! & Instagram is such a breeding ground of comparison – & yet I use this one the most! x

      Liked by 1 person

  6. This is so true, I think we’re probably all guilty of getting in to the social media envy. I follow allot of other beautiful bloggers and many of them have perfect teeth and hair always looking amazing etc.
    Sometimes it’s nice to switch off and try to get back to some sort of normal instead of living your life online xx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Katie Rose says:

      Yes I’m so with you, I find it all too easy to get a little jealous of other bloggers, especially the ones who take perfect photos of themselves, I’m just like I want to be them!! But you’re right, it’s nice to switch off & get back to ‘real life’ and take a break isn’t it? ❤ xx

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  7. Social media has pros and cons. Problem is with me is how my mood is as sometimes it causes me to feel upset and other times I don’t care. Great post. Made me think about it all xx

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  8. I go round and round trying to sort out how I feel about social media. On the one hand it keeps me connected and I too met one of my close friends through Instagram. On the other, it feeds my depression and anxiety even though I know that so much of it is real. I wonder if we will ever solve the social media conundrum?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Katie Rose says:

      I’m in exactly the same boat as you! It’s like a catch 22 isn’t it, it has it’s positives but not without it’s negatives – as you said, it feeds my anxiety/depression too! I’ve tried taking a step back from social media but it’s hard isn’t it?! xx

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It is so hard! I take breaks from it occasionally which I do find are good for me and yet at the same time I miss it. Am trying to get a balance of interacting with it in a way that suits me without actually having to give it up. A work in progress….probably will be in progress for some time I imagine! x

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  9. A Journey In Words says:

    Definitely! I compare what I look like, how many friends I have, what I’m doing with my friends, if I have a relationship and if If I do is that good enough, what I’m eating, if I’m exercising enough, damn even if I’ve posted a witty enough caption! But when my anxiety is at it’s absolute worst, I don’t post at all- no one but those close know, so what’s to say other people don’t post their worst- I’m sure they don’t. Its also an avenue to carry on distress outside of the supposedly safe space that is home- bullying, an argument, a break up: you see what their doing; people can say stuff online, bravery behind a screen; you can check if their still following you or are oblong, 37 times a day (soooo don’t do that…)
    It’s so unhealthy yet we as a generation seem so unable to stop the addiction! I’d say we are a little bit more than a little bit addicted! This post was amazing- so honest and true! Thank you so much! I also struggle to delete or not use social media despite it having a negative affect on me when I’m in a bad place. I love your blog though, thanks again! 😊

    Like

  10. amna says:

    I think some how its bad.privacy matters.I have written a blog with name”dual faces” discussing same issue

    Like

  11. esoterica says:

    I 100% believe that social media is bad for our mental health. I deleted most of my accounts nearly five years ago, and just now realized that I don’t get anxious anymore, I don’t worry about what people think about me (or compare myself to anyone), and I’m much closer to my real-life friends because we catch up on everything since there are no posts to clue each other in. I think cutting back and then deleting my accounts was the best thing I ever did for myself. I had no idea how much it was affecting me! Good luck finding a healthy balance. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Katie Rose says:

      I’m so happy that you’re feeling healthier for cutting back on social media – it can definitely affect our mental health in more ways than one, especially the comparison thing, that’s the worse! I love the idea that you’re so much closer to your friends for it too, I think we can all take a lesson from you! Thanks so much for reading my love – still trying to find that balance, might just take a leaf out of your book! Sending you lots of love ❤ x

      Liked by 1 person

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