In the 21st century where social media has become an integral part of our lives, you will hardly find youngsters who are not active on social media platforms. These interactive platforms might make communication and connecting easier but an overuse of social media surely has some downsides associated with it. Where it might seem to be glorious fun but can be pretty darn addictive as well and we know that an addiction is never good for your health. Similarly a non-judicial use and addiction of social media can result in hampering your mental health.
Things to Not Do On Social Media
We understand that it might not be practically possible for you to quit social media and hence here are 5 things that you can do to protect your mental health from the dangers of social media as explained by Dr. Era Dutta, MD Psychiatry, DNB Psychiatry, MBBS Consultant Neuropsychiatrist, Therapist and Life Wellness Coach.
#1. Stop Comparing
Everyone is unique in their own way and hence one should stop comparing themselves with every other person they come across on social media. As the emergence of social media has made it easier than ever to compare ourselves from others, it constantly keeps on bombarding us with the achievements and accomplishments of our peers. This constant comparision results in a low self-esteem and gives rise to issues such as anxiety and depression.One needs to realise that social media is not reality but an altered and airbrushed form of it. You get to see what the other person chooses to show you and hence it is just the half truth.
#2. Stop Trolling
Kindness goes a long way and hence in order to be treated right one must behave sensitively and respect others. Trolling is one such factor associated with social media that can cause significant harm and distress. A troll can be defined as a person who posts inflammatory, insulting and abusive messages that are degrading to others on an online community. Trolling has a direct relation with several psychological effects such as low self esteem, self harm, depression and disrupted sleep patterns. Internet trolling is similar to bullying and might leave a person with lack of self confidence and self esteem. Trolling can be one of the most destructive means of cyberbullying that are made via offensive comments through the means of social media.
#3. Stop Believing Everything
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If you are someone who tends to believe anything and everything that you come across on social media then here’s a word of caution. Not everything present on these platforms is truth or facts but are mere opinions. As social media has given every individual a power to disseminate their knowledge and message amongst the masses, it has been observed that people tend to put up their opinions as facts that can be misleading for others. Before believing the stuff you come across on social media platforms, make sure that you are doing a fact check and a research of your own. False information and opinions tend to travel faster on social media than the truth. One needs to check the facts and cross check from genuine resources instead of blindly believing everything on the internet.
#4. Stop being Perfect while Posting
Perfection is overrated and hence one should just post that post without overthinking. Social media feeds into the thought of perfectionism and tends to create an altered reality. This perfectionism in the form of posts can have a negative impact on your mental health and lead to the condition of anxiety and body-negativity. Many of us tend to assume that people with a perfect picture and well organized social media feed have their lives sorted out and do not face any issues or have problems. Striving for perfection is good till a certain extent but going overboard can lead to hampering your mental health and wellbeing. It can be destructive in ways and has been linked to the higher rates of anxiety in many people.
#5. Stop Punishing your Sleep
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Checking on your phone right after waking up and scrolling through your feed before sleeping, both these things tend to hamper your sleep time and quality. It is not just the harmful rays being emitted from your electronic device but also the habit that affects your productivity. How many times have you promised yourself that you are going to keep your phone down within 10 minutes but kept on scrolling for hours. Well the use of these digital devices during bed time tends to affect a person’s sleep quality, quantity and the overall productivity. It also keeps your brain active which makes it hard for your body to restore sleep. As it triggers a wide range of emotions, it stimulates the brain and makes it difficult for you to fall asleep.
(This article is based upon a post by Era Dutta, MD Psychiatry, DNB Psychiatry, MBBS Consultant Neuropsychiatrist, Therapist and Life Wellness Coach on her instagram handle)