Social media is one of the main forms of entertainment and communication today. Our generation also has been known for raising more awareness about mental health and admitting to having symptoms of depression and anxiety. Many people believe that the amount of time we spend on our phones affects how we feel. However, there are studies that say phone usage does not directly correlate to depression. Instead, it is what we do while we are on our phones that make a difference in how we feel.
We can use our phones for more than looking at Instagram feeds of celebrities and comparing ourselves to them, watching YouTube videos of vloggers who seem to have it all together, contributing to negative threads on Twitter, or wasting time scrolling through TikTok. Social Media platforms can be used for good things like connecting with friends that you don’t see frequently, looking up information and learning something new, discussing things in pop culture with others that have different perspectives, and using it to take a break from work.
The internet in itself is not what puts us in unhealthy moods and there are tons of ways to encourage others and be filled up on the internet. We can follow accounts and people that speak truth into us and uplift us or ones that promote healthy lifestyles. It is important that we use our phones in healthy ways and recognize if they become a problem and start to affect our self-image. If you are always comparing yourself to someone online, unfollow them. If you find yourself always feeling negative after reading through posts, delete the app. You have control over what you do online and how you let it impact you.
Don’t be afraid to use social media differently than your friends do or even to choose not to have it all together. Although it can make connecting with others easier sometimes, social media is not a necessity and you can use it however you want. What we do on our phones is just as important as the time we spend on them. So, whenever we pick up our phones we should try to use it in ways that are productive and beneficial to us.