Lifestyle

Social media – is it good for you?

Researchers have claimed that there is a plausible condition known as ‘Facebook Addiction Disorder’ (FAD). This condition is when there is an obsession with Facebook resulting in other important areas of a person’s life becoming neglected.

How do you think you would cope if you couldn’t use your social media platforms for a week?

I think you would be pleasantly surprised at the outcome which would normally happen in three waves…

  1. Initially, there would be that feeling of anxiety because you don’t know what’s going on in your social, digital world – especially if you are a nosey person!
  2. After that you would most probably feel more organised about other things in your life because you aren’t being distracted by your phone – spending hours scrolling through your social media feeds.
  3. Finally, you would most probably feel less emotional and well rested.

 

Social media can have a negative mental and physical effect on your body…

Spending time on social media platforms can be time-consuming, addictive and not very productive. It is a known fact that whilst scrolling through pages of social media posts it can result in a person comparing their lives to others – sometimes resulting in feelings of jealousy, anger, sadness, inadequacy and enough negative thoughts to cause depression or something worse – potentially suicidal thoughts.

 

Our social media experiment…

I did a social media experiment on a friend, I’m going to call her Julia for this article. Julia had become consumed by her social media platforms – sometimes sitting for hours scrolling through the overwhelming social media noise on her phone and it had become a bad habit.

Using social media platforms was not only time consuming for her but it was having an effect on her mood – I can honestly say that it was becoming a problem.

I would just like to mention I’m not talking about my daughter:)

 

Shut down mode…

I managed to persuade Julia to close her Facebook and Instagram page. She did and she didn’t respond to any notifications in her email inbox when they came from any other social media platforms.

However, she did use ‘WhatsApp’ to stay in touch with friends and work and that was fine.

Why did we do the experiment?

Content and conversation on the social media platforms were really winding Julia up – her behaviour was starting to bring me down. She didn’t have the ability to overlook negativity and not get dragged into online situations – disagreements, bitchy comments etc.. Julia didn’t always comment on the platforms but she would read posts and tell me about them. This resulted in her getting uptight about things so much so that she would get angry and sometimes go inward and I wouldn’t hear from her for a while.

Screen time…  

Julia said the phone was the last thing she looked at before bed, if she woke in the night she would check her phone and in the morning her phone would be the first thing she would look at.

Throughout the day she would also keep checking her phone as well.

Does that sound familiar?

The conclusion:

After just two days of the experiment, Julia was calmer and less tired – the results were really interesting. She wasn’t getting involved in tit for tat comments or having to put up with people in her life posting great photos, looking like they were living the ideal life.

Most importantly she was actually getting more sleep because she wasn’t on her phone.

What now?

Julia is staying off Facebook and Instagram because she can do everything she needs to do on WhatsApp – stay in touch with her friends and sharing photos and videos etc..

It’s working for her, thank goodness! And, I have my nice calm friend back again.

 

This topic has been addressed many times over the years – social media and its effects on people’s mental and physical well being.

  • The effects on children:

There can be a negative effect from social media on children, such as cyberbullying

  • Withdrawal symptoms:

Withdrawal symptoms – people who are over-dependent on digital devices report a feeling of anxiety

  • The sadness:

It is said that the more we use social media the less happy we are – we compare our lives to others and it is believed that this can cause depressive mood swings.

Whilst our social media platforms are sometimes filled with happy comments and lovely pictures, they can also remind us of our history that we would rather forget. Drunken nights out, ex-partners, untruths, inappropriate emojis, jealous comments etc…

It’s not all bad…

A lot of people have the ability to separate themselves from the emotional journey that social media threads can take you on and there is great value in social media.

If you are one of those people that do struggle sometimes, try our experiment and see how you feel – it might be the making of you right now.

 

Are you having feelings of depression or just feel like you need to talk to someone? Visit your doctor or call a helpline such as The Samaritans. 

 

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** The content on this site should not be used as medical advice, we are giving our readers information and insights. If you are concerned about your health or need medical advice please see your doctor. If you are struggling with any issues please talk to someone – don’t suffer in silence. **

 

 

References:

How social media betrays your mood: http://www.bbc.com/future/story/20180201-how-your-social-media-betrays-your-mood

Track your screen time: https://www.intego.com/mac-security-blog/how-to-use-screen-time-in-ios-12-to-track-your-device-usage/

 

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