Social Media's Dark Side: Learning to Set Boundaries. Without question, social networks have become the go-to platform for managing events, photo and video sharing, news updates and building relationships. Related: This Employee Took Off Work for Mental Health Reasons, and Her Boss Thanked Her And while there are many benefits from a business perspective, social media also has a dark side. The time spent engaged on these networks reduces productivity at work, damages real relationships and decreases time spent connecting with one another in person. Approach social media the way you might approach your own mental health. Take a step back, observe and consider if how a post makes you feel is going to impact you tomorrow, a month from now or even a year from now. In these instances, it’s not worth your time to let a social post impact how you’re feeling, your mood, your relationships or even your day. The public needs to come together to raise awareness towards how social media is impacting mental wellness. To do so, know what resources are available around you when you can sense someone is feeling depressed or irregular anxieties. However, without necessary precautions, social media can subconsciously and consciously harm your mental health and wellness.
To date, Facebook has over two billion monthly active users, Instagram has over 700 million, Twitter has over 328 million and Snapchat has over 255 million. Without question, social networks have become the go-to platform for managing events, photo and video sharing, news updates and building relationships.
As a tech entrepreneur in the health and wellness sector, I see social media as a large opportunity to reach a targeted audience and create compelling conversations around issues that matter. People are becoming increasingly comfortable with sharing private and intimate details about themselves, which has changed how we communicate, perceive situations and build relationships.
And while there are many benefits from a business perspective, social media also has a dark side. Beyond the viral cat videos and friendly political banter, these social networks are also the source of fake news, cyberbullying, popularity contests and catfishing. This makes it tough to decipher what’s real from what’s not.
Analysis from the Pitt’s Center for Research on Media, Technology and Health showed that people who report using seven to 11 social media platforms had more than three times the risk of depression and anxiety than their peers who use no more than two platforms, even after adjusting for the total time spent on social media overall.
Social media may have redefined what it means to have a “sense of community,” but the combination of overuse and the need for validation and attention has proven to be destructive to mental wellness as well as distracting and detrimental to productivity.
Our Achilles’ heel
In my work, I regularly meet with therapists who use cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) in their practice as well as clients who suffer from different types and varying levels of anxiety and depression. From these experiences, I am more aware of how social media can trigger symptoms of mental illness.
An inflated reality based on social media illusions creates unrealistic expectations of society. The majority of content posted is twists of the truth and reflects only the high points or staged views into someone’s life. An organization called Ditch the Label created a video to compare social media versus reality and to showcase how…