Social media use has been found to have detrimental effects on mental health. Lin et al. (2016) found a relationship between social media use and increased depressive symptoms. Social media use can be passive (observing other people’s social media) or active (regularly posting) and both have been found to negatively impact a person’s mental health. In addition, social media use can have detrimental effects on an individual’s physical health as it often entails staring at a screen which can lead to headaches, migraines, and vision difficulties (Whitley, 2020).
Given the harmful effects social media use can have on one’s mental and physical health, Whitley (2020) outlines a variety of steps individuals can take in order to detox from their social media use:
1. Limit the amount of time spent on social media. It is important to designate specific times during the day in which you will abstain from utilizing social media.
2. Designate specific spaces in your home and/or workplace in which social media use is prohibited. For example, spaces such as your bedroom can be identified as a “no social media use zone.”
3. Brainstorm alternative activities you can engage in to replace time you may have spent participating in social media use. For example, it may be helpful to identify specific hobbies that you can engage in during the time that would have been previously spent utilizing social media.
Utilizing the above-mentioned techniques may be a useful tool to alleviate some of the stressors you may be experiencing from your social media use.
Author: Jenny Wittmann, M.A.
Lin, L. Y., Sidani, J. E., Shensa, A., Radovic, A., Miller, E., Colditz, J. B., … & Primack, B. A. (2016). Association between social media use and depression among US young adults. Depression and anxiety, 33(4), 323-331.
Whitley, R. (2020, February 17). Social Media and Mental Health: Time for a Digital Detox? Psychology Today. https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/talking-about-men/202002/social-media-and-mental-health-time-digital-detox