When I talk to my patients about social media, I like to think about it as neither good or bad. Social media in many ways is something that's here to stay and perhaps what's most important is all of us being aware of our relationship to social media and how we are using it. This can often start with doing a check of how we feel before we engage with social media and how we feel after we use our social media. This can be a really helpful barometer of sorts to assess how social media in particular is affecting our emotional wellbeing. A couple of other factors to consider: How much time are we spending on social media? Oftentimes we can go down rabbit holes and spend more time than we intended to and we are trading that time. In essence, we're not doing other things like engaging with family or friends, practicing hobbies or interests that are enjoyable to us if we spend a great deal of time on social media. The other thing to consider is whether social media is giving us a sense of connection or if we're noticing a sense of F.O.M.O. (or fear of missing out.) Oftentimes, social media can be a great tool to connect professionally, personally, with people from all over the world that we never would have met before. Sometimes, though, we can recognize that people tend to present the highlight reels of their lives on social media and we can all sometimes find ourselves in a place of comparison or fear of missing out. So the most important thing is not necessarily defining social media as good or bad, but really understanding how it impacts us in particular, and then managing our use accordingly.
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