Does Social Media Make You Feel Down?

Been Feeling Low Lately?

Have you been feeling a bit low lately, but you can’t quite put your finger on why? It may have something to do with your social media habits. According to a recent study, social media use can increase depression and loneliness. For years people have suspected that social media use might have an ability to negatively impact our mental well-being. But now research is actually making a definitive link between spending time on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter and a sense of depression, loneliness and isolation.

It May be Time To Turn It Off

I have experienced the impact of Twitter, Facebook and Instagram first-hand, noticing that after scrolling and consuming I would feel strangely down. I realized that the pseud-connection primed my system for human connection, but that it simply did not fulfill my need to connect with others. I have realized I am much better off either contacting someone directly or doing something else entirely.

If you wonder whether screen time is contributing to feeling unhappy, If going cold turkey sounds impossible, I encourage you to experiment with taking a day off or a weekend off. Make a decision to try and see how it impacts your mood. My clients who have tried this report back that they feel happier as a result. Others decide to remove Twitter or Facebook from their phones completely and limit their access in defined ways. They often report back to me that the detox offered some unexpected silver linings such as:

Improving Self-Esteem & Enjoyment

When you take a break from comparing yourself to other people, you can begin to notice what is good about your life. Actually showing up in your own life allows you to experience and enjoy what is right in front of you.

Discovering Opportunities

Take the time you spent digesting posts or creating your own and ask yourself what you would like to do with it. What’s available now that wasn’t before? Are there hobbies, interests or areas you would like to grow? I used the extra time to create a small pollinator garden in my backyard and have been highly rewarded by the diverse bug and birdlife that now visit regularly. What can you do that would give greater sense of purpose or meaning in your life?

Better Mood

In-time social connections are significantly more gratifying and grounding than the tease of virtual connection. Hearing about your friend’s vacation or family directly and being able to share yours can can drastically improve our mood and sense of well-being.