Overusing social media in particular has been linked to mental illness such as depression and anxiety disorders.
As convenient as mobile devices make our lives in terms of accessing information or completing day-to-day tasks, their overuse has also been associated with a rise in the instance of mental illnesses such as depression and anxiety disorders.
Social media use is linked with both positive and negative impacts on its users, but overuse is problematic.
Heavy social media users, particularly younger generations on mobile devices, have been spending substantial amounts of time on platforms such as Instagram, TikTok, and others, leading them to experience mental health symptoms such as anxiety and loneliness. Anxiety and depression have both been found in people who overuse their internet connections.
That said, there are many things that are being recommended to ensure that people can still go on using the gadgets they love, can still live a lifestyle that includes a digital component, but can ease the mental health struggles they have been facing as a result of overuse or misuse behaviors.
The following are some of the recommended strategies for heavy users of mobile devices and social media.
The first step is to reduce screen time. This doesn’t mean that a person needs to stop using a smartphone altogether. Instead, it means that priority should be given to activities such as family time, sleep, exercise, eating, and recreational activities. Outside of emergency contact, there are many times throughout the day when a device can be silenced and left out of the experience altogether. These rest breaks can do wonders for mental wellness.
The next step is to engage in more in-person activities with friends and family members. This can include activities that are as simple as going for a walk or having a coffee. Having meaningful conversations in-person without leaning on the latest social media trends can provide a powerful emotional boost.
Practicing self-love is also a key activity in overcoming challenges associated with using mobile devices and social media heavily. This can include journaling to overcome negative thinking, embracing one’s own uniqueness instead of trying to mirror the latest trends, and focusing on ignoring socially constructed beauty standards in favor of loving oneself and others just as they are.