How Social Media Is Harming Our Mental Health

Since I’m all about living a healthy lifestyle, with nutritious foods and having a well balanced consistent life, I thought I would widen my horizons and write about different health related topics!

In 2014 the average Canadian phone owner admitted to checking their phone six times per hour, which means that most people are pulling out their device over 100 times a day hoping to see likes on a photo, new friend request. etc. In 2018 consumers in Canada spent an average of 2 hours, 54 minutes on smartphones, feature phones and tablets daily, not including actually talking on the phone. 85% of their online mobile time was spent in apps vs. the mobile web, a rate similar to the US (88%) and the UK (83%).

Reading this just blows my mind. I’m one of those people and it’s beyond crazy. Those hours spent doing pointless things could be spent doing something amazing with our loved ones. However, right now I’m not on social media much due to “pleasure”. I’ve been hustling with my blog and trying to engage with people on FB groups. I would say it’s more work these days than just browsing. But still, we spend a lot of time online. Right now, during COVID-19 we can work on getting healthier or catching up on things we put on the back burner. Self care maybe? Take a look at “Tips to Help Achieve Your Goals When The Gyms Are Closed, or if you’re in a slump like myself with this whole quarantine situation, read “How To Keep Yourself Motivated“for some extra motivation. 😉

How does it social media affect our mental health? Let me explain.

It’s Addictive

Internet addiction is real, and what’s more addictive is social media! People are constantly on their little devices at the dinner table at home, dinner at a restaurant with a loved one, recording live videos, recording births for YT, walking and looking down…the list is endless; we are genuinely addicted to our phones!

Everyone is guilty of doing these things at some point, however maybe we should just learn to put down our phones and interact with the person in front of us, or be in the moment. Trust me, that’s one thing I regret when travelling for 4 months, was trying the whole “Vlogger” thing. As much as we had fun, we were also stressed trying to get the “perfect” shots and learning how to talk on the camera. If you’re wondering how full-time travel is, I suggest reading “What I Learned From Travelling” because it’s VERY different and most “vloggers” don’t mention the raw truth.

Self-Esteem

People are constantly comparing themselves to other people. A lot of people are great photographers, picture editors, fit and muscular etc. Those people who take amazing photos don’t really talk about how much work it is to go out early and shoot and edit. Trust me, I edited people out of some of photos and it’s a lot of work! Or, if the destination the photos are taken look stunning and you’re drooling over them, learn to understand that social media shows you a “picture perfect” version of that destination; that might be heavily edited; so keep an open and neutral mind. I say that because a lot of people rave over Bali, however Jamie and I hated it. We felt like we didn’t get to experience the zen culture due to a lot of drunk people and everyone wanting their “IG” pictures. Bali is huge on their social media FYI! Read more here about our experiences in”Bali”. Just saying, not everything you see in pictures is 100% legit. Plus a lot of people can also fake pictures; as I’m sure you read about that one girl that went to Ikea and took amazing photos and said she was Bali and everyone believed her.. Yup, that was real haha! Read It in The Insider here.

A lot of people also see “fitness influencers” and are constantly comparing themselves to them. We think “OMG, she’s gorgeous, those abs, etc”, but we need to remind ourselves that those people work very hard and if you want something like that bad enough you need to change your lifestyle. You’re a special person, so learn to embrace your beauty!

Focus on yourself and try to be conscious of how long you spend scrolling on social media. If you need to work on your confidence a bit more, here are some great tips to consider! “11 Ways To Boost Your Confidence In The Gym“.

Sleep

A lot of us people check our phones right before hitting the hay. Getting worked up with anxiety or envy from what we see on social media keeps the brain on high alert, preventing us from falling asleep. Try not going on your phone 40 mins before you head to bed and see how you sleep!

Becoming Obsessed

Do you get anxiety or feel the need to check your phone when you see you have a notification? Do you clear your notifications in the morning before you even sit down for your coffee or have your morning pee? People are so glued to their phones, most say that have no time to meal prep, eat healthy, or hit up the gym, but maybe if we put down our phones you could get more done around the house and focus more on taking care of your self.

Ok, bloggers this one is for you!

I’ve come across so many people in my FB group threads that are very obsessive with their blogs, but in a unhealthy way. People are taking hours of of their day to count and make sure everyone has gone on their website for certain threads. They check their analytics and make sure people have followed the rules. I get you wanting the reciprocation, but you could be spending that time writing more blogs, learning Pinterest, etc. I never spend time checking how many people from the groups have been on my blog, I take what I can get, and I’d say I’m doing pretty good. We also have FB groups where you can choose who to follow on IG, if someone follows me and I don’t follow them back, they DM me to follow them… Just chill guys! It shouldn’t always have to be a tit for tat.

We also have people who are constantly asking about making money on their blogs. One thing to note, if you’re writing a blog just to make money and work from home, you’re doing it wrong! Blogging should be a passion and something you love and care for. Let the money come, but you shouldn’t be focused on that at all! I’ve had some big companies reach out to me, like Adidas, however It wasn’t what I was looking for, so I didn’t leap at the first opportunity given to me.

Take these unhealthy ways and try to better your blog, write more, change up pictures, work on other things. Your mental health is more important than counting how many people are following the rules.

Anxiety With Relationships

Social media can ruins relationships often. Relationships begin to go when the communication is no longer there between the couple.

It blurs boundaries. A lot of people overshare arguments and post them online. It is your personal life at stake here and just because the world decides to overshare doesn’t mean you have to too. A female that your man works with doesn’t necessarily have to then become his Facebook friend, or vice versa! You should set clear boundaries between you and your partner of whom each of you decides to invite into your private life.

Your phone can be a bigger priority than your partner. How many times do you see a couple at a restaurant and one of them or even both of them are on their phones!

It’s been proven that social media can cause unhappiness, but it can also lead to have mental health issues like anxiety or even depression!

How To Have A Healthy Relationship With Social Media
  • Take a free wifi vacation
    I’m serious! When we went to New Zealand I made sure just Jamie had wifi due to Google Maps and finding our campsites. It felt nice not having to check my phone multiple times a day. I spent more time recording the gorgeous landscapes for memories. I also had to keep my eyes on the road… Jamie driving a camper van… Let’s just leave it at that. 😉
  • Life is too short
    Anything can happen to anyone… Like the virus. That came out of nowhere! Remember people can be gone in a blink of an eye, so if you’re out for dinner with your loved one, discuss the rules and make sure it’s a phone-free dinner!
  • Put your phone on sleep mode during a certain time. That way you won’t get your notifications right away.
  • Stay focused on You!
    So many of us say that we don’t have time for things that are healthy, but this is the opportunity to put the phones down and get things done! Social media will always be there and it can be very useful, but take this time to focus a little more on yourself and catch up on your social platforms later on.

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