by Rose Walker 8 months ago in social media

Switch off! Take a break!


Limit your social media usage, or go the whole hog and ditch it completely!

I totally get that some people's jobs or other commitments require people to use social media for important ends, but on the other end, tipping the scale considerably, are those of us who you could say are addicted to social media.

I of course am not here to tell you how to live your life, what you should or shouldn't do—that's none of my business—I am only telling you what I have found from my own experience to be really beneficial in my journey to recovery from anxiety.

I do admit that social media does have its good qualities when used properly—it can be entertaining and it is an accessible platform to share other useful information and services.

I'm talking about cutting down or giving up on the areas of social media that serve no useful purpose other than just to pass the time. For example, the scrolling-through-your-newsfeed-seeing-that-everyone-has-seemingly-better-lives-than-you areas. I gave up Facebook 2 years ago now because all I was seeing was people posting pictures and statuses of how perfect and wonderful their lives are. This wrecked me. It was the classic FOMO situation, and I felt horrible, seeing all these pictures, taunting me with their "perfectness." And it definitely contributed to my disorder. So deleting my account was a great thing for my mental state. It allowed me to live within my own life, and value my own personal achievements regardless of how far up the chain I am compared to everyone else.

Social media has even been argued to cause some mental health problems; depression being the main one here. But if you have an existing mental disorder, social media really needs to take a back seat to your life, as the stress from being subjected to vast amounts of "picture perfect" lifestyles from either your friends or celebrities (or both) can really put you back. It certainly had for me. My self-esteem was particularly low during those days where I had the triple threat—Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. But now that I have deleted my accounts, and only use Instagram for the purpose of mental health awareness and education, I see a marked improvement in my ability to be content with my life.

I think a lot of people, from who I've talked to and seen with life, have it as a default mechanism to compare ourselves to other people. And a lot of the time, we can't help it. It is so natural and common to think your life could be better in some way. I know I can sometimes catch myself doing this if I walk past someone on the street who has longer legs than me, is prettier than me, or has a boyfriend on their arm. And I think everyone has done this to some degree, no matter how emotionally mature or content they are with their lives. And what social media does is it almost forces us to relive this situation again and again, and, as you can imagine, that can be draining on our mental health, not to mention our overall happiness and quality of life.

Absolutely anyone can benefit from limiting the amount of social media they use a day. And this is again totally up to you- i know there are many who get joy from seeing their active news feeds filled with pictures of family and friends, and that's great—but for me personally, this really made a positive difference to my mental health.

You are ok. You will get through this. You're doing great.

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Rose Walker

Professional anxiety-sufferer, practising overcomer, learning to use my weakness as my strength. 

See all posts by Rose Walker