Are we addicted to social media? Does it cause depression?
As more and more people are using social media, are we developing an addiction? One study shows that 27% of parents and 50% of teens feel that they are addicted to their mobile devices, while 69% of parents and 78% of teens check their devices at least hourly.
Checking our devices and social media with such regularity is flooding us with all of the negative (and positive) posts or comments online. We can’t discount the damaging effects of social media just because we may think it’s not “real;” they can be just as damaging (or beneficial) to your mood as in-person experiences. While it has not been proven that social media causes clinical depression, there have been studies that show it can cause at least temporary adverse or positive effects on one’s mood.
GutwiZdom’s Social Media WiZdoms for Addiction and Depression
Here are some things to do in order to keep your social media addiction in check, and to make sure you aren’t putting yourself into an emotional slump:
- Set aside specific time during your day to check social media. By giving yourself a time frame, you can prevent it from becoming too much of a distraction.
- Turn off your social media notifications. If you’re setting aside time to check your social media, you don’t need notifications anymore! You are going to see whatever it is you would have been notified about during your “social media time.”
- Take note of the reason for your social media use. Why are you there? Is it for social interaction, just passing time, entertainment, expressing your emotions? Track your reasons for a week. Do you see a pattern?
- Pay attention to your mood before and after using social media. If your mood was good or neutral when you started, where is it now? If your mood was bad when you started, did it improve? If your mood was good when you started, do you feel worse?
- Take control of your happiness! If you want to engage in social media and you want to be happy, take control like Margo told us about in our episode on happiness: Look for the happiness in your life, and that includes on social media. Double down on the things that “spark joy” and unfollow the people and entities that make you angry!
- Carry reading material with you at all times. You don’t stand a chance of reading anything other than social media if you are not prepared to read anything else! Carry a book or an eBook reader with you so you have another option to occupy your time.
- Employers: Create a social media policy that appeals to your employees. If your employees are more engaged in their work, they will be less likely to engage in their social media. You don’t want to outright ban it (it won’t work, anyway!), but show your employees you trust them and in return they will give you more of themselves while at work.
Have you or someone you know been affected by social media addiction? Let us know by leaving us a voicemail at 1-646-653-9278 or sending us a message here.