Social media usage has surged since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Thankfully, popular platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter have been a saving grace for connection in these isolating times. And, as you can tell, we use these platforms to connect with our community. But for some people, social media usage can trigger mental health disorders like anxiety and depression.

With concerns mounting over the impact of social media and technology on our well-being, it’s important to ensure you are interacting in positive ways on-line. Watch out for these signs that social media might be negatively affecting your mental health.

You Are Often Envious of What Others Post

It seems like social media is more about portraying “the perfect life” than it is about connecting with others these days. People use filters, Photoshop, and staged backgrounds to create Instagram-worthy photos to gain likes and followers. But remember, what you are seeing on social media isn’t always the truth. At best, it’s a small snapshot of a story someone is trying to tell (or sell!).

If you find yourself envious of what others post on social media, take a moment to ground yourself in gratitude. Find three things in your life that you are thankful for and write them down. Develop a “glass half full” attitude to help shed some light on the beauty in your life- even if you don’t post about it on social media.

You Feel Inadequate In Comparison

It’s easy to fall victim to the comparison trap on social media. 

….If only I could lose 10lbs

… I wish my house was that nice

… I’m embarrassed to drive a minivan

If scrolling through your social media feeds makes you feel inadequate in any way, it’s time to stop the scroll! It’s human nature to compare ourselves to others, but sometimes social media can take unhealthy comparison too far- especially in teens. 

Negative comparisons can be detrimental to self-esteem, self-image, and well-being. Additionally, constant evaluation of oneself versus others can create a judgmental, competitive outlook.

If you fall victim to the comparison trap on social media, start by taking a step back. Think about why you are making those comparisons. Try to identify your triggers and avoid them. Focus your attention away from social comparisons and towards the real world.

 You Find It More Difficult To Have Deep Or Meaningful Conversations

Social media is meant to provide connection but sometimes it has the opposite effect. Some people struggle with the technology behind using social media while others point out that it takes away from face-to-face conversations. The good news is social media doesn’t have to be the death of meaningful conversations!

Authentic, two-way conversations are built on active listening, empathy, and support. Whether on social media or over a cup of coffee, these three pillars are the key to meaningful conversations and connections.

Above all, make sure you are not allowing social media to define your sense of belonging in the world. It’s important to remember every day that we all belong to far more than our onscreen world. If you are experiencing symptoms of anxiety more regularly, you may have an anxiety disorder. Montana Psychiatry and Brain Health Center offers personalized, innovative treatments to help support you and relieve feelings of anxiousness.

At Montana Psychiatry and Brain Health Center, we offer innovative, cutting-edge treatments for many mental health conditions. Contact us today to schedule a consultation appointment and find out how we can help you be well. We are taking all precautions to help keep our patients and staff safe and healthy during COVID-19.

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