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How Social Media Cleanse Affects Your Mental Health?

While most people enjoy staying hooked to social media, its excessive use is known to fuel depression, anxiety, FOMO, and feelings of isolation. I was recently going through a report by Pew Research Center, which stated that 81% teens and 69% adults in the US alone are social media users. Instagram alone has over 1 billion MAUs (monthly active users) across the globe. So, can you imagine the number of people who have an increased risk of depression and anxiety over social media? This is where the idea of Social Media Cleanse comes to mind.

As the world is going through a state of unrest due to the coronavirus pandemic, it seems to be the right time to sign out of your social media accounts and unplug. Pandemic news and political views posted on social media add to the anxiety almost everyone is feeling right now. Below you will find out more about Social Media Cleanse and how it can improve your mental health.

Effects of Social Media on Mental Health

Social media is known to have a strong connection with increased risk of anxiety, depression, self-harm, loneliness, and sometimes even suicidal thoughts in extreme cases. These are the effects it can have on your mental health:

  • Dissatisfaction About Your Life: Everybody knows that the images that people post on social media are often manipulated. You never know the behind-the-scenes scenario of those images. But still, they may lead to insecurity about how empty your life is and how others are enjoying theirs. Someone else’s promotion, vacation, a new purchase, or smiling faces may trigger feelings of dissatisfaction about your own life.
  • FOMO: FOMO is the Fear of Missing Out that social media can exacerbate. When you see someone else having more fun and living a better life than you, you start feeling that you are missing out on some very important things in life. Such feelings can hurt your self-esteem, leading to anxiety and depression. 
  • Isolation: According to a study by the University of Pennsylvania, high usage of social media increases rather than decreasing feelings of isolation and loneliness. The same study also found that taking a break from social media can reduce such feelings and improve your mental health.
  • Anxiety and Depression: Making eye-to-eye contact with a person who cares for you boosts up your mood and reduces stress. A similar effect cannot be achieved over social media posts. The more you stay hooked to social media and ignore real people around you, the more risk you have to develop anxiety and depression. 
  • Cyberbullying: According to a report, 59% of teens in the US have reported being harassed or bullied online. Social media can be a hotspot for spreading lies and rumours that can have lasting scars on someone’s emotions.
  • Self-Absorption: Sharing selfies and your innermost feelings over social media continuously distances you from real-life relationships and creates an unhealthy realm of self-centeredness.

 

Social Media Cleanse is the process of taking some time away from social media. Many celebrities, including Ed Sheeran, Demi Lovato, Justin Bieber, Taylor Swift, and many others, have already taken this step at different points in time. It’s nothing but a way to take respite from non-stop notifications, internet trolls, and FOMO-inducing selfies from friends. This break from social media can be as short as 24 hours or for an indefinite period. By taking this break, you will be able to sleep better, prioritize other forms of interactions, relax, and curb FOMO!

https://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2017/01/12/evolution-of-technology/

https://www.researchgate.net/publication/328838624_No_More_FOMO_Limiting_Social_Media_Decreases_Loneliness_and_Depression

https://www.pewresearch.org/internet/2018/09/27/a-majority-of-teens-have-experienced-some-form-of-cyberbullying/

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