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Social Media and Mental Health: Good or Bad?

Social media has taken over and become our addictive escape from the real world, but for good or for bad?


Typing social media is harming your mental health
Social Media Seriously Harms Your Mental Health

With now 'over 4.26 billion people' using social media the pros and cons of this global phenomenon have started to show, and the powerful escapism can become toxic. From comparing ourselves to others seemingly ’perfect’ lives and appearances, having constant access to fake and bad news from around the world to short term entertainment giving us a happiness hit that leaves us feeling empty and bored without it.

The buzz of starting a trend or getting a like can be addictive, and some will go to great lengths to have their post get some attention. Inventing news, manipulating situations to cause a stir and photo shopping have become the norm.


Can we turn this addiction into a form of mental health relief?


Meditation in the media:


ASMR:

ASMR stands for 'autonomous sensory meridian response; a term used to describe a tingling, static-like, or goose bumps sensation in response to specific triggering audio or visual stimuli'.

By finding the right ASMR sensation for you, such as tapping, whispering, roleplay and eating it can offer a relief of anxiety and a form of relaxation. As well as this, it has shown to help people get a good night's sleep by releasing calming and sleep-inducing hormones. This is a trend that took over social media and started on platforms such as YouTube, TikTok and Instagram and has shown to be beneficial use of social media on people's mental health for a quick way to relax and unwind.


Nature:


Getting out in nature and the outdoors is a real-life escape that is a huge relaxation method for many, for the beautiful sights and the calming noises it can offer. Social media can be used to capture the beauty of nature and allows people to access it when they can’t get out there themselves! From videos of the sea at the beach, animals and birds simply living or the sound of rain coming down, social Media platforms are a way to take these moments and allow them to be enjoyed by people all over the world from the comfort of their homes.

Creativity and art:


Stories, art, poetry, music and so much more is spread across all social media and is the biggest way for people to show their creative sides. Being creative in any way and getting busy making or producing something has shown to be a huge help for people's mental health, it provides enjoyment and a sense of achievement as well as a distraction and escapism for stress and problems they might be facing. Social media allows for people to share what they are doing which can be used to get ideas on what creative hobby they want to take part in or even just watching someone create a masterpiece can be so relaxing and a perfect way to release mental strain.



Keeping in touch:


An obvious advantage to social media is helping people connect and communicate, with so many people having a social media account on different platforms it gives access for people to talk online, which since the pandemic has been much more important than ever before. A year after the pandemic started, February 2021, loneliness was seen to have 'increased to 7.2%' from 5% the previous year.

Social media allows connection not only to family and friends you can't see but it can be a way to make new relationships and find people with similar interests and hobbies or people in the local area who you could meet up with and build communities. This is a huge benefit to battling loneliness, especially for people where social interaction may not be the easiest in the real world for many reasons such as being elderly or having an impairment.


Talking to someone can be just the support someone needs to make them feel better about their issues, it can help people see that they are not alone and millions of other people have similar mental health struggles and worries, as well as creating online help and communities for people to open up about their issues. This could be social media's biggest advantage, making people feel supported and together.
























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