Navigating Time Spent on Social Media for Healthier Minds

Digital Dilemmas: Navigating Time Spent on Social Media for Healthier Minds

BY: Neighbors’ Consejo|

As we find ourselves increasingly tethered to our digital devices, one cannot help but wonder: What is the impact of our social media consumption on our mental wellbeing? This article explores the double-edged sword of social networking. In a world where online interactions often replace face-to-face connections, its crucial to examine how this shift influences our emotional health and what steps we can take to mitigate negative effects while enhancing our digital experiences.

According to a compilation of data by Similarweb [1]  (analyzed by DesignRush [2]  and reported by GlobalThinkers [3] ):

  1. Americans reported spending an average of two hours or more on only four platforms:
  2. TikTok: 2 hours, 44 minutes
  3. Tumblr: 2 hours, 41 minutes
  4. YouTube: 2 hours, 35 minutes
  5. Facebook: 2 hours, 2 minutes
  6. The average American spends 2 hours and 25 minutes on social media per day.
  7. TikTok users spend time on the app more than the average social media user, at 2 hours and 43 minutes.
  8. When asked which social media app Americans use the most, YouTube ranked #1, followed by Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and TikTok.

The same study[4]  refers to social media’s impact, the focus of this article:

  • 50% say excessive social media use has had negative effects on mental health and wellbeing.
  • 35% often find themselves comparing their lives and achievements to what others post on social media.
  • 24% experience FOMO (fear of missing out) and/or anxiety when they are not able to access or use social media.
  • 23% feel pressure to curate a certain image or persona on social media.

This constant connectivity can erode the boundaries between work and personal life, exacerbating stress and diminishing the quality of our offline relationships. Recognizing the signs of digital fatigue and implementing boundaries is vital for maintaining a healthy balance. Based on this, Harley Therapy [5]  affirms that some of these signs include:

  • Low energy levels
  • Lack of motivation
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Feeling anxious or overwhelmed
  • Low mood
  • Sore, watery or irritated eyes
  • Headaches or migraines
  • Difficulty falling asleep
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Pain and discomfort in neck, shoulders and back.

How to avoid it? Don’t keep your phone in the bedroom; consolidate your apps; schedule time away from technology [6] ; change your focus; get outside; limit the (blue) light; opt out and ease up [7] .

In closing, the intricate balance between social media and maintaining mental health cannot be overstated. As we navigate the digital age, it is imperative that we cultivate awareness around our online habits and their impact on our wellbeing. Seeking authentic connections and prioritizing time away from screens, we can mitigate the potential negatives of social media.









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