(DailyVibe) – If you find that you are rarely without your phone in your hand, you aren’t alone. Approximately 70% of adults are now on some form of social media. Most of us stay online most of the day and check social media every day, all day. But how healthy is our relationship with social media?
It’s worth evaluating.
Researchers have found that social media use can have benefits–but it also comes with risks. Routinely using social media has been associated with social wellness and both positive mental health and self-reported health. It can offer more socialization, improved self-esteem, and an improved outlook on life.
But risks also exist when using social media.
For those with more intense connections to social media, using it can be equally negative. Feeling like we’re missing out or are disconnected from others when we aren’t online has been linked to negative social wellness, lower levels of mental health, and less positive reports of overall health.
The findings may seem unclear, but what matters more than our use is the way in which we are using it. Emotional attachment to social media seems to be the primary ingredient for more negative experiences.
If we’re mindful and still build relationships outside of social media, we’re more likely to find social media to be a positive environment for us. If we cannot detach from our phones and our social networks, we may be doing ourselves more harm than good.
To find out if we’re mindful users or anxious ones, we can ask the following questions:
- Do I feel stressed if I am not connected to social media?
- Are my closest relationships on social media or do I have close relationships outside of it?
- Do I feel like I have to have likes or engagement on social media to feel worthy?
- Does my number of friends or followers impact the way I view myself?
- Do I enjoy social media, or do I feel emotionally attached to it?
Learning to evaluate our use and to use it more mindfully, we can reap the benefits of social media without the negative impact to our overall health.
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