Does Social Media Lead to Anxiety & Depression?

“When a person can’t find a deep sense of meaning they distract themselves with pleasure.” ~ Viktor Frankl

Recent surveys have shown the most popular social media platforms (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube and Snapchat) have an overall net negative effect on the mental well-being of young adults.  There is the constant pressure not to miss out on anything and to keep up with the latest drama.  It is strange to think we now live in a time when being without our phones even for one hour seems like a lifetime.

Along with the new stresses of the modern world, I see in my practice young adults having a correlation between anxiety, depression and their use of social media. Clients with an increase use of Facebook report a decrease in life satisfaction and the ability to like themselves.  The daily contact with social media networking and troubling news reports is shifting our nervous systems into a ‘fight-or-flight’ mode causing increased stress.

Here are some warning signs you may need a break from social media:

  • You don’t feel like you measure up to your successful, thriving, happy friends
  • You can’t make it through a meal without checking your social media accounts
  • You feel anxious when you are without your phone
  • You know way too much about the friends and acquaintances on your social accounts
  • The first thing you do when you wake up is check your phone to see who “Liked” your post from the night before
  • You create elaborate projects or desserts just to post to Instagram 

4 Ways to Improve Your Life Without Social Media:

  1. Reflect on your spiritual condition.  Are you living in the presence of God with a sense of His peace?
  2. Create real-world relationships or spend time with your loved ones
  3. Go on a smartphone fast. Make meeting with God the first thing in your day.
  4. Identify a positive habit or hobby which you can adopt

Incidence of depression and anxiety have been on the upswing for a long time, and mental health treatment has been keeping up with the pace. If you or someone you know is struggling with this please don’t hesitate to contact me at (415) 810-6574.

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