Social networks such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc. are becoming increasingly popular in our daily lives. They enable us to communicate, share information and be part of a social network, but they can also have a negative impact on our emotional well-being. Specialists are already examining sThe links between social networks and stress, and their impact on our emotional state, is an important and relevant topic in today’s world. While they can be useful, they can also cause anxiety and stress. So why are social networks and stress so closely linked, why can they have this negative impact and how can we manage it?
Social networks and stress and their impact on our wellbeing
- The social comparison trap: One of the main reasons why social networks can cause anxiety is the social comparison trap. We often compare ourselves to other people’s lives, with their glossy photos and stories of success. It can make us feel that we are not good enough or not living our lives well enough. This constant comparison with other people can increase anxiety and stress levels.
- Constant flow of information: social networks provide a constant flow of information – photos, posts, updates. We’re constantly getting new content and monitoring what’s happening on the social network. However, this constant activity can be exhausting and cause stress and anxiety.
- Negativity: social networks can expose you to harassment, negative comments and unexpected reactions. This negativity can have a profound effect on our emotional state, leading to feelings of constant criticism, the impact of negative evaluations, or even the desire to withdraw from a social network. This can cause anxiety, stress and a loss of self-esteem and self-confidence, and can sometimes trigger a panic attack.
Privacy and security on social networks
Social networks raise privacy and security concerns. Many people are worried about who can see their personal information or photos. There is also a risk that personal information may be used for inappropriate or harmful purposes. Such doubts can cause anxiety and stress because we don’t always have full control and absolute control over our data security.
Social networks are easily accessible via mobile devices and computers. Using them all the time can be addictive and lead to a constant feeling of being “logged in” and having to update our profiles. This can cause anxiety and stress, as we often can’t resist the urge to check our social network messages or recent posts. Addiction to social networks can have a negative impact on our health and well-being.
Controlling the use of social networks
Proper time allocation is important to avoid over-reliance and to reduce the anxiety and stress associated with using social networks. Doctors and experts offer some tips on how to manage your time on social networks. Here are some examples that you can try to apply:
- Set time limits: choose a specific part of your day or week to use social networks and stick to it. For example, you may decide that you will only use social networks in the mornings and for no more than 30 minutes each day. This will help you to avoid addictions and to avoid constant involvement with them.
- Turn off notifications: many social networks send you notifications when you receive a new message or when someone comments on your posts, etc. Turning off notifications will give you control over when you want to check your social networks instead of being constantly interrupted every few minutes.
- Tracked content: critically review the content you track and keep only the content that is truly relevant to you. Don’t be overwhelmed by content that doesn’t seem to be negative or that only gives you a fabulous life. Have a critical appraisal and select the most appropriate, stress-free content for you. And don’t forget that everyone’s life has both beautiful and sad moments, but not everyone broadcasts them.
Create time for yourself without social networks and stress
- Create a time-out: Before you start using social networks, it’s important to create a time-out where your mind and body can let go of stress and tension. It can be morning or evening meditation, exercise, reading, or simply free time with loved ones or yourself. This will help you maintain emotional balance and reduce stress levels.
- Other activities: discover other activities and hobbies that give you joy and relaxation. It could be sport, art, making, reading or any other hobby that is close to your heart. If you haven’t found one yet, it’s a great opportunity to try new activities and discover your favourite activities. This will help you take your mind off social networking and give you a more meaningful way to spend your time.
- Take care of yourself: it is important to take care of your physical and emotional health. Pay attention to good nutrition, regular physical activity and sufficient sleep.
- If you feel that you can’t control your use of social networks, or if you experience high levels of anxiety, stress or addiction, don’t be shy about seeking professional help. A psychologist or counsellor can help you understand the reasons behind your behaviour, suggest strategies and tools to better manage your time on social networks and overcome related problems.
So, social networks and stress go hand in hand, but we can manage our time on them and choose quality content. We talk about this on our Facebook and Instagram accounts too, and we invite you to share your insights and experiences!
Article created by Magu Space