Our relationship with social mediaPatient & Families
What does your relationship with social media look like? Social media now reaches so many different areas of our lives both personally and professionally. Social media can be a communication tool that enables us to connect with people locally and globally. Social media can be a source of information or a platform that offers space for our voice to be heard.
What does it social media have to do with mental health? Social media can document parts of our lives that we want to share with others. Often what is revealed is celebratory or something that captures an experience that we are proud of. What about the parts of ourselves that we don’t ever reveal? Is what we post truly an authentic reflection of ourselves? How do we react when we see others participating in various platforms? Is our self-esteem or body image impacted? Are we being bullied on social media? Is someone abusing us and controlling our social media accounts? Does engaging on social media help us feel more connected or make us feel more isolated? When we feel isolated, do we lose motivation or feel helpless?
Social media is intertwined with news. News apps and social media apps can send frequent notifications about current events. When do we stop reading or browsing the headlines? How are we impacted by what we’re taking in? Do we limit our time spent on social media? Do we set boundaries for how frequently we check notifications, posts, tweets, and TikTok? Or is it constant? Are we in a space where we are always reacting and responding to media?
What is the impact on our mental health? It could be that the absence of boundaries with social media is wearing on us. A therapist can help you implement boundaries. Does the establishment of boundaries carve out space for other things that we “don’t have time for”? If we’re willing to look at these areas of our lives in therapy, we might just gain insight into how connected they are to our anxious and depressive symptoms.
Lauren Pena MFT, ATR, LMFT # 130687
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