Social Media Can be Good for Our Mental Health
Much has been publicised about the negative impact of social media on mental health. However, there is another side to the coin that suggests social media can be good for our mental health.
Social Media Keeps Us Connected
During the pandemic, social media became the vehicle for social support, connectedness and sharing important information/updates. It helped bring people together so we do not feel so alone and isolated.
Social Media Facilitates Mental Health Support
People with mental health issues tend to feel that no one understands what they are going through. They often turn to the Internet to search for encouragement from the online mental health community. The wealth of information available on social media can bring comfort and guidance.
A study conducted by the Michigan State University indicates that social media might be beneficial to our mental health. The data suggests that social media users are 63% less likely to experience psychological distress, including anxiety and depression.
Be a Mindful User
The study found that people who use social media to connect and share information had positive mental health outcomes. However, those who had an unhealthy emotional connection to social media (e.g. checking their pages excessively, fear of missing out) tend to have negative mental health outcomes. The key is to be a mindful social media user, maintaining a healthy balance of online and offline time.
While social media can be fuel for mental health issues, it also facilitates mental health support by providing opportunities to find resources, search for information, seek support or clarity, and connect with the online mental community.