When you are in your 20’s, Social media is not necessarily something new. But for some, it had the potential to slowly take over our lives at a young age. Some of us were probably in middle school or high school begging for a Facebook account. Many of us probably experienced the myspace era and watched as quickly evolved to become the Facebook and Instagram era. Some of us may have had some rules or boundaries set by parents and now we find ourselves creating them for our own kids.  For the most part, social media is an everyday part of our lives. You may even be wondering, “Am I addicted to Social Media?”

A Tampa Therapist Explains

As a Tampa Therapist, I feel they’re a mix of positive and negative things about social media. When I was growing up,I can see that social media was always evolving. It was the first time people could foster community without leaving the house. After all, it is a great way to communicate with friends, family, and coworkers, but I have noticed a trend where for some, it makes it more difficult to talk to communicate in person.

Social media has also become a place where you get all your tips, tricks, and sometimes advice, which is a little interesting to think about. Again, I will raise my hand to do all of this, but I have seen a change in how I view myself and my environment. It sometimes comes to a point where I am searching social media for what book to read next! This is not a bad thing, but just another way that we spend time on social media.

The Dark Side of Social Media

Social media can also be a culprit of things like anxiety, depression, and body dysmorphia. It is a place where people can be someone else or change themselves to cater to an audience that really enjoys the content they put out. The constant need to post or check on social media can be very hard for some, and their mental health can be at risk. I will say I am on social media quite a bit (already planning to search for dinner recipes on Pinterest when I’m done writing this), but my job is not based on social media, and there can be that separation. Even for those who are not online for their job, it can be a struggle to have that separation and not worry about that bubble that is social media.  

I also think social media can be a place where it can be easy to change our perspective on things. For example, our bodies, relationships, travel, and parenting. We look to influencers and even experts in the field for advice, inspiration, and even new strategies for things. But remember, social media is a place where things can be altered to look great-we need that reminder sometimes that not everything we see is reality. For me, it helps to remind myself that everyone faces challenges and things are not as easy as they seem. It can be fun for a minute to forget about your own challenges and see things through a perfect lens but know that you’re not alone in facing a hectic reality. People may seem like they have it all together, but social media does a good job of skewing that a little to make it just a little more appealing.

Here are a few signs that may indicate you need to reassess your relationship with social media:

  • You think about Social Media a lot of the time, even when you are not using it
  • You experience feelings like anxiety and irritability when you can’t access social media
  • You default to using social media to cope with negative emotions
  • Your social media use is affecting work, school, and relationships in a negative way

If you or someone you know is experiencing anxiety, depression, body image issues and more as a result of their social media use, be sure to contact a Tampa Counselor today.