Social media has become so ingrained and commonplace in our everyday life that most of us can’t imagine a day without it. The amount of daily time spent on social media apps and websites over the years has steadily risen, from an average of 90 minutes per day by users in 2012 to an average of 147 minutes per day in 2022.
That is nearly two and a half hours each day, and that’s even on the low end for some, especially the younger generations; another recent study found that teens use an average of NINE hours per day on entertainment media screen time (social media, TV, video games, and movies).
But even though social media and screen time has become part of everyday life in this world, we have to start questioning how it is affecting our mental health.
Healthline recently conducted a survey and found quite a few surprising statistics when it comes to social media and our mental health:
- 25% of respondents said that social media has a negative effect on their mental well-being
- 53% of respondents said that cutting down on social media usage would help
Additionally, other studies have found that social media has a significant link to depression, especially among teenagers and young adults, with those who spend the most time on those platforms having up to a 66% higher rate of depression than those who didn’t spend much time on them.
If you are noticing signs of social media negatively affecting your mental health, or simply would like to take a break from it for your own personal reasons, there are plenty of strategies to help curb the mindless scrolling. Some of these include:
- Setting a screen time limit for social media apps on your phone, or utilize social media-limiting apps (yes, these exist!)
- Turning off notifications from social media platforms
- Not having your phone in bed with you at night
- Doing the other things you enjoy instead, such as:
- Taking a walk or bike ride
- Meeting up with friends in person
One of the most important things you can do for yourself is to take care of your mental health, and part of that is realizing what behaviors have a negative effect on it and reacting accordingly. If you find yourself in the same boat as so many other people in this world when it comes to social media and mental health, it’s definitely worth taking a break, or even removing social media from your life entirely.