What started as a means of staying connected has now become a cause of stress for a lot of people, particularly ever since the pandemic hit. This is especially true for individuals with pre-existing mental health conditions. If you feel like social media has become depressing and stressful, then take a break. Or, you could talk to a physician or an online therapist. Book a tele-appointment with a physician with an online physician app and get expert medical advice from the safety of your home.

Forced to stay indoors and work from home, people are spending a lot more time on social media compared to pre-pandemic times. Reports show that screen-time for children has increased exponentially, not only as a means of entertainment but for educational purposes too. With the flood of negative content on social media, it is beginning to feel chaotic.

What is social media-induced stress?

Also known as 'technostress', social media-induced stress is described as a 'grouping of negative emotions as a result of social interactions’. A study shows that people are becoming more addicted to social media despite the stress it causes.

Social media is conditioning its users to believe that a social media presence is the only presence that truly matters. It is building on 'external validation' through likes, comments, and shares. Such a thought process is extremely detrimental to one's mental health.

If you’re experiencing stress, anxiety or depression get professional help! Stats show that the graph for anxiety and depression are more likely to up during the pandemic. There is some evidence that people have shown an increase in depression and suicidal tendencies in past pandemics such as SARS in 2003. A convenient way of getting in touch with a healthcare professional is by booking a tele-appointment with a physician on an online doctor app.

Social media is triggering

A common behavior of social media users is to go back and forth between different social media platforms in an attempt to change their mood. For example, a sad video may result in feeling depressed. To cope with the sadness, you would switch to chatting with friends, then to another social networking site as a means of distraction. You don’t realize that the constant switching on social media is adding to the stress, but it becomes a force of habit. Users are compelled to keep scrolling without grasping the inadvertent effects of social media stress.

Adverse effects of social media

Exposing yourself to negative news repeatedly takes a toll on your mental health more than anything. Experts are starting to question the premise of social networking sites. They might help you stay connected, but also contribute to soaring stress levels!

Here are some signs that might indicate the adverse effects of social media.

  • Comparing yourself to others. Social media constantly feeds you with perfect pictures and happy lives. Their version of what life looks like right now may be very different than yours. Comparing yourself to someone else on social media will most likely lead to low self-esteem and confidence issues. If you’re someone with pre-existing mental health problems, the comparison might be a trigger for you. If you think social media is triggering your anxiety, book a tele-appointment with a physician with an online doctor app.
  • Losing out on real life. When you commit to building an online presence you limit your social life to the virtual world. Sure, you might be getting tons of appreciation online, but your real-life friends and family are missing out on spending time with you. You miss out on the human connection which is essential for sound mental well-being.
  • There is a constant state of pressure. A phenomenon known as ‘FOMO’ (fear of missing out) compels you to constantly be on social media. The fear of becoming irrelevant creates a state of anxiety and stress. The pressure to get the most likes or the most shares takes over your thoughts.
  • Sleep deprivation. Sleep deprivation is extremely underrated simply because we don’t recognize it while scrolling on social media before going to bed. Experts say it’s one of the worst habits you can have right before bedtime. If your sleep is getting affected by your social media presence, then that is probably indicative of an unhealthy amount of social media usage. A lack of sleep can also trigger a variety of mental health issues. Connect to a healthcare professional by booking a tele-appointment with a physician today!

How to cope with social media-induced stress?

If you feel like social media has become depressing and stressful, then take a break. It's that simple.

A study done on the coping mechanisms of social media-induced stress revealed that there was a more positive outcome when outdoor diversions were used that included putting the phone away and engaging with friends and family. People who involved themselves in activities other than social media felt less stressed and spent less time on social media, in general.

Using the same stressful platform for coping doesn’t seem logical at all. If you think you experience any of the above signs, it won't be long before it starts affecting your health in general. Take a break from social media.  Book a tele-appointment with a physician and get expert advice at your convenience!

How do I get a tele-appointment with a physician?

Download an online doctor app on your smartphone and sign up for FREE! You will gain access to a list of competent telehealth physicians. If you want to give online health services a go, then download the Mylivedoctors app on your smartphone and book a tele-appointment with a physician or a therapist at a time of your convenience. Online doctors are qualified and trained to provide remote patient care by virtual means. Mylivedoctors is a safe and secure online space to get quality healthcare from the safety of your own home. Skip the waiting and stay indoors! Get care anywhere with Mylivedoctors!