mental health | How to have a healthy relationship with social networks, according to psychology | Social networks | Tips | Psychology | psychologist | Tips | Instagram | VIU

During two years of pandemic, mandatory quarantines and little face-to-face interaction, digital media became the ideal ally to a certain extent. For several months, we were practically living through screens, trying to recreate the experiences that COVID-19 had taken from us. In this context, it is becoming increasingly clear that social media they are instruments present in our lives and making sure we maintain a healthy relationship with these digital media is crucial. From the hand of Danae Franco, psychologist clinical and occupational, we enter to know its psychological impact and it offers us five advice to properly use these platforms.

Starting from digitization as a term that encompasses the social media and different virtual platforms, it is prudent to point out that, without a doubt, these media have allowed us to continue with our lives. Even in the most critical moments since the well-known coronavirus appeared in our country, we were able to cope with the situation thanks to technology. Having said that, it is necessary to clarify that not everything is completely perfect and this also includes social media. “Like everything else, social networks have a beneficial side, as long as they are used correctly; and a detrimental side, if the appropriate measures are not taken”points out the specialist with training in relational and psychoanalytic psychodrama.

Attention is focused on the millennial and centennial generation, since we identify high digital content consumption as their differentiating characteristics. “Both generations depend a lot on the social media daily,” says Franco.

Psychological impact: the positive and negative

The fact of staying connected with loved ones who are far away, knowing world events immediately and being able to find various platforms of interest and even work remotely, is the beneficial part of digital platforms. Even for those far from home, social media They can be comforting by allowing them to preserve their family, love or friendship ties. “The beautiful part of networks is that they allow distances to be shortened, making individuals feel much closer”Franco tells. And it is true, for many people the so condemned social media They allow them to have a more bearable life when the distance stands between them and their loved ones.

Photo: Getty Images
Photo: Getty Images

However, the unfavorable effects produced by the inappropriate use of applications such as Instagram, Twitter, TikTok, among others; they are on the rise. “Young people are the ones who have been most affected. Currently, we find studies that compare the levels of addiction to social networks with dependence on substances such as alcohol and cigarettes”, explains the specialist. This statistic clearly raises concern, however, it can become the wake-up call we need to take action on our technology habits. “A percentage of the increase in the rate of depression and anxiety in recent years is due to the excessive use of social networks. There is also an increase in cyberbullying rates (virtual harassment), a problem that has been on the rise for some time”Franco mentions.

In addition, we have other types of repercussions on mental health. Thanks to recent studies, it has been proven that the excessive use of these digital platforms directly influences the decrease in sleep quality. “There are many people who can spend three, four or even five hours browsing the social media and that causes that in their day to day they have less capacity to concentrate “. “On the other hand, difficulties related to personal insecurities can be accentuated due to the frequent comparison with characters from the world of entertainment”, specifies the psychologist. Also, the negative impact on self-esteem, it can cause young people to isolate themselves and experience life only through Instagram, TikTok or YouTube. The specialist firmly emphasizes that the correct use of these platforms is key to falling into addiction to them.

In case of excessive use, several consequences can occur. The search for immediacy is one of them, a very particular characteristic of both young people and adolescents. “We can see that both groups are more focused on the immediate result and not on the processes”. The expert also tells us that The levels of patience in these generations are perceived to be increasingly reduced. He comments that many times people go to social networks to look for immediate solutions, leaving aside the process of inspiration, self-learning or self-taught teaching.

“Lately the social media they are loaded with a lot of superficial content. “Perfect” bodies and “the perfect life” are projected a lot, trying to sell a world of perfection that doesn’t really exist.”. “The social media They project what you want to see but we don’t know exactly what’s behind it.”. We can identify that what is published in social media It has become a kind of competition to see who projects greater happiness and subliminally they tell us that imperfection is a bad thing when in reality, as human beings, we are imperfect beings, it is part of our nature”Franco points out.

According to the mentioned, young people end up feeling attracted by the concept of universal happiness that is exhibited in social networks. Of course, that construct is neither positive nor realistic for millennials and centennials; And if we add to this the fact that this new idea of ​​permanent happiness can reach highly vulnerable people, we are facing a very damaging and dangerous situation. A specific case can be seen in adolescents who reinforce eating problems when they see their favorite singers or artists. In them they observe certain particular characteristics regarding their physical image and as a consequence they believe that these patterns are the ones they would have to follow in order to stand out in society.

Photo: Getty Images
Photo: Getty Images

What we can do

Finally, Danae Franco, a clinical and occupational psychologist, shares with us five simple actions that we can put into practice and implement in our routine to have a healthy relationship with social media.

1. Set aside time intervals to review the social media. Let it feel like a distracting tool, but not as something that generates pressure on us.

two. Be clear that the content social media it is not 100% true. People show what they want to see and we don’t know exactly what’s behind it.

3. Attribute meaningful use to social media. Using them as a means of interaction and coordination, as a distracting factor and that encourages interest in various topics is positive. Face-to-face or closer encounters with our surroundings should not be neglected either, as this allows us to always maintain contact with reality and be present in the moment.

Four. Verify that the accounts and platforms we follow are reliable. Making sure that the content we consume is handled by trained people who are experts on the subject will be important to have the peace of mind of not receiving inappropriate information.

5. Count on the social media as one of the many spaces to distract ourselves. It is healthy to have various activities to relax and spend time doing what we like the most, beyond the screens, it is the most recommended.

It is important to know how to dose the interactions that we carry out through these means. “Knowing how to identify the sources from which we decide to take advice is vital”. This referring to those who share experiences and provide tips very lightly in social media. Without being professionals on the subject, many people dare to give recommendations irresponsibly, which can be dangerous if that information comes across someone who is not 100% mentally stable. “It is always recommended to turn to an expert on the subject, as they are the only ones who can help you and accompany you during a recovery process”.

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About Alex Marcell

He likes dogs, pizza and popcorn. Already a fanboy of Nintendo and Sony, but today throws anything. He has collaborated on sites and magazines such as GameBlast, Nintendo World, Hero and Portal Pop, but today is dedicated exclusively to Spark Chronicles.

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