Mental Health Mondays: The Power of Switching Off
Social Media is a pretty incredible thing. It’s the way we find out about cool new brands, keep in touch with family and friends, and, of course, share hilarious memes around the office. For us here at Neat, it’s an awesome way to communicate with you guys… it’s even likely to be the reason you ended up reading this article today! However, we’re well aware that the impact of social media isn’t all so positive, and with active users expected to reach 3.02 billion by 2021, the negative connotations of excessive use could have huge consequences for future generations.
The Implications of Social Media
Sleep is an integral, but often neglected, pillar to overall health. Unlike how we choose to move our bodies, sleep is as essential as eating or breathing. We all have experienced the power of a good night’s sleep and getting into a regular sleep routine that works for you will do wonders for your physical health and mental happiness. However, the blue light projected by phones and laptops can have a huge impact on our sleep cycle. This plays into a vicious cycle where “Difficulty sleeping may lead to increased use of social media, which may in turn lead to more problems sleeping,” (Brian A. Primack, M.D., Ph.D).
The implications of social media on mental health is probably the biggest causes for concern, with research suggesting that the more time a young person spends on social media, the more likely they are to feel socially isolated. It’s making many feel addicted to immediate gratification and disconnected from the real world, despite allowing us to communicate 24/7.
Have you ever realised that when you accidentally leave your phone at home or run out of data, you end up having one of your most productive days? We all know how the narrative goes: one minute you’re just having a quick scroll of your homepage, and the next thing you know, half an hour has passed and you’re stalking through photos your ex’s-best-friend’s-cousin’s-dog. Social media can be a huge distraction and time waster, leaving us struggling to get anything done.
So, What Can We Do About It?
We’re not here to tell you to give up social media and move to a cabin in the woods with no contact with the outside world. Communication is key, and there is huge value in embracing its benefits (funny gifs and all) – just don’t let it take over your day! Find a routine that works for you, such as checking your feeds for 15 minutes in the morning, and 15 minutes in the evening, not allowing yourself to mindlessly scroll in between. As cringe-worthy as it sounds, take yourself offline once a week and get on the “digital detox” hype. Leave your phone upstairs, and enjoy some time submerged in real life, whatever that might be.