According to Help Guide studies have found a strong link between social media abuse (using it too much) and mental health issues. You are more likely to suffer from depression, anxiety, loneliness, self-harm, and even suicidal thoughts.
I can see this being 100% factually correct because from personal experience, I've been on social media during the lockdown on average of 5-6 hours a day, 5-6 hours far too long, which is because of boredom but because I'm trying to escape the depression of COVID-19 and other negative news in the media.
Spending 20 minutes on Tik-Tok lead to approximately 2 hours on it and so on. If you've seen the Social Dilemma documentary (watch it if you haven't), you'll know that social media platforms are designed to make you want more with its colour, logo, and algorithm to recommend you what to watch next based on your own preference.
Despite blocking media outlets like BBC and SKY on Facebook and Instagram, I still didn't feel any better because I was comparing myself to other people's lives naturally like a lot of people do. Getting likes on photos I put up gave me dopamine which is a temporary measure as it doesn't last very long. Getting a positive comment on that photo is the equivalent of having a pint or taking drugs which means long-term it doesn't mean anything.
Luckily there are ways to counter-act this if it does have a negative impact on you:
1. Clean your feed - follow your close friends, hobbies which can be anything like football to cricket, just something that you're passionate about. Delete unnecessary pages you follow and if someone's posting too much about something negative unfollow or unfriend them. This is your feed and you decide what is on it.
2. Deactivate social media - If this really is affecting you, take a break from as many social media platforms as you want. This can be for a day, a week, or even months. I deactivated all my social media accounts for two weeks because COVID-19 news was having a negative impact on me. The constant repeat of information on a subject frustrates me. Having two weeks away from that felt like my batteries were re-charged. I still don't know to this day why I re-activated it because I feel like I'm in the same mindset as what I used to be in.
3. Phone moderation - Switch off your phone before you go to bed and don't go on your phone until after breakfast. This has a positive impact on your mood as you are moderating instead of spending all your time on your phone.
Image courtesy of Thrive Global