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Reasons Why Social Media Can Actually Boost Your Mental Health

Finding the right balance is the key.

We usually hear how social media breeds undesirable habits like envy, self-comparison, greed, and vanity.

However, we should not disregard its advantages and positive impact on our emotional and mental wellbeing. Social media isn’t essentially harmful or detrimental to our mental health, instead, it can have beneficial outcomes if utilized in a right way. Here are some of the reasons why social media can actually boost our mental wellbeing:

It Lets Us Keep In Touch With Relatives and Friends

An online survey has shown that almost 67% of social media users essentially use the digital platforms to stay in contact with family and (long lost) friends. After all, these platforms give us updates on the daily lives of our loved ones wherever they are.

Nowadays, chat applications like WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger have made keeping in contact with other people significantly simpler, since they allow us to make phone calls, video calls, and send messages anytime. To put it simply, social media can make us feel a little less disconnected from our loved ones.

It Develops Our Sense of Community

Of course, scrolling through your social media accounts should never replace your personal interaction with the people around you.

Then again, there are other communities in which you don’t get to interact with every day— let alone have the chance to engage in-person. These are usually the type of communities wherein you meet individuals who share your passion, hobbies, and interests, yet they live far away.

You may, for instance, discover an online community of photographers, filmmakers, and hobbyists through social media and you want to interact with them to strengthen your skills and knowledge of the art. Most of the time, the people you meet through these communities can give you advice, inspirations, and valuable insights that you might not be able to acquire in-person.

On the other hand, you may be a freshman in college and you join an online group that’s exclusively made for the new admits. This really helps especially when you feel confused or lost in a new place, as you can find a great source of comfort in engaging with people who are going through the same stage and experiencing similar issues as you are.

It Gives Us a Chance To Spread Laughter and Comfort

Usually, the things we see when scrolling through a news site are about the recent political issues, neighbourhood crimes, or just about any negative stories. More often than not, we’re given very little information about the kindness of random strangers or encouraging acts of compassion.

Social media sites, however, have shown that they are great platforms for distributing lots of positive messages. In fact, the vast majority of the things we see on social media are somehow uplifting— and even entertaining! We usually see funny animal videos, and even read uplifting stories from our friends’ shared posts. These things, however small they may be, can actually make someone else’s day a little less tiring.

It Establishes Personal Empowerment

While there’s a lot of discussions about social media bringing down one’s confidence, it can also have the opposite impact if utilized effectively.

When you engage with an online group, you’re not simply building up a network of new people. You’re also developing new interests, engaging with individuals who share the same hobbies as yours, and even forming your sense of identity. Social media platforms can likewise develop personal empowerment by helping you establish a network of like-minded individuals who lie outside your circle of friends or family members, but nonetheless, support you in your passions and interests.

Since social media empowers people to explore their own passions and hobbies while engaging with their online communities, this can boost someone’s confidence as it encourages them to pursue their dreams, whatever it may be.

There are things in this world (social media included) that can be used in harmful ways. However, they also have a lot of potentials to be utilized in great ways— as long as we find the balance.

A lot of people use social media for business to keep in contact with loved ones, to stay updated and well-informed with all the things happening in the world, to establish our sense of community, to interact with people who share the same dreams like ours, and sometimes to simply add humour to early morning commutes and long days at work. They key is finding the right balance—using it as a tool and not letting it overpower our lives.

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People look for retreats for themselves, in the country, by the coast, or in the hills . . . There is nowhere that a person can find a more peaceful and trouble-free retreat than in his own mind. . . . So constantly give yourself this retreat, and renew yourself.

- MARCUS AURELIUS

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