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Social Media and Cell Phone Fixation and its Impact on Mental Health

An overview of mobile devices and social media as it relates to our mental wellbeing.

pic via abc.net.au
pic via abc.net.au

When we have a broken leg, we go to the hospital. Yet, when our mental health requires equal attention, it is often neglected. We need to change this while also recognizing the factors that impact our mental health and wellbeing.

The attachment our society has with social media and cell phone usage remains the highest risk factor for increased stress, anxiety, depression, suicide, jealousy, loneliness, and narcissism, according to Psychology Today. The continual habit of scrolling through feeds along with the constant need to check the “likes” on a post are the very behaviors that cloud our authentic selves concerning our online personage. Once we depend on outside validation, that reliance becomes the tipping point of social media impacting our psychological health and relationships. Let’s make this one point precise, the attachment to social media and cell phone dependency is not restricted to today’s teens. Baby Boomers and older generations are equally struggling with constant phone distraction.

This predisposition to access mobile devices to fill “bored” moments are altering the way our world communicates and survives. According to a report by Informate, an intelligence firm that studies human smartphone behavior, states that the average person spends upwards of five-plus hours a day on their phone and in some cases, sixty hours a week.

Researchers, according to the ADAA, have concluded that dependency on social media and phone usage creates more than just anxiety. It has been found that an abundance of mobile use heightens attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), impulsive disorder, problems with mental functioning, and paranoia. When it comes to our social media profiles, it creates a distressing habit of comparing and contrasting our life to others and ultimately degrades our healthy connections to real-life friends and family.

Of course, there are moments when social media and mobile phones are significant assets to our daily life, but the cost is high when it starts burdening one’s mental care and their healthy interactions with everyday events.

Like everything in our world,  phone usage requires a favorable balance by integrating wholesome habits that will discourage dependency on these tablets. Below are some ways we can reshape phone behavior.

  • Consider more personal and meaningful ways to connect with family and friends outside of technology
  • Embrace a new hobby that requires no phone
  • Set screen time boundaries
  • Delete addictive apps
  • Unfollow accounts that contribute to inadequate feelings
  • Embrace a 24-to-48 hour social media and cell phone detox
  • Go back to an ordinary flip phone

As Ferris Buller said, life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it. So starting today, look up more, put down the phone, and spend quality time with the people in front of you.

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