We love social media, its an amazing way to find out whats going on in the world, chat to friends and seek inspiration. But we need to know exactly what we’re dealing with, and new research has shown that the depression linked to social media is almost twice as high in girls as it is in boys.
Two fifths of girls use social media for more than 3 hours a day, compared to one fifth of boys, and the amount of time spent is directly related to our mood. Girls are more likely to be bullied or harassed online (40% vs 25%) and they get less sleep due to their online lives too (40% vs 28%) which all have an affect our mental health.
In reality, none of us are going to bin our beloved phones, but if you do notice that your mood is suffering, and think you need to keep your online activity in check here’s some ways to do that…
- Track your online time for a day or two and you’ll be surprised how much time you spend scrolling. Apps like RescueTime will give you a full report for free. Brace yourself, it may not be pretty.
- If social media keeps dragging you from what you’re supposed to be doing, like study, or sleep, download apps like ColdTurkey, which will block certain Apps or websites for a given time.
- Turn off your notifications. A constant buzzing phone is more addictive than anything else on earth, how many times would you say you pick up your phone in an hour, only to dismiss a notification and put it back down.
- Leave your phone downstairs at night. Bringing your phone to bed is guaranteed to keep you up way longer than is good for you. Your brain needs a break, give your phone a curfew, even if its just on week days.
- Don’t make it the first thing you do in the morning. Have breakfast, get dressed, make the bed, and then check your phone.
- Do something else with your hands. Sometimes checking the phone is just a way to fidget. Do some colouring, sketching, knitting or get a stressball.
Remember it doesn’t have to be all or nothing, just cut down a little, and see if you notice a difference. Its worth a shot, right?