How Social Media Impacts Your Mental Health


Image via KHN

Aubrie Sandoval, Writer

If you’re like me, you probably consume a pretty large percentage of the mass media. And if you’re an artist, it probably has a pretty harsh impact on what projects your energy is going into and how it can look to your own self. When I’m in a bad mood, I often find it difficult to put something positive out into the world. Reflecting is important to realize that when you are seeing mostly negative things and taking no time to decompress and heal, you will for the most part feel and make negative things. As my mother once said, “you have to be responsible for your own internet experience.” Thus far, I am doing well with who I speak to and who I allow to see my things, and what arguments I’m willing to have. Something I’m not having luck with is that the majority of what I see is pretty negative. 

The article “Social Media and Mental health” lists several different positives, with an almost overwhelming list of negatives following. Social media may connect you to the people around you, and give you someone to chat with if you aren’t able to make some buddies around you. However, social media is known to not only give you unhealthy expectations for yourself but other people. When all you see is heavily edited models that aren’t allowed to eat because their managers are tools, that will be how you feel about yourself. When all you can say to yourself is “I wish I looked like them,” all you can feel is bad. In order to manage your internet experience, there is a certain amount of separation that has to happen. You have to be able to look within yourself and put yourself in a place where you can look and read and hear about things that will trigger you, know why it triggers you, and make moves that will help you recover. 

Another thing to think about is that some of the things that trigger you aren’t real, they don’t hold any significance unless you let them. And that’s not to say that the way it makes you feel isn’t valid and allowed and all of that good stuff. It just goes back to the fact that you are responsible for your own feelings. Because in the end, no one can change the way you feel except for yourself. When you are depressed, or anxious, or happy, or any other feeling, it is your responsibility to look within and make sure that the things on your mind and in your heart don’t leak all over the place and cover people in the garbage. And it might sound insensitive and horrid, but it is the truth. You matter. Your art matters. However, making sure people aren’t hurt by the things you put into the world and the way you express yourself is also important, even if their feelings are their responsibility. Compassion is equally as big a concept to wrap around as accountability. 

The article “Social Media and Mental Health” by Lawrence Robinson and Melinda Smith, details how putting a cap on how much time you spend on social media and spending more time with offline friends or even family can positively impact your mood. This can lead to cured writers’ blocks, or a beautiful painting, or even just a memory that makes you feel good on bad days. Because of the way things make you feel is important to realize that it doesn’t have to kill you if you don’t let it. And realizing it doesn’t have to kill you, makes healing from trauma so much easier. Being in a good mood can improve art, which in turn, keeps you busy, which keeps you happy. It’s the best vicious cycle ever. 

Sometimes, when you aren’t happy, doing things that make you happy feels impossible. But do it anyway, just for a minute. Just survive the next minute, that’s it. Only 1 minute. I believe you can do that. I hope that everyone here makes something beautiful and that it makes you feel like you could fly. 


Helpful Links:

Social Media and Mental Health article by L. Robinson and M. Smith