Social media is such a hot topic, one that’s part of my daily conversations in sessions with teens and young adults. I see firsthand the impact social media has on their lives and their mental well being. It can become their best friend and their worst enemy–all at the same time. The friend that is always there for them but isn’t always kind. The friend that gives us all the good feels, yet at times leaves us with feelings of despair. The friend that can cause our minds to play tricks on us.
Social media can become an addiction we can’t seem to put down because it’s in our pocket all day long. Our phones have become a necessity nowadays. It can almost feel like there is no escape, like we’re chained to them.
With social media, there is never down time. It never stops. There is always SOMETHING happening which can make people feel like there’s no time to relax. Checking and rechecking to make sure we are still in good with our peers–or that we’re not missing anything.
With this endless cycle, it can feel like there’s constant noise and chaos. No true quiet time. But most don’t even realize it’s happening. And for teens and young adults, it’s all they’ve ever known. It just seems normal because it’s always been a constant in their lives.
Why is social media so powerful that we can’t put it down? It taps into some of our most basic needs, like connection and belonging. Social media feeds these two needs… or so we think. In this six part series, I will shed light on how social media satisfies our need for connection and belonging but also, how it can turn on us quickly causing major disruption for our mental wellbeing. I’ll also discuss how our natural tendency to be curious can create an additive pattern, increasing our levels of anxiety and depression.