Social Media and Mental Health

This week on Life at DC, students from the Bachelor of Physical Education and Coaching (BPEC) program are sharing their ideas about health in a series of posts and a takeover on the @StudentLifeDC Instagram account!

On Monday, Jackie wrote about the Fitspiration trends on social media. Today, she shares her thoughts about social media and mental health. 

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Social media connects us to others and allows us to easily access information and share ideas in real time. Social media has simplified the maintenance of relationships by providing a relatively easy way to stay in the loop with anyone and everyone we’ve ever come in contact with. We can share our lives with thousands through a simple upload and a click of a button. I like this aspect of social media because it creates an extra element of connection to people who help me feel loved. More connection means I have an outlet to vent to when I’m feeling overwhelmed, or can reach people when I have a question that needs answering. Social media can also help us find motivation by bouncing ideas off of our support networks, and this can help lower our stress levels. Happier and healthier lives are developed when people are positively influencing others.

Not to mention social media can be used to help you find and people who are like-minded! I love making new friends and social media is a great platform to get those relationships started. Social media even helped me meet my significant other and was a way for us to find out some of our common interests before meeting in person.

With all that good stuff being said, social media might have a darker side. Considering social media’s power, one might think that the quality of our relationships would only increase from using it. However, instead of building true friendships in person and online, sometimes we become obsessed with endless self-promotion. On social media, it can be tempting showcase the highlight reel of our happiest memories which we have heavily edited for the public audience.

Check out this video, The Innovation of Loneliness. It makes the thought-provoking point that social media is actually making us lonely. We’re collecting friends like stamps, the video argues, instead of building meaningful relationships online and in person. It’s probably true that sometimes we care more about the number of friends we have on Facebook than the quality of those friendships.

Although I don’t think the use of social media is making everyone lonely, I do agree that the constant editing of life online is taking away from our genuine, authentic, and vulnerable shared experiences, and these are crucial to emotional closeness between friends. What if we all tried to be a little more real online and in real life? What if we took more candid pictures, and showed a snapshot of what’s really going on?

Do you ever feel that even though you are connected through social media, you still feel lonely? If you’re struggling with loneliness or other mental health issues or just want to talk to somebody, let’s get you connected. You can shoot us a comment or message here or on Instagram, or you can check out Douglas College’s Student Services to find the resources you need to be well.

Thanks for reading!  Follow me and my team on Instagram for more health tips until Friday this week!

Today's blog is on social media and mental health. Here is a snip of what Jackie has to say: ✍🏽 ". . . I do agree that the constant editing of life online is taking away from our genuine, authentic, and vulnerable shared experiences, and these are crucial to emotional closeness between friends. What if we all tried to be a little more real online and in real life? What if we took more candid pictures, and showed a snapshot of what’s really going on?" Here I am, doing an assignment that is due tonight, when I said I would have it done yesterday. I also told myself I would go to the gym today, but that never happened. I am more likely to post my homework complete, and my amazing work out I had, rather than the opposite. Lets be honest, lots of us try and portray our lives differently on social media on how they actually are. 🌟CHALLENGE🌟 We challenge you to HONESTLY portray your life on social media. Be a little bit more realistic on how your day went 🤔 www.lifeatdc.com/home/blog/ #DOhealthier #DouglasCollege #health #MentalHealth #lifeatdc #studentlifedc

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