Do you find yourself needing to check your Facebook page every few minutes?
Do you feel yourself getting angry and upset with comments, but continue reading them?
Do you use Facebook to express anger and hurtful words or post offensive, negative comments?
Are you neglecting other activities or people in your life because of the time you spend on Facebook or other social media?
If you answered ‘yes’ to any of these, you may want to evaluate the time you spend on Facebook. These actions can be very emotionally and mentally draining to you. Spending less time with friends and family, or spending less time in nature can be harmful to your physical and emotional health, and it can limit how many new people you meet in your real life.
Sharing occasional frustrations and concerns on Facebook can be a healthy outlet for some, but posting a constant barrage of negativity will not only make you feel bad, but will also expand the presence of negativity in the world. It’s important to be mindful of anything that you post as the rest of the world may have access to it. As a mental health counselor, I have seen many clients who have symptoms of paranoia and anxiety, and have acute episodes after reacting to a post on Facebook that was negative or unfounded.
In spite of these negative effects, Facebook can have a positive impact on your life. For better emotional health, try shifting the way you use social media by doing the following things:
Be the best virtual friend ever.
When people share their difficult times, Facebook offers an opportunity for you to support those who are in need of a boost. Most of us experience the ups and downs of life, and a few words of inspiration can help just about anyone feel better. You can also support others who are trying to achieve a goal by encouraging them and holding them accountable for their steps along the way. You can support their ideas, business endeavors and even causes that are also important to you as well. Supporting others enhances your emotional health by spreading positive words and feelings to others, which makes you feel good too.
Go bananas with brainstorming!
You can use Facebook to ask for advice or share ideas with others who may have information on a topic you need to know more about. From recipes to travel to parenting tips to best deals in the area, these are just some ideas that can be shared on social media and reduce time spent in researching on your own. It’s also a great resource for sharing upcoming events and reaching a lot of people in a short period of time, and it’s free!
Make it your mission to get and give some LOLZ.
Posting positive affirmations is a nice reminder of being thankful and grateful for what we have, and may be helpful to someone who is having a troubling day. Humorous posts are a great way to keep the day fun and playful. Laughter is great medicine for the spirit, and studies show that people who laugh often throughout the day experience less illness.
Go nuts with networking!
There is a lot of value to networking. It’s a great opportunity to meet others with similar interests and to expand your knowledge base. If you have want to promote something, you can use Facebook to help you reach people you'd never have been able to reach before Facebook existed. It’s also a convenient way to stay connected to people in your past. Even if you move or change jobs, you can still maintain a relationship with them. Networking and staying connected to others improves emotional wellness, because developing a support system and feeling accepted is a natural need for us.
I encourage you to take advantage of all the emotional health benefits of FB and share the funny and positive moments with others to make this world a better place to live.