Social media has revolutionized human communication. Whether we like to admit it or not, it’s everywhere. From when we first check our phones in the morning until we drift off to sleep at night, the notifications keep coming, and we keep checking. Our social media “addiction” comes as no surprise. Wired to be immensely social creatures for survival, humans crave interaction, validation, and acknowledgment. The more we can get of it, the better.
But is social media good for our mental health?
In comparison to traditional healthy in-person meetings, social media communication can be harmful. With our screens as a barrier, we cannot see the real person behind the posts. More interesting yet, is that “personal brand image” which used to be left to politicians and celebrities alone has now been adopted by everyone. And when it comes to brand, you smooth over the bumps and only show the best — even if it’s not real. Many social media users have packaged their lives into an attractive, envy-inducing, and altogether false bundle to share online. And we can’t get enough of it.
Data shows we’re spending almost half a day a week on social media per week.
The average user logs 2.4 hours a day on social media — up from 1.5 hours in 2012. Over a week, that’s more than 16 hours of scrolling through other people’s lives. Despite many claiming that they’re aware of the “prettification” of everything on social media, our “more-primitive” brain isn’t always so conscious. Research has shown that the use of social media makes people feel worse about their appearance or lives in comparison to their peers on social media. Our brains absorb what we see like a sponge from the perfectly curated (photoshopped) photos to the 5-star hotel trips. And naturally, we start to subconsciously compare ourselves with those perfected images and stories. All of which leads to low self-esteem that can accumulate to depression or anxiety. And it seems that despite technically encouraging interaction, Social media has left many feeling empty, isolated, and numb. A study conducted by the American Journal of Preventive Medicine showed that regular social media users were twice as likely to report feelings of loneliness and worthlessness.
Precautionary measures and detox methods are rising in popularity
Recently, governments and businesses alike have been making efforts to curb these harmful effects of excessive social media use. In China, 300 internet addiction boot camps have been founded, while European governments have been rolling out “detox” programs. Funding is also being piled into social media research globally to gain insight into the still relatively unknown landscape of social media and the human psyche. Overall the message is clear: social media detox is vital to your wellbeing. Worldwide, people are logging out, taking a step back, and looking for other ways to fulfill their social cravings. From retreats to account “lockers,” there’s something that works for everyone.
How Online Diaries are becoming the “must-have” alternative to social media
However, journaling is one method that stands above the rest. Long used as a means to log the events of a day, channel emotions, and get pains off chests — diaries are a more authentic form of private social media. When you’re not striving for likes, you can write what you want. Diaries open up a world of creative freedom. And the best part? You’ll have something to look back on, to relive the most important days of your life without the skewed vision of social media.
Technological advancements in online diaries
Some modern online diaries and mental health apps such as Memairy even use Artificial Intelligence (AI) to create the optimal diary experience. By creating an account with Memairy, you can have your photos analyzed by AI to pick out faces, objects, and even places. Moreover, for those days when typing seems like too much, you can record your diary entry to be transcribed to text. And you can be ensured of privacy since your account is solely attributed to you. So, you get the cutting-edge online social media experience, without any of the added stress or frustration! So, why not start telling your story at your own pace and truthfully? Sign up to Memairy today and discover the mental health and wellbeing benefits of living a life without other’s eyes on it 24/7!