Deciding What Social Media Platforms May be Negatively Impacting You

How many social media accounts do you have? A Pew research study from 2021 found that about 75% of adolescents aged 18-24 use Instagram and Snapchat, and an additional 50% also use TikTok, creating considerable overlap between the multiple social media sites that adolescents may be using. 

Not all social media platforms are created equal, though. Some serve different purposes. For example, some people may be more likely to use Snapchat to communicate with friends and Instagram to share creative photography. Despite these different purposes, however, there is considerable overlap now that these platforms share a lot of the same features and have the same users on them.

With that being said, the aesthetics of the site, the people you follow, and how those people share and post content can affect you differently depending which site you’re on. For some, these different feelings might be obvious, but it may be the case that you’re unable to tell because of the sheer amount of accounts that you may be cycling through. After a while, using these different sites may cause them to blur together, which may also contribute to that overwhelming, stressful feeling you might get by spending a lot of time on social media.

So if you are feeling overwhelmed by social media, or even if you feel like something is off and you’re mentally not feeling your best, it might help to apply some organization tips towards your phone, tablet, or computer. By spending a few minutes on the social media platforms you’re actively using, you can attempt to separate them and spend some time asking yourself questions about how each make you feel. You can write down these feelings about each platform and then take a few minutes to see which are causing stronger negative emotions. You can ask yourself questions such as, “Why is this platform making me feel like this?” “Is this platform worth keeping?” “How can I improve my experience on this platform?”

Hopefully, by taking a step back and evaluating exactly which platforms are affecting you and why these platforms are doing so can give you some time to self-reflect and find ways to improve not just your social media experience, but your mood and mental health overall.

What are the social media platforms that you use the most frequently? Do you have more than one? Have you noticed if you feel differently depending on which one you’re on? What steps can you take to better manage your social media usage, especially as it relates to your mental health?

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