The Internet and Social Media:  Friend or Foe? By: Jamie Meyer

By: Jamie Meyer

I did it again.  Checked my email and Facebook notifications before my morning coffee has even finished brewing.  Before I know it I’m on my Facebook feed to see who has posted since I last checked. Next thing I know, two hours have passed and I haven’t moved from my comfy chair.  As a person who lives with mental health challenges I have to ask myself: Is this a good thing or bad? The answer I’ve arrived at after much contemplation is this: It all depends on what I use social media and the Internet for, how often, and if I’m able to control my use of it.  

No doubt, there are good things to be found on the Internet such as reputable websites to learn about specific diagnoses and options for treatment.  Websites I’ve found helpful include Mental Health America, the National Institute of Mental Health and Psych Central. Diagnosis-specific websites are also available such as DBSA for depression and bipolar, and the ADAA for anxiety and depression.

You can also find topic-specific forums or message boards online where people can have conversations via posted messages.  These are useful for mutual support, especially if you’re isolated at home or it’s 3am. Many people benefit from online support groups.  An online search of “mental health online support groups” will give you several options to check out. Fresh Hope offers both online support groups and mental health forums.

Social media such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Snapchat can be both helpful and hurtful.  While I enjoy keeping up with the lives of family and friends and seeing their pictures, it eats up a big chunk of my day. For many people, being on social media can cause feelings of inadequacy, shame and envy.  It helps to keep in mind that we tend to compare our insides to other people’s outsides. What some people project on social media is really a mask to make others think their life is full of fun and adventure, when in reality their life lacks meaning or enjoyment.

To make social media and the Internet safe, healthy and helpful for those of us with mental health issues, I’ve come up with a few suggestions:

  1. Set a daily allowance for the amount of time you spend online. Use an alarm if necessary.
  2. When doing an Internet search, stick to well-known medical or mental health organizations (such as WebMD or NAMI).  A safe website will have an https:// before the address. Avoid websites hosted by individuals who are simply looking for an audience for their opinions.
  3. It’s ok to not “Like” or comment on everyone’s Facebook post or send birthday wishes to every “friend.”  Sending a text, email or card is more personal and meaningful to the receiver.
  4. When you post, don’t obsess over the number of “Likes” you receive.  It sets you up for feeling inadequate.
  5. Avoid going online when you’re experiencing a severe episode.  You’re less likely to think clearly and may end up more depressed or risk the chance of sharing something you’ll regret later.
  6. Check in with yourself.  Am I online to numb out or escape real life?  Am I using it to avoid responsibilities or get adequate sleep?

 

If you’re unsure if the Internet and social media has become an obsession, why not try going cold turkey for 24 hours?  It’s not easy, I know, but it helped me see how much time my computer use cut into each day. And the bonus? It feels pretty darn good to be free.

 

Fresh Hope is a faith-based non-profit that empowers people to live well in spite of their mental health challenge.

YOUR gift will provide a person with God’s Fresh HOPE for daily living. Click here to donate, today.

unnamed

Related Articles

The Internet and Social Media: Friend or Foe? By: Jamie Meyer

did it again.  Checked my email and Facebook notifications before my morning coffee has even finished brewing.  Before I know it I’m on my Facebook feed to see who has posted since I last checked. Next thing I know, two hours have passed and I haven’t moved from my comfy chair.  As a person who lives with mental health challenges I have to ask myself: Is this a good thing or bad? The answer I’ve arrived at after much contemplation is this: It all depends on what I use social media and the Internet for, how often, and if I’m able to control my use of it.  

The Internet and Social Media:  Friend or Foe? By: Jamie Meyer

I did it again.  Checked my email and Facebook notifications before my morning coffee has even finished brewing.  Before I know it I’m on my Facebook feed to see who has posted since I last checked. Next thing I know, two hours have passed and I haven’t moved from my comfy chair.  As a person who lives with mental health challenges I have to ask myself: Is this a good thing or bad? The answer I’ve arrived at after much contemplation is this: It all depends on what I use social media and the Internet for, how often, and if I’m able to control my use of it.  

jaJapanese

最初のステップに自分で新鮮ないグループ

登録は右上のサイト

オンラインセミナー:いかにして教会でアクセスを促進するためメンタルヘルスケア

登録はこちら無料!

オンラインセミナー:私の希望は私達のことを知って精神的健康

登録はこちら無料!

お客様情報の入力してボタンをクリックしてくださいについて出願監督検討を進めてまいります。

最高の時間をお

お客様情報の入力はしていない指導しています。

最高の時間をお

何がお贈りするができる 募希望の絶望的

毎 32セントを れまでに希望を 週間 一人のメンタルヘルスの課題です。

$16.64 毎年与えられていない 一年 一人様までです。

他の支払額がいくらまでできるように提供望のあります。

どのような寄付い。

お客様情報の入力言いたい"との想いからコンサルタント

最高の時間をお

Thank you for taking the next step towards hope.

We want to make sure that we send you information that will best serve your needs, so please take a few moments to fill in the information below.

(Please note that your privacy is our utmost concern. Fresh Hope will never
sell your data and your information is kept strictly confidential.)

Name

Address

Phone / Email

The following best describes me