How Media Usage Can Lead to Anxiety and Depression
Updated: May 5
We live in a day and age where technology is literally all around you. From the phone in your pocket to the television you watch, "unplugging" can seem nearly impossible at times. However, in order to preserve your mental health, cutting down on your media use is a good idea if you want to avoid the negative effects that come with consuming too much media. Here are some things that you should consider when deciding to cut back on your screen time.
With so many pictures, lifestyles, and "goals" being posted to social media, all of these pseudo-perfect lives can make you feel inadequate if you let it. Platforms that were meant to provide entertainment have somehow turned on their heads and become a battle of the "likes." Social media has been linked to anxiety, depression, and a feeling of worry. The more social media platforms you're on, the more anxiety you're likely to have. In order to minimize these feelings, you should spend no more than 30 minutes on social media each day and only follow people who inspire you and not people you envy.
While people have been entertaining themselves with video games for quite some time now, over the years, video games have become more realistic as well as more violent. Exposure to violence has been proven to have negative effects on the psyche, with depression being a major risk. Depression can alter how you function and interfere with your work, eating, sleeping, and more. While some people play video games strictly for entertainment, others may use it as an outlet to relieve stress. Regardless of your reason, it is important that you minimize your time spent playing video games to no more than about one hour per day to avoid anxiety and more.
Nowadays it seems as if everyone has a reality TV show. Although everyone knows that most of these shows are scripted and that the houses and cars may be rented, it can still be easy to get caught up in the glitz and glamour of the images that are portrayed. It is okay to have your guilty pleasures, but just like other forms of media, you should limit the time you spend watching television as well. Television is very easy to get sucked into and you can end up staying on the couch longer than you want to. Limit how many episodes or movies you watch and then participate in an activity where you’re either working out, enjoying the outdoors, or spending time with people you love. Like other forms of media, balance is important with watching television.
Regardless of what the source is, too much media can be harmful regardless of how it is consumed. With so many people being connected to the internet, at the same time, people are losing their connection to one another. In order to maintain a healthy emotional balance, it is important that you also balance your digital life with your "analog" life.