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Anxiety and Social Media: Be Careful What You Are Uploading

Most of the time it seems that every time I ask a new client what they do to unwind the first answer I get is to look at my phone and scroll social media or play games.  I am not sure if your phone keeps track of the amount of screen time you use, but for some reason, mine has started to show me at the end of the day.



I was shocked by the amount of time that I had devoted to this little device that was glued to my hand. Websites like Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok are designed with algorithms that keep track of what you watch, and when you watch it, to discover themes. Think for a moment about what shows up on the for you page on Tik Tok. Scroll through it for a few minutes. What is the theme that shows up? Not that I would ever use social media as a diagnostic tool, but if you are coming across funny cat videos or break-up videos might be an indication of where your focus is at any time.


Does Anxiety Breed Anxiety?

Negativity breeds negativity. What about anxiety? Well, if you stop and think about it for a minute. How much of the news that you watch is positive? Are you watching newsreels on YouTube that make you warm and happy, or war stories, conspiracy stories, government shutdowns, or violence? Scrolling through a vast space of digital negativity can have an extremely adverse effect on your mental health. 


The Danger of Comparison

The other offender when it comes to social media and anxiety shows up in comparison. Seldom do people put stories on sites that will paint themselves in a negative light. People doing so much and being so successful. As I lay in bed wondering what I was doing with my life. When I see friends going out and doing things that I was not invited to. For the longest time, I couldn’t figure out why my anxiety would get worse around 8 pm. The prime time that I am doom scrolling all the various social media apps. Then you have the people who are being honest and emotionally dumping on their page. Sure, there is a sense of well I’m not alone, but certainly, that isn’t helping me to figure out what I can do differently. It’s more of a shared misery. 


The Key is Balance

I am not saying that social media does not have valid reasons for its use. Sometimes it is the only way that I can stay in contact with people who don’t live around me. I have learned many things from these apps. I am a wizard at Trivial Pursuit now. What I am saying is, be careful how much time you are spending on it and what you are focusing on when you do. We are a product of the environment we dwell in, physically and virtually. Sometimes it's good to step away, have real conversations with people, and find things that bring you joy. 


At Mind Works Counseling Services in Lubbock TX, we specialize in helping people learn skills to aid them in overcoming the symptoms of anxiety. We are ready and willing to help you find some peace from anxiety and work through finding the best version of you.


Learn more about the Anxiety Counseling services we offer.


Contact us to schedule an appointment or to let us answer any questions you may have.

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