GUEST POST | In today’s digital age, it’s almost impossible to imagine a world without social media. Platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter have become an integral part of our lives that connect us with friends and family, as well as career-boosting networks and opportunities for self-expression and creativity.

However, it is important to acknowledge that the constant presence of these platforms in our lives also brings with it certain challenges and potential risks to our mental health.

Whilst there are, of course, countless benefits to social media, it’s important to take a step back occasionally – especially if you feel that it is beginning to affect your mental health. 

Keeping an eye on your mental health is more important than ever before, therefore it’s vital that you are able to recognise the impact that social media can have on it.

In this post, we’re going to explore how social media affects our well-being and discuss various strategies that will help you to find a healthy balance in the digital world. 

The Highlight Reel vs. Real Life

One of the biggest challenges we face when scrolling through social media is the stark contrast between the highlight reels we see and the realities of everyday life. It is so incredibly easy to find yourself comparing your own life to the carefully curated posts of others.

Being regularly exposed to curated and edited posts like this can lead to feelings of inadequacy, jealousy, and the fear of missing out. It can make you feel like your life pales in comparison to everyone else’s when in reality, that simply isn’t the case.

Because of this, it’s crucial to remember that social media often only presents polished and edited versions of reality. It often leaves out the struggles, hardships, and failures that everyone faces.

Therefore, you should be mindful when using social media and take a step back if you start to catch yourself feeling jealous or upset when viewing the content on your feeds.

The Doom-scrolling Dilemma

Another issue that arises from excessive social media use that can affect your mental health is, “doom-scrolling”. Doom-scrolling is the word used to describe the phenomenon that is mindlessly scrolling through social media feeds without even realising it.

I think this is something that we are all guilty of, however, those who find themselves doom-scrolling too often are prone to losing track of time and falling into a rabbit hole of negative news and updates.

Studies have shown that doom-scrolling can lead to decreased productivity, heightened anxiety, and a sense of being overwhelmed. This is hardly surprising when you lose track of time, neglect responsibilities, and find yourself viewing negative content.

In order to break free from this cycle, it’s important to set boundaries and allocate a specific time frame for social media consumption.

Limiting screen time is a great way to keep your head from absorbing negative news, opinions, and images; instead of scrolling, try to engage in other activities.

Using your doom-scroll time in a more fulfilling way will help to restore balance and reduce the negative impact social media has on your mental well-being.

Seeking Validation and the Dopamine Effect

Have you ever posted a selfie online and then eagerly waited to see how many likes and comments you got?

Yep, me too, but unfortunately for us, the search for validation is a powerful driving force behind social media, and it’s extremely detrimental to your mental health.

With every “like” and positive comment, you get a momentary boost of dopamine, which makes you feel good about yourself.

However, this form of validation is fleeting, and the need to get your ‘fix’ of external validation can start to take over, resulting in a cycle of seeking approval and validation through social media.

In order to counteract this dependency, it’s essential that you focus on your self-worth and find fulfilment from within. Engage in activities that bring you joy, like reading, gardening, drawing, or cleaning.

You could also build strong relationships and work on building the bonds you’ve already got, as well as practice self-care. Doing this will help you to feel better about yourself without feeling the need to constantly seek external validation from other social media users.

Final thoughts on the impact of social media on mental health

No one can deny that social media has revolutionised the way that we connect and communicate, however, it is not without its challenges. We should all pay close attention to the way we feel when we use social media and be mindful of the impact it has on our mental health.

By recognising that the shiny, polished content that we are often bombarded with online is very rarely an image of reality, setting good boundaries to avoid doom-scrolling, and reducing our reliance on external sources of validation, we can find a healthy balance in the digital age.

Often we find our mental health suffering without realising the cause, and for many people, social media is certainly a factor.

If you are struggling with your mental health, cutting back on your social media use, or even taking a leave of absence for a few days or weeks, may be beneficial for your well-being.

About The Author: Rachael is a family lifestyle blogger over at Lukeosaurus and Me. She covers plenty of family and lifestyle topics, such as fun ways to keep kids entertained, family finances, and health & beauty, as well as offering lots of free kids printables. She also writes a lot about mental health in both adults, and children, and is passionate about self-growth.


  1. I love the practical tips on how to manage social media use, especially setting boundaries and finding fulfillment from within. It’s a good reminder that our worth isn’t determined by likes or comments.

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