I have a love-hate relationship with social media during the pandemic. On the one hand, it’s the easiest
and only way to stay connected with friends and loved ones; but on the other hand, it can sometimes
feel like we get sucked into these apps when we are trying to be productive.
People are indeed using social media more during the COVID-19 pandemic, but this is mainly because
people are getting much of their information about the state of the pandemic through these platforms.
Like most things in excess, copious amounts of time spent on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and Tik Tok
can negatively impact mental health–one study found that the young adult participants who spent
more time on social media sites were at a greater risk of depression. All of this, combined with a feeling
that we aren’t as productive as we should be, may create a sense of guilt around using social media.
It’s very easy to become overly critical of ourselves – the reality of the pandemic is that people are
isolated, and social media is one easy way of communicating with our friends and family. In many ways,
social media is a blessing to have in a time like this! Awareness and balance are powerful – it’s important
to know the negative impacts of social media overload. Still, it’s also important not to swing the
complete opposite way and cut yourself off completely.
To make it a bit easier, here are some tips for monitoring your social media usage and controlling it
without feeling guilty:
- Monitor your social media and phone usage: many phones have a tracking option in their
settings, which is excellent for getting an accurate picture of just how much you are logging on!
- Keep track of your mental health and productivity: be mindful and ask yourself, “how am I
doing right now? What do I need to feel the best that I can?
- Don’t go cold turkey! If you are trying to cut down, set goals for yourself that are manageable.
- Reward yourself with breaks! Whether that break is to go on social media or not, it’s essential
to take a breather when you get your work done.
Blog post by Ally Nelson, Volunteer
Gaskell, A. (2020, December 08). Productivity in times of covid. Forbes.
Kaya T. (2020). The changes in the effects of social media use of Cypriots due to COVID-19 pandemic.
Technology in Society, 63, 101380. DOI:10.1016/j.techsoc.2020.101380
Lin L., Sidani J.E., Shensa A., Radovic A., Miller E., Colditz J.B., Hoffman B.L., Giles L.M., & Primack B.A.
(2016). Association between social media use and depression among U.S. young adults.
Depression and Anxiety, 33, 323-331. DOI:10.1002/da.22466
Weiss, A. (2020, April 04). Staying connected during corona. Psychology Today.