The other week I went to a research group, walking in, smiling at the faces already waiting in the reception. Not one face looked up at me. As I sat down I noticed it was because every single 6 of the people sitting there were ‘plugged in’. Completely engaged in their phones.
This got me thinking about our mental health. The links between phone usage and mental health are prevalent. A study in 2017 indicated the link between screen usage and serious mental health issues such as depression and having suicidal thoughts.
An article by the Young Post published back in January 2018 reported that a new study has linked anxiety, severe depression and suicide with an increased use of smartphones. If you Google this topic, there’s thousands of articles that all point out the same thing: our phone isn’t making us all very happy.
Recently I got a new phone and made a conscious effort not to download Instagram which I noticed is SO addictive, and Facebook. I like to think I’m strong enough mentally to know with all these influencers they’re paid a lot of money to broadcast this facade of a perfect life.
However, the danger is there’s lots of young girls that see all these influencers and truly believe their life is perfect with their glamorous appearance, surgery and fabulous wardrobes when often it’s not reality. We all have problems throughout life. It’s just life. However let’s face it, we only post what we want people to see. I think it’s really important to remember this and I feel like influencers are in a position of responsibility to point this out from time to time. That they are being paid a lot of money to display their lives and promote products but we are all human and go through difficult situations.
Moving forward, I think it’s important we limit our screen time. I, for sure, always try and stay present. Whenever I don’t need to be on my phone, I don’t. For example, just looking outside whilst on public transport, reading a book, simply being out into the world with your head up, not looking down. When you don’t access social media so much, you find your not actually missing out. Your too busy living in the real world to notice what’s going on in the digital one. And there’s only one world.
There’s numerous articles on cutting down social media time and also a lot on quitting social media altogether. I’m all for it. In the past I’ve had social media detoxing and man it’s good.
Call me old fashioned but I think it’s a beautiful thing to be able to sit down with someone and have that human connection, see their smile and hear their laugh. Sitting on public transport and actually looking at the beautiful summers day, the cute puppy playing outside or perhaps the little baby on a day out with it’s family. All these things are missed when we have our heads down connected to the digital world.