It was clear to see from the previous post, that there were a lot of negative impacts regarding mental health when talking about social media. Some a lot more serious then others and one I did not even know was an actual condition. But you can’t talk about the negatives and not give the positives. It’s safe to say the negatives definitely outweighed the positives on this topic. However, social media is a tool that we all love to use, it can help us keep in contact with those we do not see often, help us get noticed and it can actually inspire us, crazy right? But it’s true, it’s not all bad because if used in the right way it can actually have a positive impact on your life.

Here are a few ways in which social media can affect mental health positively:

Socialising

When using social media we can socialise with who we want. For those who struggle to talk to people face to face it is a great way to communicate with friends if you don’t feel like going out. If you have family or friends that live far away its a great way to still keep in contact with them. You can get in contact with people you used to go to school with and catch up on their lifes, you can get in contact with friends you drifted away from, there are perks to having social media and one is definitely getting in contact again. 83% of teenagers say that social media makes them feel more connected to their friends.

Some people may not like to make friends and socialise in the real world, which is why having these types of platforms can help those to talk to the people they would not normally, or to meet new friends and get a bigger friendship group. Getting to know people from joining random groups on Facebook for example joining one that specifically talks about your favourite singer or perhaps a fitness group. There’s no saying that all these people are from the same country as you or that they live right near you. Which makes it even more exciting, these people that you chat too about your love for that one musician or your fitness journey, are all different you get to interact with different cultures and get to know more about other countries besides yours.

Talking about more serious concepts can be of putting when talking face to face, it can make you both feel uncomfortable, but it can help to get it of your chest. However, on social media you can talk about anything you want and not have to feel awkward about it. In some cases, telling someone you like them, most people will take to social media to tell that person because they’re scared of what they would actually say. People sometimes prefer to hide behind a screen to talk about their feelings or confess to something because they feel scared to admit it in the real world. The thing about social media is if you don’t get the response you were looking for you can just say you where ‘hacked’ i’m pretty sure we’ve all been down that road at least once. and they can sometimes make out Social media is great for socialising 100% but do we really have to hide behind it because we’re scared to know the truth?

Inspiring healthy lifestyle changes

It’s no doubt that social media lowers our self-esteem, but it can in fact impact on healthy lifestyle changes. For example if you have an Instagram account, you can post pictures of your progress. This can be inspiring to others, it gives you a platform to express yourself and for others to look at.

It is a great way to talk about your past and your troubles, for example if you have an alcohol addiction, you can talk about it freely and then that can help others who are looking for tips on how to recover. Having a platform where you can blog about your journey, will help your mental health because you can see your progress and that will make you feel happier, but if you can also see that it’s making a difference to other people’s lifes, who are going through the same, then you’ll feel more motivated to carry on. It’s a case of looking at someone on social media perhaps doing a workout and getting that hit of motivation to do it, which can lead to a healthier life.

YouTube is another key concept when talking about this topic. They have such a wide platform of content that is shared to everyone. It’s a way that people can express themselves and talk about their journeys verbally to a camera. There are a lot of fitness youtubers, that talk about how they lost weight, the healthy meals they have and their exercise routines. From the perspective of a newbie to fitness, it could really help them understand how it all works and inspire them to get to where they want to be. Not only that but there are so many fitness video’s on YouTube that suit everyone’s desires from cardio workouts to strength and so many more. ‘POPSUGAR fitness’ is my personal favourite if you’re looking to add a little variety into your workouts.

Support groups

There’s been a rise in the amount of social media support groups lately. It can be a really helpful tool for people to be able to join these groups and get help and chat to professionals. It’s a way to get to know other people who are suffering the same as you, you can offer help and advice and you can also learn from other people. It can help people who struggle to communicate being face to face, they can instead talk about how they feel online. 68% of teenagers claim that social media provides them with support during difficult times.

These support groups are available at pretty much anytime you need them, day or night, you can send an urgent email whenever you feel down and there should be a response straight away. It could be a case of the individual suffering might not be able to travel, or they might not be physically fit to go to one to one talks, which is why online support groups are the best option. They’re more anonymous, not many people like to share their identity and express their issues, they could have anxiety, feel embarrassed or be worried about the stigma their issue will get. Being anonymous means that the person can talk about whatever is bothering them without having the fear of everyone finding out, which puts your mind at ease and helps you feel more comfortable about how much depth you go into.

Support groups may not be available in some areas. In many cultures, substance use or addiction is frowned upon and unacceptable. Currently, there are 16 countries where even alcohol is illegal, and admitting to alcoholism could get you in legal trouble. This is scary to think that in some places the identity of someone who has a problem with alcohol can land them in serious trouble, which is why having these online support groups for people to talk about their addictions, they can be anonymous, so it’ll be harder to find out who wrote it.

Promoting your work

We all love to talk about all the hard work we do, when we achieve something we are bound to write about it on social media. There is absolutely nothing wrong with that, be proud of the work you’ve done. Promotion is the key when trying to get your work noticed by larger platforms. Very often if you write something perhaps a blog for university or someone you know, you will share that on your profile on Facebook, tweet it, take a picture of the page for Instagram. By posting your pieces on these social media platforms you will get yourself recognised more than if you was just posting it on one. Then what happens with that is people you know start to share it and you get feedback, which gets it out there further. Twitter is great because it is full of many different businesses and you can go hashtag crazy!

Adding images to what you write not just a feature image. This will engage the reader more, because if you think about it most social media platforms always have pictures to go with what they’re saying and people prefer to look at that then reading a 500 word article without pictures. Instagram and Snapchat are based on images, which is why most people prefer to just scroll through or take pictures without having to add text, it’s a quicker and more efficient way of socialising.

If you’re a blogger and you want to get your content out there for others to read, promoting yourself on social media is key and its nothing to be ashamed of. It’s not just good for writing, it’s great for small businesses that have started up and are looking at selling stock. If you get your business out there by sharing it, it will get more people coming to your shop as well as others commenting their friends, it will give you a lot more customers.

I took to a group on Facebook to ask about the positive impacts of social media on mental health and what they think:

Jay Kinsland: ”There are quite a few positive aspects of social media, notably the ability to communicate with people that you’ve known for a long time quickly, but also a way to expand your friend pool and experience different cultures.”

Dannie Williams: There are some fantastic support groups on Facebook and there are some motivational Instagram accounts that share positivity everyday, and people complementing each other on achievements. Even YouTube can have a positive influence.

If you haven’t already be sure to check out: https://www.counsellorwhocares.co.uk/a-few-ways-in-which-social-media-can-negatively-impact-your-mental-health/

https://www.counsellorwhocares.co.uk/

https://www.facebook.com/BeckyCares/

 Student Journalist.