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Influence of Social Media on Mental Well-being

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During the latest “Treasury Talks” session, hosted by Hayley and Duncan on X Spaces, our panel discussed the effects of social media on mental health. The discussion featured insights from Lewis Finn of the UK Mental Health Collective and Daniel Schaffer along with Mike Norton from Solve Care, each providing their own unique perspectives on the complexities of social media’s impact on our psychological state.

Key Discussion Points and Insights

Hayley set the stage by addressing the omnipresence of social media in both personal and professional realms, posing critical questions about its impact on mental wellness. The discourse then shifted to specific issues, such as the anxiety driven by constant exposure to idealized portrayals of life, the psychological toll of market volatility discussed by Daniel and Mike, and the therapeutic potential of community spaces highlighted by Lewis.

Lewis shared his journey and the founding of the Mental Health Collective, emphasizing the value of peer support and community in combating loneliness and isolation exacerbated by digital interactions. He discussed the initiative to create non-judgmental spaces where individuals can share their mental health struggles openly so that other listeners can see they are not alone in their experiences.

Daniel and Mike brought a tech-oriented perspective, discussing the dual-edged sword of blockchain and crypto spaces on mental health. They noted that while technology offers unprecedented opportunities for connectivity and support, it also introduces new stresses, particularly through the volatile nature of cryptocurrency markets which can significantly impact one’s mental state,

Challenges Posed by Social Media

The speakers unanimously agreed that while social media serves as a bridge to connect with others across the globe, it often becomes a source of stress and anxiety. This is due to the relentless pressure to compare oneself to often unrealistic standards that are set by others’ curated online personas. Lewis pointed out the rarity of authenticity in social media spaces, where extreme experiences often tend to dominate, overshadowing the mundane yet genuine aspects of the average persons daily life.

Practical Advice and Coping Strategies

disconnnecting social media reconnecting lifeTo mitigate negative impacts, the panelists recommended practical strategies such as digital detoxes, which involve “putting away the devices” for certain periods to help break the cycle of continuous digital engagement. They also suggested setting strict boundaries around social media use, such as allocating specific times of day for checking social media platforms, to avoid its disruptive effects on daily life and sleep.

Further, they advised engaging in real-life activities, such as exercise or spending time with friends and family. These activities not only strengthen physical and emotional health but also help maintain a healthy balance between digital and real-world interactions.

Hayley and Duncan emphasized the importance of awareness and intentional consumption of content to avoid the pitfalls of social media’s addictive nature. They advocated for actively choosing which accounts and types of content to engage with, recommending that users follow accounts that inspire and uplift, while avoiding those that exacerbate stress or unhappiness.

Future Perspectives and Continuing Dialogue

Looking forward, the speakers speculated on the evolving landscape of social media, expressing hope for platforms that prioritize user well-being and foster genuine connections rather than superficial interactions. The need for ongoing dialogue and education on navigating social media responsibly was highlighted as essential for future generations.

Conclusion

The “Treasury Talks” session provided a comprehensive exploration of social media’s impact on mental health, through a blend of personal anecdotes, expert analysis, and practical advice. It underscored the importance of community, authenticity, and mindful engagement in digital spaces to safeguard mental well-being.

Find out more about our speakers

Lewis Finn – UK Mental Health Collective: Twitter / X / Website
Daniel Schaffer, Mike Norton – Solve Care: Twitter / X / Website

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