Image of a person looking at social media on their phone and appearing sad
Image of a person looking at social media on their phone and appearing sad

May 23, 2024

Social Media: Connection, Confusion, or Overwhelm?

The Socials: TikTok, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter (aka X), Discord, Reddit…the list goes on. If you have an iPhone take a look at your screen time data, how much social media content are you consuming? Your social media usage may or may not come as a shock, but the news media is reporting that most of us are consuming hours of social media per day. Have you ever found yourself doom scrolling for a while, maybe more than a while, and realized how you have been affected by the content you viewed? The thing is we often don’t pause and reflect on how our consumption of social media is having an impact on us.


Connection

Social media can result in a positive impact if it leads to meaningful connection with others. I have met people on Discord and Reddit who are now my friends. Connecting with these people has been positive because we have stayed in touch and over time have built up friendships. I have worked with patients who have found others on socials, made connections, and nurtured connections. Meaningful connection can be a positive outcome of the social media space!


Confusion

In reality, social media usage often leads to confusion. There is a huge amount of information on socials that isn’t accurate, is misleading, and troubling. Focusing on mental health related content, there is information about disorders with names you may know, and you may think I have this disorder due to a “if you have this (checklist), then you have this (disorder or struggle).” Or maybe you have come to believe that she/he is a narcissist, or borderline, and that explains things. It doesn’t. Self-diagnosis isn’t helpful, it doesn’t help you get an actual assessment, treatment, or intervention. Pseudo-diagnosing others doesn’t help either. If you believe OK I definitely have this diagnosis or she/he does, now what? The social media content doesn’t lead you anywhere; it leaves you confused and distressed.


Overwhelm

Another troubling outcome of frequent social media use is overwhelm. As you take in more and more content and come to believe that everyday struggles mean you have a mental health disorder, you get caught in a trap where you become more and more stressed and concerned. Let’s not forget about the “benign” videos showing a random person’s crafted content. You think wow they have their life together, their body is perfect, they have friends and followers, or they have so much confidence. Then your mind jumps to making lots of comparisons, and comparing ourselves to others usually makes us feel worse about ourselves. You can easily reach a point of great emotional dysregulation, resulting in feelings of being overwhelmed.


You can break free from the social media cycle of confusion, upset, and overwhelm. I invite you to take a pause and notice what is going on. What are the thoughts, feelings, and concerns that you have? Do you want to actively address what is troubling you? If so, therapy can be a safe and supportive space for you to explore what is challenging and what you might want to change. Hit the start free consultation button and we can set up a time to talk.

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Lauren Miller Therapy

14583 Big Basin Way Suite 2B, Saratoga, CA 95070
(408) 409-5419
lauren@laurenmillertherapy.com

Lauren A. Miller provides individual therapy to children and adults across California, serving the communities of Saratoga, Los Gatos, Campbell, Monte Sereno, San Jose, Santa Clara, Sunnyvale, Los Altos, Mountain View, and Palo Alto. Lauren provides telehealth therapy to residents in Idaho.

©2024 Lauren Miller

Lauren Miller Therapy

14583 Big Basin Way Suite 2B, Saratoga, CA 95070
(408) 409-5419
lauren@laurenmillertherapy.com

Lauren A. Miller provides individual therapy to children and adults across California, serving the communities of Saratoga, Los Gatos, Campbell, Monte Sereno, San Jose, Santa Clara, Sunnyvale, Los Altos, Mountain View, and Palo Alto. Lauren provides telehealth therapy to residents in Idaho.

©2024 Lauren Miller

Lauren Miller Therapy

14583 Big Basin Way Suite 2B, Saratoga, CA 95070
(408) 409-5419
lauren@laurenmillertherapy.com

Lauren A. Miller provides individual therapy to children and adults across California, serving the communities of Saratoga, Los Gatos, Campbell, Monte Sereno, San Jose, Santa Clara, Sunnyvale, Los Altos, Mountain View, and Palo Alto. Lauren provides telehealth therapy to residents in Idaho.

©2024 Lauren Miller