Healthy Social Media Use While Practicing Social Distancing
Be interactive while you’re on social media
As many people settle into new routines that severely limit their ability to see colleagues, friends, and family, they are hopping on social media hoping to revive some of those lost connections. However, one expert warns that if you’re not careful about how you use social media, you could end up feeling less connected and more depressed.
“If you’re already feeling anxious or upset, anything that is problematic offline can perpetuate online,” said Natalie Pennington, a University of Nevada-Las Vegas professor of communication studies. “In my own research, I interviewed people who quit social media. If they were already feeling pretty stressed day-to-day, when they logged on, they saw what they viewed as, ‘These people having this fantastic life, and I’m not. This person has a job and a family, and I don’t have those things.’”
Pennington said these feelings of loneliness or depression generally appear when people log on to social media with the intent to just watch or scroll through their feed and see what’s going on.
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