Are There Health Benefits to Using Social Media?

I’m sure by now we’ve all heard about the studies discussing the negative aspects of social media. As great as connecting on our favorite social media sites can feel (especially when we get a ton of likes on a particular post), there are unfortunately many downsides to this relatively new area of our lives. These studies have revealed increasing feelings of stress, depression, and isolation as our reliance on social media has risen within the past few years. It may sound ironic to learn that platforms designed to connect us can actually make us feel farther apart, but it is somewhat true. However, before I make you feel too guilty for checking your profile for the tenth time today, I’ll also mention that there are some positive aspects of social media. 

Helping the Elderly Stay Connected

Surprisingly enough, it turns out that social media may be helping out the elderly much more than the young millenials it was originally designed for. People who have reached retirement age and have seen their kids leave the nest often have trouble connecting with the world and finding reasons to engage with it. This is only more true if they have experienced the loss of a spouse or life partner, or if they’re dealing with a chronic illness which limits their ability to leave their place of residence. Elderly people who remain somewhat active on social media report a higher sense of purpose and identity, and don’t feel as cut off from the rest of society. On a personal note, I know this was certainly true for my grandfather after my grandmother passed away; you may find social media can help a grieving loved one as well. 

Allowing Those With Chronic Illnesses to Reach Out

Even if you’re not of an elderly age, if you’re experiencing a chronic illness, it’s easy to feel alone and shut off from society. Fortunately, social media tends to provide a safe space for people with similar health issues to connect and share their experiences, which can really help make management of the illness at least a little bit easier.

Positivity Breeds Positivity

One of the key reasons why social media can be so damaging to our health is because so many of us feel it’s a great outlet for negativity. If you’re scrolling through your feed looking at angry rants, dramatic and passive-aggressive statuses, and complaints, this will of course take a toll on your overall mood. Focus on staying positive and grateful for a better experience, online and offline.

Twitter is Old: Tweeting @Lascaux by Mike Licht is licensed under CC BY 4.0

This article is made available for general, entertainment and educational purposes only. The opinions expressed herein do not necessarily reflect those of The Joint Corp (or its franchisees and affiliates). You should always seek the advice of a licensed healthcare professional.