It seems that every day there is more and more news about the dangers of technology for people, especially younger children. This is even more true when talking about social media such as Instagram, Facebook, and Snapchat. From social isolation, addiction, and more, it’s true that technology can pose a serious threat if it isn’t used correctly and in moderation. The reverse is also true, though.
Technology can have positive effects on us, even making us happier than we thought possible. While the Internet can cause anxiety, depression, and loneliness, it can also bring connectedness, support, and encouragement. The Internet can provide a lot of advice about mental health but be sure to double-check with a professional before believing anything you read online.
Misinformation is everywhere and can be harmful. Technology is wonderful, but you have to learn how to use it in a healthy manner.
Stay Connected with Friends
Unless you’re living on a college campus, it’s unlikely all your friends live in the same vicinity as you. Even if you’re in college, you likely still have family members living in cities, states, or even countries away from you. Before the Internet, you could only stay connected through a phone call or writing a letter and sending it by mail.
Communicating took much longer back then. Now, you’re able to get a hold of your friends and family with a simple text, Facebook message, or video chat. Staying connected is easier than ever, and your mental health depends on your ability to have meaningful relationships with other human beings.
Playing your favorite music can boost your mood instantly. In the past, you needed to carry around a radio to be able to listen, but now you can throw on some headphones and listen with your phone no matter where you are. You can even download songs for when there’s no Internet connection. Music is relaxing, takes away stress, and has lots of mental health benefits.
Because of technology, you can now download a variety of apps that were created specifically for mental health. Some apps let you track your moods, while others serve as a type of journal.
Some are built to help you meditate, while others attempt to calm you down during a panic attack. Such apps are helpful when you’re alone, it’s the middle of the night, or you don’t have a therapist or friends and family around to help you.
With apps like Youtube, TikTok, and Instagram, your creative options are endless. You can share your passions with the world, like singing, painting, or being a comedian. The great thing about these apps is that you’re able to connect with others all around the world.
Creativity promotes good mental health because it reduces stress, gives you a sense of self-worth, boosts feelings of happiness, and lessens anxiety. It’s satisfying to make something completely new all by yourself. With all the advancements in technology, the creative options are now endless.
Learn New Skills
Have you ever wanted to learn guitar? Maybe you’ve wanted to learn how to bake or cook. Now, learning new skills and gaining new hobbies is always possible. Simply download an app, open a video on YouTube, or watch a quick tutorial on TikTok. It’s so much easier these days to pick up a new skill thanks to technological advances.
The key to being happy isn’t using technology, but it can certainly help. The most important thing to remember is to use it sparingly. If you find yourself becoming anxious, depressed, or lonely, consider that your use of the Internet or social media may be to blame.
If it does seem to be the cause, try taking some time away. Even a few days can help your mind get the reset it needs. Use technology to your advantage by only engaging in material that is uplifting and only connecting with other people who make you feel good about yourself.
While it’s true that technology can make you happier, that doesn’t mean you should try to use it more. In fact, if you already feel happy with how much you’re using it, there’s no need to increase your consumption. It’s all about knowing your personal limits, setting up boundaries, and developing a healthy relationship with the technology that’s all around us.