Mental Health, Relationships, Toolkit

Is Facebook Bad For You?

Is Facebook Bad For You?

So much talk recently about social media – internet sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest have crept into every part of our lives. I definitely hear them mentioned in the therapy
office, particularly when people are talking about relationships. Facebook statuses can make or break relationships these days, and things like being tagged in your ex’s photo can be a deal
breaker with your current significant other.

Is Facebook a bad thing, and how can you know if it is causing impairment in your life or relationship? This blog will give you a few simple
things to look for, and some ideas on how to make social media work for you, instead of against you.

I love Facebook – I have two, one that is for friends and family,and one for my therapy practice. Even I have not been immune
to Facebook drama on my personal page – seeing people unfriend one another, check-ins at one place when someone is supposed to be somewhere else, and other things that we
could not have imaged years ago. But here it is. So whether it is Facebook, Twitter, or whatever site you visit, here are some things to ask yourself when deciding how and when to use
them:

Is your use of social media enhancing your relationships, or taking away from them? It is wonderful to keep in touch with old friends or people who live far away. Do you find it is
allowing you to maintain or even expand your circle of friends, or do you notice you are using sites like Facebook instead of real life interaction?

Second, has your use of social media caused problems in your relationship? If so, it’s a good idea to examine what that is about and whether or not it is something you need to adjust.
Real life relationships, as well as relationships with people who do not use social media, have to be maintained as well.

Third, is social media getting in the way of things you should be doing instead? We all know the feeling of logging on for “just a minute,” and then becoming aware that several hours have
passed and our tasks that we have to do are still undone.

If you feel like Facebook or other sites have become a problem for you, there are a few things you can do. One, keep a log of how much you are on these sites. Check it at the end of a week and see how it looks. If it feels excessive, decide what might be more reasonable for you and adjust your usage.

Next, remember to keep a balance of time on and off the computer. Keep up with things you need to do, like work, chores, or homework. Get outside and take a walk, or meet a friend for
coffee. Put your smartphone away for a bit and connect with the non-electronic world.

Finally, remember that Facebook and other sites like it are not inherently bad. It’s the way we use them and the effect they have on our lives or relationships that can be problematic.
So take a look at the time you spend and what you do there. If things are in balance and it’s not causing you or your loved ones any difficulty, then enjoy yourself!

Thanks so much for reading, and I welcome your comments below.

Video with this material here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0GHxymLtELk

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