Avoiding the Negative Effects of “Scrolling”

With over six billion people worldwide currently using smartphones, social media can have a global impact. Social media apps and websites have many positive attributes, like staying connected to loved ones, however it’s important to ask yourself if the time spent scrolling is also having a negative impact on your mental health.

There are several benefits of limiting the time you spend scrolling, including:

  • Improved relationships and reduced feelings of loneliness. Reducing your social media intake can help you nurture your offline relationships.
  • Increase of improved sleep. Not only do you manage to go to bed a little earlier, but less blue-light exposure reduces disruption to your body’s production of melatonin, a hormone responsible for helping us sleep.
  • Improved self-esteem. Social media can cause people to draw comparisons between themselves and others, comparing things like appearance, achievements, financial status or marital status. Limiting or avoiding social media helps to avoid this unhealthy habit.

You can try the following tips to help reducing your scroll-time each day:

  • Replace scrolling with something else. If you don’t have possession of your phone or laptop, you will be less tempted to look at updates. If there are certain times you are more prone to scrolling, make sure you have something else on hand to consume instead, like a book or podcast.
  • Set online boundaries for yourself. It is unrealistic to avoid the news and social media completely, but there are ways to consume it in a healthy way. Set time limits for each app that you use or only allow yourself so much time for scrolling every day.
  • Be mindful of your triggers. If a post feels especially stressful or upsetting, you have the option to unfollow, block or mute that person or account.

Your Employee Assistance Program provides free and confidential assessment and counseling services. If you are interested in learning more about your benefits, call BHS at 800-245-1150 to speak to your dedicated Care Coordinator.