** Eden College BCL committee suspended after infighting ** Bangladesh champions of ICC Women's T20 World Cup Qualifier 2022 ** WHO recommendations need to be implemented to fight dengue before it takes an alarming turn ** 15 hurt in BCL infighting at Eden College ** Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) organised a meeting at Badda in the capital on Sunday, protesting attacks on its leaders and activists. Wooden sticks have been seen in the hands of many BNP activists during the meeting. NN photo ** Traders display a 'Raja Ilish' weighing three kg was caught in the fishing net of a trawler named FB Shahid in Kochikhali area, Barguna, of Bay of Bengal on Sunday. NN photo ** Karatoya trawler capsize: Death toll rises to 24 ** GK Shamim, 7 others get life term in arms case ** BCL infighting at Eden College: Vice-president hurt ** Evaly another example of fraud business ** Thousands of people marched through Iran's capital during a pro-hijab rally Saturday, paying tribute to security forces who have moved to quell a week of protests by what media called 'conspirators'. Agency photo ** Two of family killed in Dinajpur road crash ** Tigresses book ticket to T20 World Cup 2023 beating Thailand ** Secret killings and forced disappearances were far too many that they call for an impartial probe under UN ** Bangladesh reports another Covid death, positivity rate rises to 15.38% ** Missing Khulna woman found dead in Mymensingh, says family ** Police-BNP clash in Munshiganj: Injured Jubo Dal man dies at DMCH ** Over 1,300 arrests in Russia anti-mobilization protests ** Islam has not given anybody right to enforce dress code on women ** Chowdhury Abdullah Al Mamun made new IGP ** SAFF champion says money was stolen from luggage at Dhaka airport ** PM Hasina invites US president to visit Bangladesh ** Global Covid cases near 619 million ** City greets BD Women, champs in SAFF Women's Championship ** Police-BNP clash leaves 90 injured at Munshiganj **

Quitting social media may improve your mental health

25 August 2022
Quitting social media may improve your mental health

Suzanne Degges-White, PhD :
Social media is a powerful force that can spread both positive and negative messages instantly. Public figures have "larger than life" images, and social media sites empower fans or anti-fans to weigh in on all aspects of a public figure's life. While there's a saying that "any press is good press," that doesn't hold with social media. Hurtful comments, threats, and criticism shared through social media can take a toll on mental health.
Few of us enjoy negative feedback or criticism of our choices, so imagine how it must feel to be a public figure who doesn't get just one critical remark about a decision but hundreds of thousands of people weighing in with insults or disrespectful remarks.
When Simone Biles and Naomi Osaka stepped back from athletic competition to support their mental health, they also stepped back from social media. While social media can be a positive force that allows for broad communication levels, it can also be negative. When we make a decision that puts our mental health ahead of what others expect of us, the blowback on social media can be highly damaging.
Is social media a "bad" thing?
Sites such as TikTok, Twitter, and Instagram are designed to draw people down a spiral of content. When you start following a thread, you're enticed to branch off into deeper threads, and you can lose hours of your day without even realizing it. We sometimes forget that the developers of these sites create algorithms that feed us what we want to be fed.
This suggests that we need to be careful where our surfing leads us-and indicates that we need to limit the power of the spiral to draw us in. Social media sites should have a "Surf at your own risk" sign to help us remember that there are rip tides and undertows that may try to drag us out further than is good for us.
The danger of social media often lies in its anonymity. When no one has to "sign their name" or prove their legitimacy to post a comment, people can post comments that they would never voice in public. Without the "rails of responsibility" to shape their words, people can make hurtful, harmful, and abusive comments about others online.
Why do people follow social media if it's not good for them?
Social media sites can become a process or behavioral addiction versus a substance addiction. The same part of the brain lights up when we see a "like" or a new "follow" on our feed that lights up when addicts get a hit of their substance of choice. The "likes" and "follows" give us a sense of validation-it's like getting a high five or a compliment from someone that matters. The more we get these signs of validation and approval, the harder we work for them and the greater our need for them.
Social media can provide a great opportunity to explore the lives of others, engage in some self-assessment, and share your thoughts and experiences and advice or reviews. However, when you find yourself spending excessive amounts of time trawling the site for positive feedback or going deeper down rabbit holes, spending too much time in "upward comparison," or experiencing excessive amounts of FOMO (fear of missing out), it may time to rein in your wanderings and focus on the people around you IRT (in real-time).
Benefits of Cutting Down on Social Media Time
You'll also realize some health benefits by cutting your time on social media. Sleep quality is likely to improve-you're not exposing yourself to the unhealthy light from your screen, but you're also going to have less worrisome thoughts at night as you won't be focused so much on what others have or do. The anxiety caused by comparing yourself to others will decrease, so you'll sleep better at night and feel better during the day.
Depression has been associated with the overuse of social media, so limiting media time may increase your mood. And when you're not constantly comparing your accomplishments to others, you will take more satisfaction in what you have done in your life. You'll also have more time to spend with other people and develop deeper relationships with the people in your life.

(Suzanne Degges-White is a licensed counselor and professor at Northern Illinois University).

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