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Taylor Burton May 1, 2024 8:41:00 AM 6 min read

Social Media and Mental Health

Did you know that May is Mental Health Awareness Month? To acknowledge this, Raising the Bar will be covering topics related to mental health all month long. After all, mental health issues are deep-rooted in the stressful career of law. It's vital to cultivate an awareness of these issues while simultaneously tearing down the stigma that surrounds them. With each passing year, society improves in acknowledging the mental health crisis. Let's keep the conversation going.

One issue that has been at the forefront lately is social media. As a lawyer, your taxing job is no doubt one of the biggest stressors in your life--but don't let social media sneak up on you. It may keep us connected and entertained, but it has a dark side, too. Let's explore the connection between our mental health and social media together; both the positive and negative.

Be sure to follow PBI's social media on LinkedIn, Facebook, and X so you never miss a post! Our only goal is to bring you stress-free compliance, so you have one less task weighing on your mental to-do list.


Pretty young girl holding a phone with social media icons in abstract cloud


Social media may get a bad rap, but we can't deny the good it has brought into our lives. It has connected us like never before. Websites such as Facebook and Instagram can help us stay in touch with distant family and friends. You can easily find support groups and bond with people who are facing the same struggles as you. "Online friends," once eyed with suspicion, have become commonplace.

And yet, these connections can sometimes feel translucent due to the fact that they cannot replace real human connection. A screen means nothing to your brain. It is in-person connection that speaks to it, triggering hormones that make you feel happier and less stressed. Social media cannot replace real-life interactions and socialization. Those who attempt to utilize it in this manner will quickly find themselves feeling isolated, lonely, and depressed.

Do not become dependent on social media; use it as a tool to connect with people in your area! It's a great way to seek out volunteer opportunities, exciting local events, or learn about a new hobby from others. If you have a small business, it's a great way to promote yourself and be seen. Let this exciting technology, which has connected us like never before, enhance your life rather than consume it.


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Social media hasn't been around long in the grand scheme of things, but with each passing year, more and more studies show how overconsumption can negatively affect our mental health. If any of this sounds relatable, it might be time for a screen break.

Many of us use social media to highlight the bigger events in our lives. Major life updates, exciting vacations, delicious meals, new opportunities...the day-to-day monotony we all experience does not usually make the cut in becoming a social media post. However, when you are constantly fed these highlights from everyone on your friends list, it can feel like your life isn't measuring up. You might experience FOMO (fear of missing out), feel like nothing ever works out for you, or feel a general sense of dissatisfaction.

At times like this, it's best to remember that everyone experiences high and lows. Your friends and family might prefer to keep mum about their struggles, while eagerly sharing their achievements. If you ever start to feel down, remind yourself of this fact. Then follow it up with a little practice in gratitude. Make a list of what you have to be thankful for, or future events that you are looking forward to. And don't ever be afraid to step away from social media when it's only serving to drag you down.




When you think of the word "addiction," it might bring to mind substances such as drugs, alcohol, caffeine, or even sugar. However, social media addictions are very real. Apps such as TikTok are especially designed to be addictive. They learn what you like, refine their algorithm to appeal to you, and then provide you with a constant stream of entertainment. Swipe, swipe, swipe. With each little hit of dopamine, you'll keep coming back for more. Even the ads you see are picked out just for you, in hopes of making a profit from your addiction.

Sometimes we can get stuck "doomscrolling." This is when you spend way too much time paging through news or posts that make you feel upset, anxious, or angry. Try not to get stuck in this cycle! Nothing good can come from it--only anxiety and depression. If you find that social media is easily able to sway your mood, you might have a problem that needs addressing.

A social media addiction can also cause shortened attention spans and a loss of empathy. Disturbingly, we've seen this present itself more and more in our youth. Social media addiction is a scary thing to have when your brain is still developing. It acclimates the brain to constant stimulation. Many are finding themselves unable to cope with boredom. Just look at the number of drivers you see on the road today, looking down at their phones instead of focusing on the road ahead.

Not to mention bullying, which is forever a problem that schools are fighting back against, can easily follow children home if they have a social media account and take the form of cyberbullying. The dangers of social media can present themselves in so many different ways and be especially detrimental to our youth.

Despite this, studies have found that up to 95% of teenagers are on social media, with 1/3 of them reporting they use social media "almost constantly." Adolescents who spend more than 3 hours a day on social media face double the risk of mental health problems. The link between social media and our mental health--especially among children--must be taken seriously.


Portrait of young woman suffering from loneliness

If you'd like to improve the relationship between your mental health and social media, there are several actions you can take...

Go cold turkey and delete your socials! Many people claim deleting their social media was one of the best things they ever did for their mental health. If your online life is weighing you down considerably, this might be the best course of action.

If severing these connections does not appeal to you, then everything in moderation. Start tracking your screen time and limit yourself to no more than two hours per day.

Don't want to do either of those things? Then simply police yourself. Stay off websites that cause negative emotions. If X constantly bombards you with opinions that raise your blood pressure, stay away from it! If you have children, keep them protected from the negative effects of social media. Monitor their usage and discuss the risks because sadly, it can be a matter of life and death.


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Remember, if you're struggling with your mental health, help is always available. Lawyers Concerned for Lawyers offers a confidential helpline and provides assistance for lawyers struggling with mental health, stress, addiction, and other common afflictions. Don't ever hesitate to reach out.