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Youth, Social Media, and Mental Health

Spending more than 3 hours on social media per day puts adolescents at a higher risk for mental health problems. Eighth graders who spend over 10 hours on social media per week are 56% more likely to report being unhappy than those who spend less time on social media.

Social media has become ingrained in our daily lives, from checking Instagram in the morning to scrolling through TikTok at night. While social media has its perks of keeping us connected and entertained, it can also negatively impact our mental health and self-esteem if we’re not careful, especially in youth and young adults. In this blog post, we’ll go over some tips and tricks for maintaining a healthy relationship with social media.

Set boundaries: It’s important to set boundaries with social media usage. Decide what times of day you’re going to allow yourself to check your phone or log on to your apps. It’s also helpful to limit how much time you’re spending on social media each day, so it doesn’t consume too much of your time.

Unfollow accounts that don’t serve you: If you’re following accounts that make you feel bad about yourself or trigger negative emotions, it’s time to unfollow them. Keep your social media feed positive and uplifting by following accounts that inspire and motivate you.

Take breaks: It’s okay to take a break from social media every once in a while. This can be for an hour, a day, or even a week. Use this time to focus on yourself and your mental health, without worrying about likes and comments.

Don’t compare yourself to others: It’s easy to fall into the comparison trap when scrolling through social media. Remember that people only show the highlights of their lives on social media, not the struggles. Don’t compare yourself to others and focus on your own journey.

Practice self-care: It’s important to take care of yourself when using social media. This could be through meditation, exercise, or spending time with loved ones. Prioritize your own well-being and don’t let social media take away from that.

Having a healthy relationship with social media is all about finding balance and setting boundaries. By implementing these tips and tricks, you can use social media in a positive way without letting it negatively impact your mental health. Remember to prioritize self-care and don’t fall into the comparison trap. With a little bit of work, you can have a healthy and fulfilling relationship with social media.

Are you a youth looking for help regarding your mental wellness? The YMCA of Simcoe/Muskoka has free programs designed to teach skills to help you deal with stress and anxiety, as well as programs to help you transition through difficult times in your life. For more information and to register for our Y Mind or Youth Transitions Programs, please visit us at:

Y Mind Youth Mental Wellness Program:

Youth Transitions Program:




Clark, M. (2020, November 12). 40+ Frightening Social Media and Mental Health Statistics — Etactics. Etactics | Revenue Cycle Software.

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