At this stage in our lives, most of us recognize that phone addictions exist. We also may know, or at least feel, like we might have one. Phones can typically keep track of how many hours they’re used. If that number is more than 2+ hours every day on average and not just for work, chances are you’re already struggling with one.
Phone addiction itself can be a problem:
- It interferes with relationships.
- It makes it more difficult for us to reach our goals.
- It can make life more stressful.
- It can take away our sleep.
But that alone is only part of the problem. The actions that you’re taking on your phone can also create challenges. Especially, if you’re like most people, a considerable chunk of that time is being spent on social media.
What Social Media Can Do to Your Mental Health
Social media is immensely damaging to our mental health. While its aims to keep people connected are admirable and have their place, social media itself is essentially designed around behaviors that increase mental health challenges, such as:
- Anxiety – Posting something creates anxiety over the frequency of interactions, and can also cause you to feel anxiety about yourself and others.
- Depression – Many people find they compare their lives to others based on what they see in the other person’s social media posts.
- Obsessive Compulsive Disorder – While social media isn’t necessarily a sign of OCD, it does have elements that resemble OCD, such as obsessive thoughts and checking behavior (for example, checking back to see if someone liked a post).
Another issue that comes up is perfectionism. When we post something publicly, especially if it is about ourselves, it is not uncommon to feel like everything has to be perfect. We have to look perfect. We have to sound perfect. We also measure ourselves (intentionally or unintentionally) and set our worth based on the interactions and feedback we receive from what we post. We also view what others put out there, and subconsciously compare ourselves to what others are posting.
Seeing Phone Addiction as a Mental Health Issue
Phone addiction may not sound like something that is treated by a therapist. But phone addiction itself is still an addiction, and the effects of that addiction (including perfectionism, depression, anxiety, and more) are all mental health issues that benefit from psychological treatment.
At Flourish Psychology, we are here to support your overall wellness and help you become and embrace the person you are in a way that is healthier and happier. If you would like to learn more about our therapy for perfectionism, addiction, and more, please contact our team today. We are based in Brooklyn and NYC, but licensed to provide therapy in more than 30 states.