Everybody has their own opinions about social media. On one side, you get people that say Facebook is the devil and it creates loneliness and depression, but on the other side, some people argue that social media brings people together from across the world and strengthens connections.
Now, I believe the positives outweigh the negatives when it comes to social networks. We’re able to connect with long lost friends and family, and we don’t lose touch with the people in our lives. But the thing is, you can’t live your life around social media. Facebook, Snapchat and all other social networks are great for staying in contact with people, but it can’t replace person to person, physical relationships.
I want to talk to you about the importance of socializing face to face and having strong friendships, because I think it’s way too easy to get caught up in the social media friendships and interactions.
There’s actual research that proves meeting up with friends once a week does as much good for your health as quitting a pack a day smoking habit or taking beta blockers. Nobody really talks about this, but having a poker night once a week or meeting up with some friends once a week at your favorite restaurant is incredibly beneficial for your mental health, and can actually extend your life!
In fact, the University of California did a study and found that women with breast cancer are four times more likely to recover successfully if they have a strong connection with a supportive group of friends and family.
This isn’t some hippie mumbo-jumbo either, it goes all the way down to the genetic level. Social interaction actually activates the genes in your body that helps your immune system fight against diseases.
So where does social media play into this? Well, I think it’s a great way to connect with friends, and to make plans for physically meeting up and spending time with your friends. It’s a great way to keep friends and family that don’t necessarily live near you to be connected in your life. But if social media is consuming your life, it’s actually taking away from opportunities to make real connections with people, and to be able to socialize.
It’s a balance game, so I want to warn you about spending too much time scrolling through your feeds. I think it’s ok to spend time on social media, but the end result of social media needs to be real life, in person connections. The more friends that you spend time around, the more health benefits you will get, and having lots of friends on social media isn’t a replacement for actual friendships.
How do you beat loneliness?