Back to Top Skip to main content

It's complicated: Our relationship with social media

An Army health care provider loads the T2 Mood Tracker mobile app on a mobile device for a demonstration for his patients. (DoD photo) An Army health care provider loads the T2 Mood Tracker mobile app on a mobile device for a demonstration for his patients. (DoD photo)

Recommended Content:

Mental Health Care | Connected Health

For many, the post-holiday season is a challenging, emotional time. Scrolling through social media posts about the perfect gift or holiday celebration may intensify negative feelings, especially for those struggling with depression, loss, or loneliness.

Impact of Social Media on our Mental Health

It’s true that social media can help connect and reconnect people; however, it may increase feelings of isolation or remind people of what they don’t have.

Because all seems merry and bright on social media, we may be tempted to compare ourselves (unfavorably) with those we perceive have more accomplishments, make more money, have nicer belongings, or boast more social media followers. When you find yourself envious of others, and feel jealous or inferior, you are most likely experiencing a negative social comparison.

Social Media Pros and Cons

Researchers discovered that social networking sites such as Facebook have psychological benefits like connection, communication, and a sense of belonging. However, several studies indicate that prolonged use of the internet might be associated with signs and symptoms of depression and low self-esteem and loneliness.

So, what’s a poor social media user to do? There are ways to navigate tricky post-holiday times. The key is awareness.

Limit Social Media Influence on Mood

As mentioned earlier, there are circumstances when social media can help with the blues. However, for those who are vulnerable to negative social comparison, they should take steps to protect themselves. Here are a few recommendations:

  • Notice when exposure to others’ happiness brings you down. Use the free T2 Mood Tracker mobile app (Android, iOS) to see if your moods change with certain activities (such as using social media).
  • Limit social media use if you see that it affects your mood. Take a break — you’ll have plenty of time to catch up.
  • Talk with a trusted friend about your feelings. Reality checks with peers about their experiences over the holidays can also help; it’s likely that others had similar challenges.
  • Manage stress by getting enough sleep and exercise. Also, watch what you eat and how much you drink — a bad diet and too much alcohol can negatively affect your mood.
  • Manage your expectations. During the holidays, you saw lots of advertising and other media that implied all holiday moments should be glorious and beautiful. Remind yourself that these ads are elaborate productions and often don’t reflect reality. It’s OK if your events didn’t mimic them.
  • Plan a pleasant activity that is do-able. Walk on a trail, take a bubble bath or visit with a friend. After you return to social media, you may decide to post photos from your activity. If you need suggestions, try the free Positive Activity Jackpot mobile app for Android.

You also may be interested in...

Warrior Care Month puts a spotlight on the inTransition Program

Article
11/25/2020
Two women in an office, talking

inTransition supports service members and veterans who want to get connected to mental health care in their area.

Recommended Content:

November Toolkit | Warrior Care Month | Mental Health Care

WRNMMC displays the “Art of Healing” through December

Article
11/13/2020
Woman wearing mask, standing in front of several paintings

[T]he main focus of the exhibit was the art on display, and the artists behind it.

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness | Mental Health Care

Military Health podcasts provide resources for patients and providers

Article
11/6/2020
Hands holding a smartphone with the Living Beyond Pain podcast playing on the device.

Podcasts have become an increasingly popular way of getting information.

Recommended Content:

Technology | Pain Management | Connected Health

DHA AI 1020.01: Reasonable Accommodations (RA)

Policy

This Defense Health Agency-Administrative Instruction (DHA-AI), based on the authority of References (a) through (c), and in accordance with the guidance of References (d) through (s), establishes the Defense Health Agency's (DHA) procedures to: a. Set procedures, responsibilities, and implement guidance for administering the DHA RA Program in accordance with federal guidelines. b. Provide, submit, and respond to requests for RAs of qualified individuals with disabilities who are employees or applicants for employment. c. Process RA requests for DHA employees and applicants with disabilities to ensure an appropriate response in a timely manner. Further, these procedures establish criteria for collecting and annually reporting data on the numbers and types of request for RA considered.

‘I am Navy Medicine’ – helping another in need - Hospitalman Grace Pridmore of NMRTC Bremerton

Article
10/7/2020
Corpsman conviction of care, compassion and competence…Hospitalman Grace Pridmore, from Kellyville, Okla., assigned to Navy Medicine Readiness and Training Command (NMRTC) Bremerton Detachment Puget Sound Naval Shipyard (PSNS), was acknowledged for her selfless effort by Capt. Shannon J. Johnson, NMRTC Bremerton commanding officer, for identifying another Sailor at risk and taking quick action to help get the Sailor to the appropriate level of care, very possibly saving a life (official Navy photo by Douglas H Stutz, NHB/NMRTC Bremerton public affairs officer).

It takes more than just awareness to respond to someone showing signs of distress.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | Mental Health Care | Mental Wellness

Easy steps to understanding & thwarting depression during COVID-19

Article
9/30/2020
Five people sitting on yoga mats outside in the grass

Learning self-care strategies can help you take charge of your life and improve your mental and physical health.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | Mental Health Care | Depression

Real Warriors provides suicide prevention tools for all beneficiaries

Article
9/29/2020
Sunset light creates silhouette of two military personnel

Real Warriors supports the DHA’s Psychological Health Center of Excellence in its mission to break the stigma associated with psychological health concerns.

Recommended Content:

Mental Health Care | Suicide Prevention | September Toolkit

Army Sgt. Maj. implores others to seek help for suicide ideation

Article
9/28/2020
McGrath in uniform with his family

The support [McGrath] received was opposite from what he thought it would be.

Recommended Content:

Mental Health Care | Suicide Prevention | September Toolkit

Who’s got YOUR six?

Article
9/25/2020
Military husband hugging his wife

Social support is critical for performance and well-being, but your vast sources of support might not be fully obvious.

Recommended Content:

Mental Health Care | Combat Support

Fort Campbell soldiers shine light on suicide prevention

Article
9/22/2020
Woman wearing a mask, hugging her daughter

Annual walk hosted by BACH offers hope

Recommended Content:

Mental Health Care | Suicide Prevention | September Toolkit

Provider Resilience Self Care Guide

Publication
9/17/2020

Tips and recommendations for health care providers on self-care to promote resilience and reduce stress.

Recommended Content:

Connected Health

Provider Resilience Toolkit Overview

Publication
9/17/2020

Overview of the digital health resources and tools available from the Defense Health Agency supporting provider resilience.

Recommended Content:

Connected Health

PREVENTS aimed at reducing Service Member and Veteran suicide

Article
9/9/2020
Group of airmen hugging each other

In our nation, suicide has increased by 33% over the last 25 years across all demographics.

Recommended Content:

Suicide Prevention | Mental Health Care | Warrior Care | September Toolkit | Total Force Fitness

Suicide Prevention Month: A message from CSM Michael Gragg

Video
9/3/2020
Suicide Prevention Month: A message from CSM Michael Gragg

Suicide Prevention Month: A message from CSM Michael Gragg

Recommended Content:

Suicide Prevention | Mental Health Care | September Toolkit

Suicide Awareness Month PSA 2020

Video
8/21/2020
Suicide Awareness Month PSA 2020

Video from the Co-Founder of Team Rubicon explaining why it is important for them to help veterans explore their options for mental health care.

Recommended Content:

Mental Health Care | Suicide Prevention | September Toolkit
<< < 1 2 3 4 5  ... > >> 
Showing results 1 - 15 Page 1 of 8

DHA Address: 7700 Arlington Boulevard | Suite 5101 | Falls Church, VA | 22042-5101

Some documents are presented in Portable Document Format (PDF). A PDF reader is required for viewing. Download a PDF Reader or learn more about PDFs.