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...

Smartphone Apps for Psychological Health: A Brief State of the Science Review

Publication
5/14/2019

In this brief state of the science review, we provide a synopsis of the literature on psychological health mobile applications (apps) and discuss the impact of mobile technology on psychological health practice. We describe the variety of psychological health app uses from self-management, skills training, and supportive care to symptom tracking and data collection; and we summarize the current evidence for the efficacy and effectiveness of psychological health apps. Finally, we offer some pragmatic suggestions for evaluating psychological health apps for quality and clinical utility.

Recommended Content:

Technology | Connected Health

Cultural Considerations in Using Mobile Health in Clinical Care With Military and Veteran Populations

Publication
5/14/2019

Traditional cultural models typically address factors like ethnicity, language, and race as important concerns pertaining to treatment efficacy, but over the years, professionals have expanded the focus to include gender, sexual orientation, age, socioeconomic status, and other aspects of identity and experience, including military cultural issues. As the integration of mobile health increases in clinical care, another important cultural factor that can impact care is technological culture. Differences in perception of technological competence by patient and provider can impact the provider’s ability to effectively connect with the patient and fully leverage tools to support evidence-based treatment.

Recommended Content:

Technology | Connected Health

Mobile Applications for Client Use: Ethical and Legal Considerations

Publication
5/14/2019

Mobile applications (apps) to support behavioral health are increasing in number and are recommended frequently by medical providers in a variety of settings. As with the use of any adjunct tool in therapy, psychologists adopting new technologies in clinical practice must comply with relevant professional ethics codes and legal standards. However, emerging technologies can outpace regulations regarding their use, presenting novel ethical considerations. Therefore, it is incumbent upon providers to extrapolate current ethical standards and laws to new technologies before they recommend them as adjuncts to face-to-face treatment. This article identifies best practices for incorporating apps into treatment, including competence in the use of smartphones in general and familiarity with the specific apps recommended.

Recommended Content:

Technology | Connected Health

Breaking the pain cycle

Article
4/9/2019
Ashley Blake, an acupuncture nurse at Naval Hospital Pensacola’s Pain Management Clinic, treats a patient with Battlefield Acupuncture (BFA), one of many opioid alternatives offered at many treatment facilities in the Military Health System. BFA consists of inserting five tiny and sterile 2 mm needles into specific points of the ear where they can remain for up to three days. (U.S. Navy photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Brannon Deugan)

Live in agony or risk addiction? MHS pain management initiatives offer options

Recommended Content:

Prescription Monitoring Program | Psychological Fitness | Mental Health Care | Substance Abuse | Physical Disability | Warrior Care | Opioid Safety | Pain Management

Study's focus: Mending hearts broken by deaths of military loved ones

Article
2/19/2019
Young military family members at a Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors Good Grief Camp in Denver, Colorado, created this collage to memorialize their lost loved ones. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Arielle Vasquez)

Military tests virtual programs for adapting to grief

Recommended Content:

Psychological Fitness | Mental Health Care

Technology Solutions for Psychological Health

Congressional Testimony
2/1/2019

HR 3219, HAC Report FY 2018, 115-219, Pg. 287-288

Recommended Content:

Mental Health Care

Traumatic Brain Injury/Psychological Health

Congressional Testimony
1/25/2019

S. 3000, SAC Report for FY 2017, 114-263, Pg. 193

Recommended Content:

Traumatic Brain Injury | Mental Health Care

Help Military Clients Transitioning to Civilian Life

Publication
12/11/2018

An article to provide reference and resources for service members in the process of or transitioned out of active duty service.

Recommended Content:

Connected Health

Pilot Program on Investigational Treatment of Members of the Armed Forces for TBI and PTSD

Congressional Testimony
10/9/2018

HR 3304, NDAA for FY 2014, Sec. 704

Recommended Content:

Traumatic Brain Injury | Physical Disability | Mental Health Care | Posttraumatic Stress Disorder

What to Expect at Your First Appointment

Video
9/20/2018
What to Expect at Your First Appointment

You’ve reached out for help, you’ve found the right provider, now Kristin Gwin from Walter Reed National Military Medical Center shares what to expect at your first appointment.

Recommended Content:

Mental Health Care | September Toolkit

Kristin Gwin, Walter Reed Social Worker Talks About Getting Help

Video
9/12/2018
Kristin Gwin, Walter Reed Social Worker Talks About Getting Help

Kristin Gwin, a Social Worker at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center understands that getting help can be an intimidating process. She offers advice on how to get started by letting a professional know you want help.

Recommended Content:

Mental Health Care | Suicide Prevention | September Toolkit

DHA PI 6490.02: Behavioral Health (BH) Treatment and Outcomes Monitoring

Policy

This Defense Health Agency-Procedural Instruction (DHA-PI), based on the authority of References (a) and (b), and in accordance with the guidance of References (c) through (k): a. Establishes the Defense Health Agency’s (DHA) procedures for the collection and analysis of BH outcome data. b. Addresses how DoD will standardize BH outcome data collection to: assess variations in mental health and substance use care among in-garrison medical treatment facilities (MTFs) and clinics; assess the relationship of treatment protocols and practices to BH outcomes; and identify barriers to provider implementation of evidence-based clinical guidance approved by DoD. c. Designates the Army as the DoD lead Service for maintenance and sustainment of the Behavioral Health Data Portal (BHDP) in specialty care mental health and substance use clinics, referred to collectively as BH clinics, until BHDP functionality can be integrated with GENESIS or another electronic health record (EHR) system managed by DHA. d. Designates DHA Information Operations (J-6) as lead on transitioning BHDP functional requirements related to outcomes monitoring to future EHR data collection platforms and processes.

Virtual Hope Box Clinician Guide

Publication
6/27/2018

Recommended Content:

Connected Health | Connected Health Education and Training

Positive Activity Jackpot Clinician Guide

Publication
6/27/2018

Recommended Content:

Connected Health | Connected Health Education and Training

CH Mobile Apps Prescription Pad

Publication
6/11/2018

DHA Connected Health Branch Prescription Pad for DoD and VA Mobile Apps

Recommended Content:

Connected Health | Connected Health Education and Training | mHealth Clinical Integration
<< < 1 2 3 4 5  ... > >> 
Showing results 61 - 75 Page 5 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.