Ask Anna: How Can I Pry My Husband Away from Social Media?

husband at table looking at smartphone ignoring wife

Talkspace is pleased to continue Ask Anna, a Question & Answer column featuring Anna Akbari, sociologist and author of “Startup Your Life: Hustle and Hack Your Way To Happiness.” Send your mental health questions for Anna to [email protected].

Dear Anna,

Before I start, I’d like to share that overall I am happy with my life. I love my husband and our two beautiful children. We have a wonderful life together, which makes this all the more confusing and difficult.

I feel like my marriage is strong for the most part. We love each other very much and respect one another. But there is a small problem (or at least what I perceive to be a problem). My husband spends most of his time on his phone. He’s constantly flipping through social media. I know he’s not doing anything wrong or dishonest on it; he will often sit right next to me and show me what he’s doing and who he’s speaking with! Continue reading Ask Anna: How Can I Pry My Husband Away from Social Media?

How Social Media Has Changed the Way We Grieve

grave illustration RIP

A few years ago, Gale’s mother passed away after a grueling battle with cancer. As the lone Atheist in a devout religious family, Gale felt isolated and unable to grieve in the way she wanted. The inundation of spiritual rhetoric from relatives made it difficult for her to celebrate her mother’s life.

To find a place where she could speak freely, Gale searched for support groups for secular people who wanted to grieve without any pressure to pray or consider religious concepts like God and the afterlife. She found two secular grief groups on Facebook and has been satisfied with the online community.

“I would still feel almost entirely alone if it were not for these people,” Gale said of her community members. “I feel heard and understood, and it’s not less real to me if that understanding and camaraderie happens online.” Continue reading How Social Media Has Changed the Way We Grieve

7 Ways to Deal with Cyberbullying

woman cyberbullying cartoon

Bullying isn’t new, but the way people go about it has changed. What was once reserved for the schoolyard now occurs at home or at work via social media. In fact, cyberbullying affects adults as much as children. A 2012 study from the University of Nottingham and the University of Sheffield found that eight out of ten of the 320 adults surveyed across three different universities had been victims of cyberbullying in the last six months. About a quarter reported feeling humiliated, ignored, or being the subject of online gossip at least once a week.

Rude comments or bullying in general can make one feel hurt, sad, or angry, leading to feelings of depression, anxiety, or self-esteem issues. When the rude comments or bullying are online — when people are looking at social media at home or at work — it can be even worse because it is happening in a place where they should feel safe. It can happen when they are around people important to them such as their children.

The written word is sometimes worse than the spoken word due to its permanency, and it can feel impossible to escape bullying. People see the comments every time they return to a page. Unlike in-person bullying, the bullies who makes the rude comments online cannot see how their victims react. They may go further with their bullying then if they were actually able to see the victim’s physical reaction. Continue reading 7 Ways to Deal with Cyberbullying

A Quick Guide to Social Media and Smartphone Addiction [Infographic]

unplugging turning off smartphone illustration

Spending too much time on a smartphone or social media can have negative effects on mental health, according to a wealth of research. If you want to protect your mind from your smartphone, start by getting educated. Check out the infographic below for some quick tips and insights on managing smartphone and social media use. Continue reading A Quick Guide to Social Media and Smartphone Addiction [Infographic]

Social Media and Moms: Feeling Inadequate in a “Fakebook” World

baby stroller smartphone

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard from clients, “Other mom’s don’t seem to have this problem.” This statement could be about depression, anxiety, panic, marital issues, kid issues, trouble balancing or a myriad of other topics. When I ask why they think no one else struggles, social media is inevitably part of the answer. Continue reading Social Media and Moms: Feeling Inadequate in a “Fakebook” World

Meeting Your Online Date In-Person: 5 Tips to Get Through It

woman online dating app in-person meeting

What happens when your dating pool is disappointing or you have trouble asking people out in person? You turn to online dating of course!

Online dating makes it easy to talk to people, but eventually you have to meet them in-person and carry on a conversation. You’ve got game when you’re typing back and forth on the computer, but face-to-face you might be nervous and not know what to say to keep the conversation flowing. It can be awkward.

As a therapist at Talkspace who listens to relationship and dating problems, I recognize the affects it can have on people. It might cause anxiety and uncertainty when transitioning from an online relationship to a face-to-face date. Although these feelings are common, it should not prevent you from taking the next step. I have written a few pointers on how to have a great first date with someone you met online. Continue reading Meeting Your Online Date In-Person: 5 Tips to Get Through It

This Social Media Star Shows How Instagram Warps Our Realities

New York Magazine the cut image Lilli Hymowitz

16-year-old Lilli Hymowitz has lots of money and more than 20,000 followers on Instagram but struggles to live a happy life. Like many teenage girls, she deals with drama from boys and friends, divorced parents, and trying to find meaning in her life outside of the parties and selfies.

During a series of interviews with a reporter from New York Magazine, Hymowitz admitted she used Instagram to project something that didn’t match her self-image. The piece portrayed her as an embodiment of how social media creates alternate realities that can make us look more negatively at our actual realities. Continue reading This Social Media Star Shows How Instagram Warps Our Realities

The Post-Breakup Guide to Dealing with Social Media and Your Ex

post breakup social media guide feature image sad woman checking smartphone

Social media makes breakups way harder than they need to be, so you might want extra guidance during the aftermath.

To help you deal with social media after a breakup (especially your ex on social media), we put together this guide by reaching out to therapists, dating/relationship experts and social media experts. For their distilled wisdom — and tips from Talkspace — look below:

At First – Go Out and Away from Social

Creating a busy social life in the real world will force you to neglect social media. Try working out more, catching up with friends you haven’t seen in a while or experimenting with a new hobby. Many people spend around an hour a day on social media, which is plenty of time to do something else.    Continue reading The Post-Breakup Guide to Dealing with Social Media and Your Ex

30-foot Mirror Wall in Flatiron Plaza Raises Awareness of Damages of Social Media

feature image for Talkspace social media event #ReflectReality

Last week, New Yorkers and tourists encountered a massive mirror wall in Flatiron Plaza. It was 30 feet long, three feet wide, seven feet tall, and ridiculously conspicuous. The west and east sides produced distorted reflections similar to those in a hall of mirrors and featured text such as this:

Talkspace social media event mirror wall

The north and south sides allowed pedestrians to see an accurate reflection: Continue reading 30-foot Mirror Wall in Flatiron Plaza Raises Awareness of Damages of Social Media

Did You See on Social Media? Our Neurosis Has Gone Viral

woman breaking up mental health issues

Check the news, blogs and yes, social media, and you can see people everywhere talking about how we are harming ourselves with social media. The medium presents a paradox — it connects us with the world while making us feel lonely, depressed and isolated.

We acknowledge this but are too dependent to break the cycle of compare, despair, like and share.

“I need to get my mind off of this.”

One of my Talkspace clients, Ashley, texts me around midnight on Friday. Continue reading Did You See on Social Media? Our Neurosis Has Gone Viral