Why It’s so Hard to Put Down Your Phone as a Teen

Teen looking at their phone at night

Being a teen is hard enough. Being a teen in 2019 is even harder.

Not only do you face normal teen pressures like studying for the SATs and asking your crush to prom but you have the added pressure of staying connected with family and friends 24/7 through social media.

A recent Pew Research Center study found that 95% of teens now report they have a smartphone or access to one and 45% of teens say they are online on a near-constant basis. In addition to Facebook (which 51% of teens report using), the study found that YouTube, Instagram, and Snapchat are the most popular online platforms among teens. Continue reading Why It’s so Hard to Put Down Your Phone as a Teen

This is Your Brain on Instagram

Social media brain

When is the last time you took the elevator, rode the subway, or waited in line at the grocery store without getting sucked into Instagram? My answer to this question is bleak.

Instagram hit 1 billion monthly users in the summer of 2018, and has been experiencing faster growth than the oh-so-popular Facebook and Snapchat platforms. What’s behind our collective desire to incessantly check this simple, yet tantalizing photo-sharing app? Here’s what the research says. Continue reading This is Your Brain on Instagram

4 Ways to Ditch the Comparison Game on Social

two women take a selfie while one blows a bubble

The 26th president of the United States, Theodore Roosevelt, famously once said, “Comparison is the thief of joy.” This couldn’t be more true now that comparisons take place 24/7 online. When you compare, your view becomes distorted — you diminish your own value, disconnect yourself for your own life and relationships, and feel depleted — and yet we all do it and can’t stop.

Continue reading 4 Ways to Ditch the Comparison Game on Social

How Talkspace’s Social Media Manager Battles Social Network Obsession: A Diary Entry

Woman sits on floor on working on her laptop

For a majority of us, our relationship with social media is relegated to a cheeky glance at our phone over a break at the office, or plopping down on the couch for a few swipes down the ol’ timeline. Others complain they spend too much time on “Insta” by spending hours liking the day’s spiciest memes, or obsessively replaying a random dog’s “stories.” When excessive social media use crosses into unhealthy territory, it can affect mental health.

But what if social media is literally your job? Does a daily mission to be constantly present and engaged on social lead to similar behavior after hours? Our social media manager at Talkspace, JoAnna Di Tullio, shared a diary of how running social media for a popular brand affects her social media intake, and if she’s ever able to truly disengage from “the scroll.”

Continue reading How Talkspace’s Social Media Manager Battles Social Network Obsession: A Diary Entry

Managing Your Social Media Intake (Without Quitting It Completely)

An iPhone homescreen

Research shows that social media use actually releases dopamine in the brain, just like food, sex, or drugs. It is no wonder that so many people feel that they are “addicted” to social media, and feel antsy or anxious when they try to stop checking Instagram, Facebook, or other sites for more than a few minutes. If you feel that social media is controlling you, instead of you controlling when you use it, then you may want to think about how to better integrate your social media use within your day-to-day life.

Continue reading Managing Your Social Media Intake (Without Quitting It Completely)

How to Find Peace After Social Media Rocks Your Confidence

woman looking at smartphone at night city background

How to Find Peace After Social Media Rocks Your Confidence” originally appeared on Shine, a free daily text to help you thrive.

Jealousy. Ugh. Even typing that word brings up that uneasy, queasy feeling. In this age of social media addiction, it’s near impossible not to feel jealous when you’re flipping through people’s highlight reels and not seeing any of the behind-the-scenes struggles.

I feel that ping of jealousy when I see someone I know book a legit role (I’m an actress), take a luxurious beach vacation fit for Beyoncé, or rocking a bod like Halle Berry. I’m all like “Hi! Can we swap lives? Or just bodies? Or even paychecks?” I start asking myself, “What the heck am I doing with my life!?” I start to feel so far behind—and my good ol’ friends Ms. Gratitude and Papa Positivity are nowhere to be found. Continue reading How to Find Peace After Social Media Rocks Your Confidence

Why You Should Unplug this Holiday Season, According to a Therapist

woman holding unplug mug snowy winter day

Near the end of each year most of us are chomping at the bit, anxiously awaiting some much-needed downtime. As business slows down and responsibilities wane, people look forward to much-needed rest and rejuvenation. This break is also an opportunity to finally unplug.

There’s a lot of emerging research on the effects of technology use on our collective mental health, but what’s most important to understand about technology is how ubiquitous connectivity can exacerbate worry, fear, sadness and a host of other emotions. If unchecked, this effect could contribute to mental fatigue. Continue reading Why You Should Unplug this Holiday Season, According to a Therapist

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

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