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Consumer Watch: Social media self care

Experts say social media has side effects on our mental health.

Social media has become a normal part of many people's lives, and that is something that just wasn't the case 10 years ago. Studies now point to the possibility of a link between anxiety and social media use.

One social media anxiety issue is so common is has an acronym-- FOMO, or fear of missing out. You build the habit of being on social media constantly for fear of missing some social event, an inside joke, or some kind of post. This issue is far from singular.

Scrolling through social media might have you feeling down or even angry. The tendency of more people to be very open about their political and social opinions can cause problems in relationships. There is also the tendency of people to compare their lives to what they see on social media, building the ‘compare and despair’ problem. Anxiety.org says this could cause people to have negative feelings about their own lives.

These are all signs of social media could be becoming toxic in your life.

Psychotherapists recommend you follow these steps to make things right again:

1. Step away from social media: Limit your use so that you don't become overwhelmed. Try connecting with people face to face or even just over the phone more often

2. If something you see is causing you anxiety try releasing that anxiety by exercising or doing something creative.

3. Consider having two Facebook accounts-- one for people who are truly your friends, and another for people you feel you need to add as an obligation.

The Center for Internet Addiction says social media addiction is not a formal clinical diagnosis, but if you are neglecting your responsibilities in favor of obsessively checking your social media accounts, it may be time to reevaluate your use.

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