When we think of social media, often wellness isn’t the first thing that comes to mind. On the contrary, it is probably the last thing, and rightfully so. Heavy social media use has been linked to depression, anxiety and loneliness. However, as with life, there are negatives and positives, which is the focus of this article.
1. Finding A Tribe
Surprisingly or not, research has shown a connection between social media and increased user motivation to achieve life and wellness goals. The success is due, in part, to the community and social networks developed on the various platforms.
There are an estimated 4.62 billion social media users as of March 2022. As such, people can find their tribe in various groups chats and conversations to truly connect with others. That connection is so vital, especially with 60% of the world’s population living alone. I would be remiss not to mention the challenges of the past two years; the ability to interact became essential for all our mental health. Social media was the bridge bringing people together from cooking classes, sewing sessions, or one of my favorite CQ parties with DJ Nice. Social media provides the opportunity to connect with others in the comfort of our homes and has allowed us to beat back the sense of loneliness plaguing many. With loneliness at an all time high and on the verge of becoming an epidemic, it seems social, in moderation, is useful in good times as well as not-so-good times.
2. Self Expression and Support
If used in moderation, social media serves as a support system. Who doesn’t love the positive and encouraging comments from friends, family, colleagues and even strangers on a site like LinkedIn? Speaking of strangers, the anonymity of social media allows users to express thoughts, feelings and experiences in a “safe space” without fear or judgment. Reddit is sought after for the ability to engage and share in a space and be rewarded for such. This aspect of self-expression creates a more profound sense of openness and social connection.
3. Employee Engagement
Individuals aren’t the only ones taking advantage of the social connection, support, and wellness provided through social media. Companies are jumping on the bandwagon as well, to use social media as a method to engage employees in a variety of ways, including wellness programs. Motivation and connection factor heavily into strengthening the bond between team members. Studies have shown increased success with everything from weight loss and team engagement, to stopping smoking with social media, which can be more important moving forward as many companies are allowing remote working opportunities.
Sherrie Tennessee has almost 20 years of experience in the spa industry including the role of a massage therapist, nail tech, spa owner, speaker, professor, educator and author. She is the founder and education director of SpaSOS. Prior to that, she served as spa director for Mandarin Oriental in Washington D.C. and education manager for Sandals Resorts International-Red Lane Spas.