Used well, social media can have rewarding social benefits. For many, it’s an easy way to stay in touch with family and friends. Studies have shown other positives, too:
- It can encourage us to empathize with other people and their points of view. It’s easy to help and comfort other people or share resources there. These are prosocial, beneficial behaviors.
- Social media can bring like-minded people together. Sometimes we feel as if we have little in common with our immediate family and community. Finding groups of people online with common interests and identities can be a haven.
- Social media platforms can raise awareness around mental well-being. Mental health education and support are usually easy to find. Finding resources and a supportive community help reduce the stigma related to mental disorders or treatments.
Headlines tend to focus on the negatives of social media, and overuse can cause problems. But it’s helpful to remember that thoughtful engagement (instead of passive scrolling) on social media can be positive. Studies have shown its association with social well-being, positive mental health, and self-rated health.
Source: Positive Psychology