How Social Media Can Control Our Mental Health with Becky Mickletz

#004 – The average person spends more than 2.5 hours PER DAY on social media. In this episode, Becky Mickletz and I talk candidly about how social media has impacted our mental health, how it’s shaped our businesses, and 4 simple strategies you can do to have social media serve you (instead of you serving it).

Full Episode:

Links:

University Of Pennsylvania study on social media and depression: https://www.voanews.com/science-health/study-links-social-media-depression-loneliness

University of Chicago study on social media’s addictiveness: https://www.theverge.com/2012/2/5/2771255/social-media-willpower-failure-chicago-university-study

Ryan Holiday’s book, The Daily Stoic: https://www.amazon.com/Daily-Stoic-Meditations-Wisdom-Perseverance/dp/0735211736

Becky Mickletz’s website, Remickz: www.remickz.com

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American Dream U is a nonprofit that helps military members transition from military to civilian life and find their dream job or start a business. To learn more, go to: AmericanDreamU.org. 

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Full Transcript

This transcript was done by a machine. We apologize for any errors.

 

N/A:                                                                  [inaudible].

Joey Randazzo:                                         Hello and welcome to overcoming the mind. My name is Joey Randazzle.

N/A:                                                                  [inaudible] [inaudible]

Joey Randazzo:                                      social media is toxic. That’s how I would respond if you would ask me if social media is positive or negative for a person’s mental health and wellbeing, I wouldn’t even think about it. That would be my immediate answer. It’s done probably way more harm than it has good for my own life and that’s why I would say that, but on today’s episode, I talk with Becky, Mick Lutz, an expert on social media and how it impacts our lives, and she may just have changed my mind about this. If you’d like to listen to the full unedited interview with Becky, you can do that by going to overcoming the mind.com backslash for in this shortened version of the podcast, you’ll hear Becky and I talk about FOMO, the new data coming out about how social media impacts depression and anxiety, and Becky shares some pretty simple things you can do to make social media much more positive in your life. I’d like to thank my sponsor, American dream U American dream U helps military members in their spouses transition from military to civilian life and find their dream job or start a business. Everything they do is 100% free for service members and their families. To learn more, go to American dream U. Dot org. That’s American dream and then the letter U. Dot. Work.

Joey Randazzo:                                        I’ve had an interesting relationship with social media. I’ve been on and off of it for years now. I get absolutely addicted to the point where whenever I have a free second at the grocery store or before bed or cooking dinner, I’m aimlessly scrolling and then I go cold Turkey for a couple months and then of course I bring it back again and there’s no doubt about it. For me, social media has added to my anxiety and depression. This isn’t just phenomenon anymore that that social media can impact our depression or anxiety and Becky’s well aware of this as well, especially over the last few years. The statistics of depression and rates

Becky Mickletz:                                         because of the social space definitely has been in talks

Joey Randazzo:                                        and it’s not only been in talks but real academics scientists and researchers have found some really interesting and scary data about social media. So does spending too much time on social media like Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat actually increase loneliness and depression. That’s the new finding of a brand new study by researchers at the university of Pennsylvania to be published in the peer review journal of social and clinical psychology. And it marks the first time there’s been a causal connection established between time spent on social media and depression and loneliness and it makes perfect sense why people are depressed and anxious. So people are posting the best perception of themselves on social media. They’re posting what they want others to see, you know, they’re sharing their trip to the beach, how they just got a puppy, how happy they are in their relationships. And that’s all you see as you scroll through your feed. So you start comparing yourselves to all those people. I know that’s what I do on social media and even experienced social media experts like Becky can fall into this trap.

Becky Mickletz:                                         It’s very easy to fall down those rabbit holes of comparison. I still face that impostor syndrome weekly

Joey Randazzo:                                        and I know many other people face this as well, but let’s go back to that study done by the university of Pennsylvania that shares how social media can actually cause depression and anxiety. This is a big deal. Science has now confirmed that there’s not just a correlation between depression and anxiety and social media use, but that social media can actually cause depression and anxiety. And when I hear something like this, my first response is, okay, let me take social media out of my life. Um, for people that know me, they know that I can go to the extreme with things. And so that’s how my mind works. If it has been shown to cause depression and anxiety, I need to get rid of it. But Becky understands that that’s probably not the best thing to do. And she makes a really important point about social media in our conversation.

Becky Mickletz:                                        I think that it’s very easy for us to jump in and talk shit on social media, but at the same time, it’s not going anywhere, right? Like the digital space is only expanding. We’re getting more and more things. We’re getting drones that are following us around delivering us pizza. I mean, it’s, it’s not going anywhere. So figuring out a way that you can still have that in your life, not necessarily even use it, but know that, okay, this is something that is just in the world now. How can I navigate it properly for myself?

Joey Randazzo:                                       We must learn how to navigate social media properly for a couple of reasons. First of all, it’s not going anywhere. And second, if we don’t learn how to properly navigate it, then it can have some serious detrimental effects on our wellbeing and mental health. So the university of Chicago found that social media is more addictive than cigarettes. That’s a little scary in the fact that the average person is on social media for nearly two and a half hours per day. Confirms that that’s over 10% of the average person’s daily life spent on social media. Okay. So not only is it addictive, proven by science to increased risk for depression and anxiety, but two and a half hours, a lot of time it’s taken away from our productivity as entrepreneurs and also taking away from the real in-person relationships that mean a lot to us. I know Becky told me to not talk shit about social media, but it’s hard for me, uh, to do that when very often social media is so negative, but at the same time, I feel hypocritical. So I, I’ve used social media a lot in my life and there have been times where I’ve used it and it’s been positive. I mean, I promote this very podcast on social media and Becky shares some other cool things about what social media can do in the world.

Becky Mickletz:                                        I’m able to connect with people over the world, which is so stinking cool. It’s like I have friends that we are strictly social media friends and then if I traveled to their city, we’ll grab coffee. Like I said, the beautiful part of it that I think is really, really great going away from even Instagram is, you know, Facebook, I’m parts, uh, of so many different groups on there, whether it’s for creative people, whether it’s for mental health, whether it’s for music, whatever industry I’m working in, whether it’s for travel, there’s just bringing back that connection that social media was meant for.

Joey Randazzo:                                        So we’re able to nurture our in-person relationships with social media. We’re able to get closer to people we care about and support them without having to physically be with them. And obviously many entrepreneurs, probably many of you listening use social media as a way to get more business. Some of you might use social media as the main strategy to grow your business in, in for your livelihood. So yes, social media can be really positive. And second, Becky is using it as a platform to share her mental health struggles and to de stigmatize mental health in general.

Becky Mickletz:                                         And I’ve had people that follow me that think I have my shit together, 24, seven, and I’m like, Oh, no, no, no. Um, which is why I started to share more about my mental, on my own platforms cause I think it’s so important to humanize each other and, and feel connected in that sense.

Joey Randazzo:                                         I used to never post about my mental health. I felt like people would perceive me as simply looking for attention. Uh, and also in a way I knew it would drive more engagement in probably get me more likes and I knew that some people might think that I was simply using posting about my mental health as a way to get more likes. Becky has seen this with her posts as well.

Becky Mickletz:                                        When I started posting about it I was just, you know, it felt right. I felt genuine and that’s why I posted about my mental health and the outpouring of like love and support I got from that was so insane to me. I was like, wow, I was just being really unfiltered and, and it’s crazy what that has done. Like I get way more likes if we want to qualify or quantify it. I get way more likes on that stuff than I do a logo that took me two months to make.

Joey Randazzo:                                         I guess it’s all about your intention when you post. So are you posting about your mental health for likes or to share the real authentic side of you and to be raw? It’s really just how you choose to view social media. And this actually leads us into the really cool strategies that Becky has to help you turn social media into something positive in your life. Before this interview, I would have confidently said that social media is negative and toxic. If I use social media a lot, it makes my depression and anxiety worse. And because of that, my business also suffers when I use social media a lot. So part of me still wants to disagree with Becky in her belief that you can make social media positive, but her strategies logically make sense. The first only follow people in hashtags that add positivity to your life,

Becky Mickletz:                                        Instagram and Facebook and all that. It really is another in in another sense, the company that you keep. And so I started following different hashtags that I wanted to be inspired by, whether that was honestly a lot of it’s mental health related. Um, and, and so I started following hashtags related to that and relate it to self care. And lo and behold, it’s like, cool, that’s what’s showing up in my feed.

Joey Randazzo:                                        If you’re an entrepreneur with any sort of web presence, then you probably know what SEO is. It stands for search engine optimization. It’s a way for your website to rank in Google when people search for things online and Instagram and Facebook have their own sort of SEO, their own algorithms. So by following and engaging in, in hashtags and then people that are positive, you’ll see more things like that. It’s a way to curate your feed to add a value to your life instead of having negative people or negative show up. The second tip, become aware of how and when you use social media.

Becky Mickletz:                                        One thing that’s helped me is just overall self-awareness. Like realizing when some, how something makes me feel when I look at it. If it’s any sort of negativity, yeah I unfollow it. But taking that time to just have more awareness for yourself. Or if you notice like for me with my anxiety, it’s like my heart will start racing and then I start spiraling into this self doubt where I’m like, okay, I am now seeing what is causing this. I can identify the trigger and I can do something about it. And like I said, really taking the front seat and taking control. I’m just like anything else in life that you want to see change.

Joey Randazzo:                                        And by becoming aware of how you use social media, you’ll probably realize that you won’t engage in the practice of aimlessly scrolling as often. And you’ll probably also realize those people are hashtags that you’re following where when you look at those photos or videos, it doesn’t add value to you. And actually it, it makes you feel pretty bad about yourself. The third thing to do, avoid using social media first thing in the morning.

Becky Mickletz:                                        One thing I try and practice daily is not picking up my phone the first thing in the morning, whether it is social media that I’m looking at or emails. Um, you know, that has taken a really long time for me to, okay, don’t pick up the phone right away. Don’t look at a screen right away. Um, instead, I actually read the book, it’s called the daily stoic.

Joey Randazzo:                                       So this book, the, the daily stoic is actually by Ryan holiday. It’s a great book. Definitely recommend it. But simply having a book or something like that in the morning is a great strategy. So if it’s not a book, it could be a different morning routine that serves you instead of having you serve as social media. And lastly, when you can leave your phone on silent or in the other room.

Becky Mickletz:                                      But for me, it’s like, I notice if my phone is on silent, I automatically don’t pay attention to it as much. Little things like that, we’re leaving it in the other room. Um, you know, it sounds so simple, but it’s things we forget about because we’re so triggered like Pavlov’s dogs, um, with a buzz of a phone, the ding of a text message to react. And like you said, even waiting in line for coffee or something, now it’s, Oh, I don’t want my phone in my hand. I feel like naked in a way. And so if you can slowly start to make your own separation and whatever way that looks like, that’s another great piece of like or yeah, a tip that I would have.

Joey Randazzo:                                       I really liked this idea. If I’m eating dinner with my fiance or if I’m trying to get a really important project done for a client, I usually have my phone right next to me. And when it buzzes, it’s like an immediate anxiety producing event. It’s that that need went. When the buzz happens, I feel like, like I have to look at it, it’s like my phone is controlling me. And so moving forward I’m going to really try to use this strategy to my advantage by keeping my phone in the other room when I can or by putting it on silent or airplane mode.

Becky Mickletz:                                       [inaudible]

Joey Randazzo:                                        and so those are the four tips. First, follow people in hashtags that have positivity in your life. Second, be aware of why you use social media and how often you use it. Third thing, avoid using social media first thing in the morning. And lastly, leave your phone on silent or in the other room as much as possible. And before we end the show today, I want to stick this reminder with you. You are in control of your social media. You don’t have to serve it. You can make it so that social media serves you in your life.

Becky Mickletz:                                         You know, finding a way that you can feel that whatever it’s not a not feeling alone or whatever, whatever you really need from it. I guarantee you that there’s something out there for you. It’s, you know we have Google, we have everything at our fingertips.

Joey Randazzo:                                       Yup. Including social media.

Becky Mickletz:                                          Find what you’re looking for cause I guarantee it’s out there.

Joey Randazzo:                                       Thank you so much for listening to this episode of overcoming the mind. A big thank you for Becky Mick glitz for joining me and sharing all of this valuable information. As a reminder, you can view the full on edited interview with Becky by going to overcoming the mind.com backslash for also quick shout outs and my good friend Donny Osborne for producing some of the awesome music in this episode. You can also learn more about Becky, Mick Lutz in her inspiring content about mental health by going to our website, which is remix.com that’s R E M I C K z.com or follow her on Instagram. Her handle is at remix, and again, thank you for listening to overcoming the mind.

 

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