Love it or hate it, social media in one form or another is most likely a part of your daily life.

There is no doubt it has its place and there are a lot of positives to social media; it can be beneficial in many ways. One thing it can certainly do is give people a really good sense of connection which is vital to good mental health and well-being.

We can see snapshots of family in faraway places the minute they post them and keep in touch with distant relatives like never before.

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However, social media can cause problems for people and their sense of mental well-being if they allow it to take over, so here are a few things you might find useful to know.

The most important thing you should remember with social media is that it is designed to be addictive. The platforms want to keep you on there so that you are exposed to advertising, which is how the platforms make their money.

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Who amongst us doesn’t get a pleasant feeling when something we have posted gets some likes? This is because we feel a sense of reward in the brain, just in the same way we would if we were paid a compliment in real life.

There can be a pleasant sense of anticipation when posting something wondering just how many likes and how much approval our latest snapshot might attract. The people who design these platforms know exactly how to keep you on there!

Lancashire Telegraph:

For those who begin to take the whole thing too seriously, it can really affect one’s sense of self-worth if they don’t receive a favourable response to something they post.

Social media can also instil a fear of missing out; whether that be seeing someone’s latest purchase they are wearing, or where they are and who they are with.

It can give us feelings of isolation and exclusion when we see a snapshot of friends out at an event we had not been invited to, or even told about. Of course, before the advent of social media, we might well never have even known the event was happening.

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It is important to keep a grip on reality and remember that much of what we see on social media does not reflect reality. Savvy users may well make good use of apps which can whiten teeth and alter their physical appearance almost beyond recognition from the real thing. This creates unrealistic images that are impossible to live up to in real life.

Social media can also be really bad when it comes to bullying and this doesn't just apply to teenagers and younger people. Adults do it too, often in more subtle ways.

If we take social media too seriously and we start to spend longer on there than is good for us, then we can start comparing ourselves to others in terms of their appearance and lifestyle and any other number of things which may all affect our own self-esteem.

This can be a gradual process that over time can lead to more serious problems.

So, enjoy it for what it is, never take it too seriously and don’t allow it to take over your every waking moment.

Next week I’ll be explaining some simple techniques that you can use to build your mental resilience and improve your mindset.

If you feel you are in a mental health crisis or emergency and may be in danger of causing harm to yourself or others then please contact your GP, the Samaritans on 116 123 or attend A&E.