INSIDE SOURCES

Social-media envy got you down during Christmas? Doc has holiday tips.

Dec 8, 2021, 4:39 PM | Updated: Jan 4, 2023, 2:45 pm
FILE - This Friday, Feb. 16, 2018, file photo shows application icons from left, Facebook, Facebook...
FILE - This Friday, Feb. 16, 2018, file photo shows application icons from left, Facebook, Facebook Messenger and Messenger Kids on an iPhone in New York, Messenger Facebook, in the aftermath of damning testimony that its platforms harm children, will be introducing several features including prompting teens to take a break using its photo sharing app Instagram, and “nudging" teens if they are repeatedly looking at the same content that's not conducive to their well-being. (AP Photo/Jenny Kane, File)
(AP Photo/Jenny Kane, File)

SALT LAKE CITY — Social media can unplug your Christmas lights, if you are not careful.

A mental health expert joined Inside Sources on KSL NewsRadio to stuff your stockings with tips and advice on how to avoid sliding into holiday depression by coveting others on Instagram, Facebook and other social media sites.

Instagram envy: Don’t let social media ruin your Christmas

According to JAMA Network, social media use has been associated with diminished well-being and greater levels of anxiety and depression, predominantly in cross-sectional studies among adolescents1 or young adults.2

Inside Sources guest host Ethan Millard said he’s a victim of Instagram envy. 

“I am one of those people that will compare myself negatively to what I see on Instagram. Sometimes, I feel like a loser,” he said.

Jessica Holzbauer of the Huntsman Mental Health Institute said she completely understood. 

“Well, join the club,” she said. She added, Instagram users rarely post candid — and less than flattering — shots of their lives online.

How do you counsel people who regularly scroll social media to keep their perspective and not slide into depression? Millard asked.

Because social media is not a social connection, Holzbauer advised building up real-life social connections in your community, such as volunteering, even if it’s informal like helping a neighbor string Christmas lights.

“There can be a lot of power and satisfaction with creating limits not only on social-media use but also where we put our finances as well during the holidays,” Holzbauer said.

Use a social media timer

To that end, she recommended using a timer to limit your time on social media. Also, if you feel envy by comparing yourself to another on social media, use the power of contribution.

“When we contribute, we have a sense of meaning and purpose that is fulfilling, whereas comparisons often drain us,” Holzbauer said.

What tips can you share about limiting family screen time, not just kids, but parents as well? Millard asked.

Create a contest for the family, complete with a prize. The family member who spends the least amount of time on social media around Christmas wins.

“If the family can do it together, and it can be fun, then usually there’s some more buy-in from everyone in the family,” Holzbauer said.

Inside Sources with Boyd Matheson can be heard weekdays from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. on KSL NewsRadio. Users can find the show on the KSL NewsRadio website and app. 

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Social-media envy got you down during Christmas? Doc has holiday tips.