Colourful leaves, crisp air, and pumpkin pie – fall has officially arrived! Every year it is the same story: Instagramers worship the autumn-craze, Pinterest gets swamped with fall-pins, such as stew-recipes or cozy sweater knitting patterns, and the Huffington Post publishes tips to overcome the autumn blues.
Many suffer from #AutumnBlues or even winter depression. As the days get shorter and the temperature outside drops, a lot of us just stay home, in front of their devices. And what else is there to do than browsing our social media? For those who already suffer from winter depression or light autumn blues, the over-use of social media may actually worsen their mood.
While social networks are a great way to keep in touch with family and friends, to catch up on daily news, and to market yourself or your business, it can also affect us in negative ways. Just recently, professionals have started looking at how social media trigger and/or worsen mental health issues. Research has found that being active on Facebook, for example, is addictive, causes mental withdrawal symptoms, and makes users sad and jealous. Additionally, using virtual networks is an activity that actually creates perceived social isolation as well as social envy which is mostly responsible for triggering depression, loneliness, and anxiety. The guilt of having wasted hours and hours of precious time only adds to negative effects on our mood. Apart from mental consequences, physical problems, such as bad posture, back pain, obesity, etc. are also linked to the over-use of social media.
Some warning signs that need to be taken seriously are feeling cut off when not using social media for as short as one day, using networks to get an emotional lift, or neglecting social contacts and social activities to be active on social networks.
You might want to reconsider spending too much time on your social media if you are prone to depression or the autumn blues and focus instead on physical activities. Your offline life should always have priority. We are not advocating a social media detox, but we do think you may want to try different sets of platforms to encourage you to join the autumn hype and get off that couch. Pinterest has some great fall inspired boards with pumpkin recipes and fall-to-do-lists that get you in the mood for cooking and enjoying the colors of autumn, just like the board Fall!! by Half Baked Harvest or Six Sisters’ Stuff’s boards. Check out pins about DIY fall decoration to get yourself inspired to spruce up your house and porch with easy, kid-friendly arts and crafts.
On Instagram, hashtags like #fall, #FallFashion, or #FallStyle keep you updated on the latest cozy fall trends that might come in handy for the next shopping cruise. If that is not enough to battle your autumn blues, Facebook pages dedicated to autumn, like @autumnnautre, will fill your Facebook walls with inspirational photos of colourful leaves in the city and fall forests that will make you jump into your boots to go for a cozy walk holding onto a hot pumpkin spiced latte yourselves.
YouTube, Spotify, or your favorite web player provide us with cozy ‘acoustic autumn’ tunes, ‘fall feelings’ playlists and ‘Autumn Lounge’ jams, while we carve our pumpkins.
…getting in the “orange-yellow-red”-mood yet? Use social media to get active offline and keep enjoying the #DigitalFall!