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It’s Men’s Health Week: Let’s talk about Men’s Health and the Internet

This Men's Health Week Max gives us three tips to help you keep a clean and healthy mind when it comes to your digital health.
Max Cotton

If reading about mental health helps you, read this. If it triggers, skip it.

Men’s Health Week is the 12-18th June 2023, and this year it’s been given the topic of “Men’s Health and the Internet”.

Given that Apple launched the first iPhone in 2007, and Facebook is almost hitting its 20th birthday, Millennials and Gen Z’s have grown up with technology at their fingertips.

This high-performance computer in your pocket will even go on to see individuals born in the same year hit their 16th birthday — But that’s all come at a cost. 

Though there are evidently good parts to the internet, social media, and technology in general, it has in fact caused a catastrophic hit on well-being and mental health.

According to the Financial Times,

“Between 1994 and 2010, the share of British teens who do not consider themselves likeable fell from 6 per cent to 4 per cent; and since 2010, it has more than doubled. The share who think of themselves as a failure and are dissatisfied with their lives also kicked up sharply.”

Whatever way you look at it, mental health has always been around, but interestingly coinciding with the launch of the smartphone, it has seemingly worsened.

Phones have become vastly available and quickly slipped from a luxury to a necessity. As a result, the digital ‘diet’ that individuals consume has now translated into your everyday health, and caused an addiction like no other. 

man on phone

For this year's Men’s Health Week, Another Round will be opening the conversation to men’s health, and looking at what you can do to prevent social pressures from occurring.

With a huge statistic of 77% of men stated to have suffered with common mental health symptoms like anxiety, stress or depression and 40% of men having never spoken to anyone about their mental health, it’s time we create a community for all our fathers, brothers, friends, and colleagues to go Another Round in opening up, and starting a conversation. 

The wrong social media consumption may harm your mental state and your training, so let’s open the floor to an honest talk on not being afraid to cut people out, without the FOMO or judgement, and just focus on improving your health. 

If we eat rubbish, we feel rubbish, meaning we train rubbish (or even, not at all!). This is a universal truth for exercise that very few people are exempt from.

Most of us, if we’re serious about exercise, understand that we should be trying to eat healthily most of the time to perform at our best.

Where we tend to be far less picky than that is in what we consume digitally; our social media ‘diet’, if you will.

Just like with our nutrition, if we consume the wrong digital diet, it can easily have poor knock-on effects for our mental health and exercise goals, meaning you’re spending more time with comparisons, and lusting over others’ lives, and less for living yours to its full potential. 

It’s a long road to a social detox, or even a less frequent way of looking at our digital footprint, but by following these three tips, you’ll be making a good start:

Don’t compare yourself to others.

Comparison is the thief of joy, so try not to compare yourself to other people online, whoever they are. We all have different strengths and weaknesses, and I can guarantee there are 50 things that you’re better at than the person you’re comparing yourself to, than the one niche area where they excel. Do you.

Mute or unfollow as needed.

If you’re following an account that is making you feel bad about your training, appearance or lifestyle, then just mute or unfollow. It could even be a friend or colleague who is posting about their training a lot, and it’s making you feel bad. You can just go ahead and mute them, and they’ll never know. Even if they’re just annoying, hit that mute — it’s better to look out for yourself than keep your social media status up. 

Take a break.

If you’ve been online for years without a break from the social media feeds, I’d strongly recommend it. You might feel a little bit of FOMO at first, but you’ll soon realise you’re not actually missing anything without it.

Don’t worry — You’ll still be invited to that “friend of a friend’s BBQ” without that Instagram handle, so don’t sweat it.

The problem with much of social media is that you don’t know what your brain will be faced with when you open the app.

We don’t even know yet, the scientific consequences of the long-term effects social media will have on peoples’ brains or state of mind, so do yourself a favour and pause your account.

It will still be there when you come back to it. 

These may be minor changes in the grand scheme of things, but by being particular with the content you consume - or even stepping away from it completely for a bit - you may give yourself a much better chance of feeling good.

Take this Men’s Health Week to focus on doing you, and see what a difference this will make on all levels of your life. 

Don’t be afraid to open a conversation about the tricky things. If you’re struggling with anyone to talk to, head over to MANUP? Mental Health Charity, where men are talking to men.

Sometimes it’s not always about going Another Round in the gym, but by going Another Round in doing something that betters you. 

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