Do you start your day by checking your social media accounts? And does your day end that way?
Maybe you’ll be back all day for quick check-ins – but before you realize it, you’ve scrolled through the latest posts for about an hour.
You probably already know that social media potentially interferes with mental health. But you will have less awareness about exactly how.
The use of social media can lead to poor quality sleep and harm mental health. It is associated with depression, anxiety and low self-esteem.
In today’s world many people live with their smartphones as virtual companions. These devices use electronic social media networks to alert users to updates on friends, favorite celebrities and global events.
Social media has become firmly integrated into the daily exists of many people. According to the few Research Center, 72% of people in the United States now use social media.
At its core, social media is a powerful communication tool that has changed how individuals interact with each other. It speeds up how people exchange and share information, ideas and thoughts on a virtual network. However, there are downsides to social media.
Some evidence suggests that its use – in particular, its overuse – can have a negative effect on mental health in many ways.
Keep reading to learn more about the links between social media and mental health, including the positive and negative effects of this tool on individuals.
Table of Contents
Why social media affects mental health?
Social media affects mental health Social media is associated with feelings of frustration, anxiety and loneliness, especially among heavy users. The Common Sense Survey found that teens can spend up to 9 hours a day online.
Many of these individuals themselves are concerned that they spend a lot of time browsing social networks. This wave suggests that social media can affect the mental health of its users.
Researchers behind the Canadian study have confirmed this finding. They noted that students who use social media for more than 2 hours a day rate their mental health as more reasonable or weaker than occasional users.
The 2019 study trusted source linked the use of social media to disrupted and delayed sleep. Regular, high-quality sleep is essential for well-being, and evidence has shown that sleep problems contribute to adverse mental health effects, such as depression and memory loss.
Aside from the adverse effects on sleep, social media can exacerbate mental health conflicts by exposing individuals to cyber threats.
In a 2020 survey of more than 6,000 individuals aged 10-18, the researchers found that about half of them had experienced a cyber threat.
One drawback of social media platforms is that they allow individuals to initiate or spread harmful use abusive words that can leave people with a permanent emotional wound.
Negative effects on health
Social media can provoke feelings of inadequacy. People may feel that their life or appearance does not compare favourably with others on social media, leading to feelings of jealousy and dissatisfaction.
One study found that high social media use increases rather than decreases feelings of loneliness. He also reported that reducing the use of social media helps people experience less loneliness and isolation and improves their well-being.
In addition, social media can facilitate cyber threats and create unhealthy self-centeredness and distance from friends and family.
Social media based networking between small groups of people is beneficial for many. Through social media, young people who struggle with social skills and concerns can express themselves and become social.
Social media also acts as a platform to give voice to the voiceless. For example, people who have been subjected to violence and abuse can use communities like the #MeToo community to disseminate their views, talk about what they are facing, and seek support.
Social media can educate and inform and provide outlets for creativity and self-expression.
One can make positive use of social media by:
Turn off smartphone data connectivity at certain times of the day, such as while driving, at work or in a meeting
- Disabling data connectivity while spending time with friends and family
- Leave the smartphone out of reach while sleeping
- Turn off notifications to make it easier to resist distracting beeps or vibrations
- Restrict the use of social media to computers instead of smartphones
Uncontrolled social media leads to the constant fear of disappearing, which many people call FOMO. People may feel that other people are having more fun than them, which can affect self-esteem and cause mental health problems.
Individuals can compulsorily check their phone at the cost of sleep deprivation or opt for social media at personal relationships or meetings.
In addition, prioritizing social media networking over physical and social interactions increases the likelihood of mood disorders such as anxiety and depression.
Prevents negative effects
People can help avoid some of the adverse effects of social media by limiting usage to 30 minutes per day, in turn reducing FOMO and its associated negative consequences.
By being more conscious about how much time they spend on social media, a person can see an improvement in their general mood, focus and overall mental health.
Frequently Asked question
Why Is social media bad for mental health?
When people look online and see they’re excluded from an activity, it can affect thoughts and feelings and physically affect them. A 2018 British study tied social media use to decreased, disrupted, and delayed sleep, which is associated with depression, memory loss, and poor academic performance
How does social media affect mental health positively?
The anonymity afforded by social media offers a safe space for people to express themselves and reveal their personal experiences with mental illness. In other words, it allows self-expression without the danger of stigma. “It forms connections differently, watching strangers talking openly about their lives.
How social media Affects depression?
A 2018 British study tied social media use to decreased, disrupted, and delayed sleep, which is associated with depression, memory loss, and poor academic performance. Social media use can affect users’ physical health even more directly.
How does the internet cause depression?
Researchers found striking evidence that some users have developed a compulsive internet habit, whereby they replace real-life social interaction with online chat rooms and social networking sites. The results suggest that this type of addictive surfing can have a severe impact on mental health.
The effect social media has on your mental health often comes down to how you use it, and why.
Case in point: Social media can lead you to feel more isolated and alone. But it can also help you connect with people going through similar life challenges or exploring the same interests.
Social media provides users with fast means of electronic communication and content sharing. Although it has various positive effects, it can negatively affect the mental health of users.
Limiting the use of social media to 30 minutes a day can reduce FOMO and, in turn, get rid of the loneliness, anxiety, depression and sleep problems associated with excessive social media use.
Do let me know in the comment box, how you have enhanced your mental health? And are you also wanted to learn more about treatments?
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