When Social Media Affects Mental Health
Today, social media changes the ways people interact and communicate with each other. Based on the data from Pew Research Center, 69% of adults and 81% of teenagers in America use social media. Some considers it an important component that checking in as often as they can equate to their existence.
People of all ages and statuses seem to find happiness and satisfaction these days on various social media platforms. However, studies show that there is a strong link between social media usage and depression. Though this is still considered a controversial explanation, experts believe that social media may put your mental health at risk because you are easily exposed to “negative stimuli such as unwholesome content, cyber bullying, unhealthy social comparisons, and feelings of inferiority”.
How does social media affect mental health?
There is no stopping social media from overpowering the lives of many. It may bring joy and happiness but these feelings are temporary. They fade away instantly and are replaced with discontentment, loneliness and a constant seeking of approval and likes by everyone else.
Social media fuels isolation.
It is easier now to communicate because of social media. Before calling someone from afar is expensive and difficult But now with just a few clicks, you can talk to just anyone. Unfortunately, social media can easily consume you and your time. Instead of meeting friends for lunch, you much prefer scrolling on your cell phone and seeing how your friends are doing.
Ironically, people who frequently use social media are not socially connected to the people around them. Though there is no strong evidence that explains this, experts believe that it is easier to feel connected to family and friends through their tweets and posts online than by meeting them face-to-face. Others suggest that those who have a hard time socializing feel less lonely when they are on their social media accounts.
Social media lowers your self-esteem.
The more you use social media, the more you see how great the lives of other people are. You cannot help but compare their achievements to yours. You belittle your success and get too hard on yourself because you think that you are not working hard enough.
This always gets into your head until you lose your sense of direction and pound yourself for being a failure. Eventually, you refuse to do anything because you think you will fail. It seems that social media requires you to be always so that you have something to post online.
Social media affects physical activities.
Your physical health greatly impacts your state of mind. When you lack sleep and physically weak you are more susceptible to negative feelings such as loneliness, depression and anxiety. You forget to take care of your health and wellness because you wrapped up your time with what you see and read on social media.
Because you spend so much time on your different social media accounts, you do not have the time to go out, exercise and breathe fresh air. You just feel tired getting up and going for a walk because you might miss something intriguing or interesting news among your friends.
Social media creates unhealthy self-centeredness.
It is not wrong to love yourself more than anyone else. It is also good to feel loved and appreciated by others. But the moment you think that love for oneself and by others is measured through the number of retweets, likes and heart emojis on your social media then you are wrong.
When someone posts online and gets only a few thumbs up they resort to thinking that they are unlikeable and unappealing. It becomes a big deal because no one seems to take notice of their existence.
Social media makes you depressed and anxious.
You can see and read everything that is happening around the world on social media. Devastating news like wars and shootings lead to severe fear and sadness. Comparing yourself to others is toxic. Feeling insecure and ugly because of what social media projects real beauty can be depressing.
Social media is not at all bad but when you see someone with a perfect life you feel sorry for yourself. Everyone is moving forward and doing amazing things but you are stuck and full of regrets and problems.
Where to ask for help?
How social media affects mental health bothers many therapists and counselors. Social media is here to stay and if its negative effects continue to haunt or hurt people then it is time to think of effective ways to prevent this problem.
Mindshift Psychological Services offer therapy near me and counseling sessions for those who feel depressed and anxious especially when they use social media. We provide reliable and constructive approaches and therapy near me sessions that will help treat depression, trauma and anxiety.
You may visit our website to know more about our services. You may call us at (714)584-9700 for an appointment to schedule a therapy near me session.