Social media and mental health
Social media is the type of guilty pleasure that all of us have nowadays. Some of us use Facebook, others use Twitter or Instagram, but the results are pretty much the same. We are still spending insane amounts of time, sometimes 30 minutes or even hours each day on social media. Things are out of control that even Facebook admitted that their platform could bring in some risks when it comes to their user’s emotional well-being. With social media being a big part of our lives, we all should be aware of the effects social media has on our mental health.
Is social media related to mental health in any way?
If we use a service or a product too many times, we can end up with addiction. As you know, addiction is terrible for our health, because not only does it give a sense of low self-esteem, but it also leads to depression and anxiety.
Some studies listed below showed that there’s a definite connection between social media use, increased suicide risks, eating problems, sleep problems and depression. The idea is simple, most of these things appear because we put social media on a pedestal. It’s bringing in the perfect version of our life, one where we can push the boundaries and be in control. But unfortunately, it also ends up being our downfall if we don’t use it correctly.
Social media used improperly can lead to a huge range of potential risks. Those may not seem meaningful at first, but they can bring in front a huge variety of problems, and that’s certainly the type of thing that you need to focus on as fast as possible.
- Use of multiple social media platforms and symptoms of depression and anxiety: A nationally-representative study among U.S. young adults.
- #Sleepyteens: Social media use in adolescence is associated with poor sleep quality, anxiety, depression, and low self-esteem.
- The Association between Social Media Use and Eating Concerns among U.S. Young Adults.
- Increases in Depressive Symptoms, Suicide-Related Outcomes, and Suicide Rates Among U.S. Adolescents After 2010 and Links to Increased New Media Screen Time
Like you can see above, the primary user category that deals with social media addiction are teenagers and young adults. How does it affect them though? For starters, social media focuses on imposing a certain set of requirements when it comes to looks and the way people feel. Since these requirements are very strict and not everyone can fulfill them, it’s easy to see why lots of younger people deal with body confidence issues and body image problems.
Instead of allowing teenagers to explore some new ideas and ways to showcase their prowess online, social media has a negative impact on a child or teenager’s mental health. It brings in a sense of social isolation. And they want to be a part of this virtual world instead of just going in the real world, where people may not treat them the same as they do online.
The University of Missouri created a study which shows that people who use Facebook often can experience symptoms of depression. They feel the need to compare themselves with others on the platform, and in the end that can lead to envy, frustration and various other feelings that just shouldn’t be there in the first place. The path to mental problems is varied, and it’s a lot easier for younger people to fall pretty to depression when they aren’t as good as others.
Are there any positive effects?
As you can imagine, it all comes down to how you use Facebook and other social sites. Some people don’t use it to connect with others; they follow websites that give them information. Others surround them solely with positive ideas and pages that offer tangible benefits. That doesn’t mean everyone will feel like that. No, unfortunately, you will have to figure out the right way to deal with situations like these if you want to avoid any potential problems in the long run.
In conclusion, whether social media is good or bad for your mental health comes from the way you use it. If you use it carefully, the results can be extremely impressive. But on the other hand, there are also some challenges that you may have to deal with. That’s why knowing how to tackle this type of thing is extremely important. Yet most of the time people get addicted to social media because they find it to be the best place to have a perfect life. But that’s only an illusion and one that can have a very negative impact on your health. That’s why you need to go to professionals that will help you deal with addiction the right way, in case it ends up affecting your life!
Tips for healthy social media use
- Don’t feel pressured to be on all social media platforms. Choose the ones you genuinely enjoy.
- Remember that a lot of things you see on social media aren’t real. People spend hours making the perfect photo’s and editing them.
- Don’t spend all your time on social media. It’s tempting to go online multiple times a day when you’re bored or want to check up on your friends, but you should set yourself clear boundaries and stick by them.
- Stay in touch with real life, make sure you see your friends and bond with them.
- Everything you post online stays there, so think before you post anything. Keep in mind that anything you post can hurt another person and you might end up getting the anger of the crowd on you, so treat with caution.
- If people make you feel bad, it’s ok to unfollow them. Same rules as real life count here; ask yourself, is this someone I want in my circle? If not, move on. Your time and health are precious.
- The bedroom should be a social media free place; it’s better for your relationship and sleep.
Read this if you want more tips for your mental health.
Social media sometimes overwhelms me a bit, things change so fast, and everything seems perfect. It’s a challenge to find the right balance. If you have any tips on social media and mental health share them below!