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Social Media is a platform for building virtual communities online.  It is a gathering place for users to engage in activities in the online world and communicate with each other. Simple examples of website or a social application that we use in everyday life, such as Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Line, YouTube, and TikTok. Social media platforms was created for positive reasons. Creators keep creating and developing their own platform to make our lives easier or even reduce distance and make connections with other people in the world. However, social media is actually another world for humans or we can say that it is the virtual world. People are now having their own lives and identities in social media platforms. One person also has more than one identity in social media because they might use many different platforms and more than one account for each platform. 

Social Media And Mental Health 

Conversely, there are always two sides of anything in the real world. Virtual world is not different from the real one. This is the world we have created our identities. We put almost everything in ourselves in this virtual world. For example, our pictures, our thoughts, our life stories, and our personal data. Even it is not a whole real things in real life, but we all already live a virtual life and experience virtual world. Moreover, we can create our identities, be anyone we want, and even be anonymous person online. Social media can be beneficial if you use it in nice ways, but everyone is different in terms of personality, mind, and how they grown up or family conditions. We never know if somebody wants to use benefits from social media platforms to hurt anybody. We can see that a lot of people are being bullied by internet users. Especially, famous people or celebrities. They are being called public person and that make them experience a lot of comments, rebukes, and criticisms online. If someone does not like you, they may tend to make you hurt in direct or indirect way because they do not want to see you being happy and peaceful. Social media platforms make these kinds of people easier to make someone to be painful. Besides, without anyone trying to mentally hurt anyone, we can feel insecure and experience bad things online by ourselves without realizing it or not. Many people suffer from mental health issues due to social media. In summary, not only celebrities or famous people who suffer from mental health problems because of social media, but ordinary people like us are also suffering because of social media. 

Teenagers And Mental Health Issues Suffering From Social Media 

Adults can be painful from social media, but they generally have stronger minds and have been through a lot of things in this world. Adults may know how to handle terrible things happening in online world better than teenage people. Teenager is a very important age. It’s the period of learning this world and growing up mentally and physically. Mentally grown is one of the most important part in this period of growing up as an teenager. Moreover, teenagers in this era commonly use social media platforms. Famous social media platforms among teenagers nowadays are Instagram, TikTok, Facebook, Snapchat, and Twitter. Every mentioned application has its own uniqueness in terms of design, functions, and features. It’s normal that teenagers spending time using social media platforms for many hours whenever they are available . It can be beneficial, but using it for long time can effect mental health. There’s research from Pennsylvania University stating that they separated students to two groups. The first group of students can use social media platforms freely. The other group of students were limited duration of using social media platforms. The second has been reported that the feelings of loneliness and depression were reduced after three weeks. Recently, there’s new proof releasing on the website called ‘The Wall Street Journal. It state that Instagram teenage users, especially girl, one third of teenage girl that feel insecure about their physical appearance are even feel more insecure because of using instagram. Furthermore, teenage users said Instagram make them feel anxious and depressed. Besides, some groups of teenage users state that they have thoughts about suicide. There’re also a case of cyber bullying and online harassment. In Covid-19 period, teenagers staying home and have more time to spend on social media. Statistics of teenagers suffering from mental health problems due to social media get higher and higher. The research of Adolescent mental health organizations in the UK called stem4 found that one fourth of teenagers from 1,024 people aged between 12-21 feel bad to themselves because of physical appearance and one fifth separating and spending time alone and exercise. Some of them suffer and lead to eating disorder. Half of sample participants were bullied and harassed online because of their appearance. That makes them stop socializing and physically hurt themselves. Unluckily, only one tenths are get healed. Teenagers are also worry about their mental health affecting from online platforms that contents are controlled through algorithms, but still attend the applications. At the same time, sample participants admit that when they have to handle with negative feelings or insecurities, they will spend more time on social platforms than talking to friends or family for 4 times. So we have to see through the harm from using social media and learn to prevent ourselves from those harm.

How to use social media happily and also give positive energy to other people 

           We must accept that social media have its own disadvantages. However, it also has important roles to our society. For instance, we may have to follow recent situations, events, and news. Someone have to use social media to work and communicate. So not everyone can’t avoid using social media or its own harm. We have to find decent ways to prevent from any mental health problems. I have some easy tips to make us happily and peacefully using online platforms that you can do.

  1. Avoid toxic social content

People may not realize when they intentionally consume toxic content. I can’t tell you clearly what toxic content is because everyone values and be sensitive to different things. If you feel that the content you’ve consumed gave you have negative feelings and create negative thoughts on something, just stop looking at it and scroll past it or block it off. Try to find and focus on optimism content that make you feel positive and  comfortable.

  • Limit your screen time 

People scroll our phones for many hours and what we do is just surfing online world. The more time you spend online, the more harm you’ll abstract. You have to limit time on the screen and spend time on the real world and interact with people on-site. 

  • Don’t pay attention to the comments 

Some people may worry or feel bad to themselves when someone commenting negatively about them. Moreover, they forget to see positive comments from people who love and appreciate them and keep focus on those bad things. Thus, I want to remind you something. When those people who expose something negative about you, they also expose themselves. Don’t forget to focus on someone who truly love, care, and give you positive vibe. 

  • Making your social media a more positive place

Use social media to promote positive and kindness. Sharing good things that are happening in your life can improve your mood and your positive mood can spread to others. You may also like to compliment others on social media. While this might sound awkward, people will appreciate it more than you think.

  • Comparison is a strong weapon against your happiness 

You’re different people with different set of characteristics, abilities, connections, life experience and more. Comparing your whole life, including all its ups and downs, with a polished picture of someone else’s is not a fair battle. Comparison can lead to envy, loneliness, bitterness and unhealthy emotions in your life. Imagine living life with those negative thoughts from other people who don’t even know your existence, sounds so toxic and it’s not what you want. Remember that someone else’s happiness does not minimize your own. Instead, set your own goals, and let some of the social media posts you see serve as an inspiration and motivation to pursue them. 

In summary, the tip’s mentioned above may not for everyone who suffers from mental health issues. If you have mental illness, you have to see psychiatrist. It’s the best way to secure your mental health. Don’t be shy and be brave to fight for yourself. If people around you suffering from mental health problems, don’t forget to learn how to support them in decent ways. That will make both you and that person happy. For people who suffering from mental health problems, you’re not alone. Physical illness is normal. It can happen anytime. Same as mental illness, it’s not strange nowadays. There are a lot of people who acknowledge and aware about this issues.


Generative AI –

MediaSocietyMediaSocietyApril 25, 2024

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