How does social media affect mental health?
Have you ever wondered what is the effect of the use of social media?
In today’s complex world, social media plays an important role in our lives. Social media has made it easier to communicate with our friends and family, allowing us to stay in touch even when they are far away. On the other hand, it still has several drawbacks that we may not notice on a daily basis, such as the issue of mental health, which I will explain to the readers in this post.
Social media can have both positive and negative effects on mental health, depending on how it is used and the individual’s unique circumstances. Here are some ways social media can impact mental health:
For the time being, the social media environment is not appropriate for children or anyone who lacks judgment when it comes to media consumption. People may feel inadequate and unloved as a result of social media content. According to the Social and Mental Health Statistics, an estimated 210 million people worldwide are addicted to the internet and social media, and 52% of students reported feeling less confident about their appearance or lives as a result of social media.
The media they consume is forcing young people to compare their lives to others.
For example, in TikTok app, which is an application where everyone can post any type of content that does not violate the app’s rules. However, the content that most people like is beauty content. Sometimes the content creators only show their faces with popular songs, and that can actually help their videos get many likes and comments. As a result, this type of content may influence young people’s perceptions that the more attractive you are, the more attention you will receive. Thus, children and people who have no judgment in media consumption should have a guide to give them advice in a better way.
Another factor that affects how social media affects mental health in a negative way is the way that people bully others online by using digital technology, such as sending, uploading, or disseminating cruel, false, or offensive content about someone else. Another point is sharing private or sensitive information about another person in a way that makes them feel embarrassed or humiliated. Many of the above actions are also referred to as cyberbullying, which is a serious issue in current culture. For example, the offender creates a false profile to damage someone’s self-confidence. Most often, girls experience a lot of online bullying from boys who show them affection and gain their trust before extorting information about the girls’ privacy.
This real-life instance of online bullying was described by one of the teachers who took part in the interview. A girl is being bullied by a group of boys. One day, while the girl was browsing Facebook, a boy sent her a friend request, which she accepted. After a day has passed, they exchange phone numbers, start talking, and the girl really trusts the boy, but she is unaware of the bad things that will happen to her. After a few days have passed, a boy invites a girl over to share some private moments. After that, the boy begins blackmailing the girl, making her very afraid that one day, as a result of this incident, she will commit suicide. Therefore, social media can be a platform for bullying and harassment, which can cause anxiety, depression, suicide, and other mental health issues.
Here’s the link, if you are interested in this case :
Have you ever heard of FOMO, the fear of missing out?
FOMO stands for fear of missing out. It is the uneasy feeling that one is either ignorant of or missing out on information, occasions, experiences, or choices that could improve one’s life. When people see their friends or family having fun, whether in person or on social media, they tend to believe that their lives are more eventful than their own. However, this is just a normal human reaction, and social media can make these feelings dramatically intense. Accordingly, in most cases, if someone has this feeling, they may feel like they are missing out if they look at photos of other people having fun while they are at home and worry that their social lives aren’t as exciting as other people’s. These emotions may intensify over time into actual mental health issues like anxiety and depression. Also, there are many common cases on a daily basis, according to my experiences and mostly my friends and family. I always feel missed out when I see my friends going out through social media such as Instagram or TikTok without me or without asking me first. For that reason, social media has an important role in this feeling. It can cause feelings of anxiety and stress due to the constant pressure to stay connected and up-to-date with friends and events.
And now, it is the time that you are waiting for, time for the positive side!
In addition to weaknesses, social media usage also has a number of advantages.
First things first, social media use can be positive for mental health and well-being by using it in the right way. Social media’s online communication provides a safe environment for people to express themselves and share their personal experiences with mental illness. In other words, it permits self-expression without the threat of stigma. This section explains how social media may be useful in assisting people in locating emotional support. Access to knowledge about mental illness, available therapies, and self-care techniques can be found on social media. Actually, we can easily create a safe environment to receive only good things and emotional support by using social media algorithms. If you use social media sites like Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, or Tiktok, the procedure is as follows. By clicking the “like” button next to the content you enjoy, the platform’s algorithm should continuously deliver relevant content to you. And because that negative trigger content won’t be displayed in your feed, you might not feel stressed by the content you’re afraid of. Additionally, you can get emotional support here if you need it. In a closed group, you can post your issue and ask for advice or comforting comments from others. As a consequence, if people use social media wisely and avoid its negative aspects, they could easily benefit from it.
Furthermore, positive behaviors can also be promoted by social media. And these are the positive behaviors we might commonly know the exercise content, eating healthy, stress management, or self-care routine. All of the above could make you feel motivated or want to get up from bed to do something helpful for yourself or others. Therefore, individuals and influencers can share their inspiration with others people know by using social media. But not only can they share their inspiration, but they also can offer you tips and advice. For example, individuals can share healthy recipes, workout routines, and stress reduction techniques or even recommend great therapists. Afterward, I would recommend an application named “Lemon8”. It is a great platform where everyone can share techniques and many tips, and you can pick whatever topics you are interested in to get advice on that topic. In conclusion, I personally hope that it might help many people with their mental health.
Coming to the last advantage, I would like to present. There are many people who struggle and feel alone when they get into a problem. And I want to fix that by recommending everyone use social media platforms. Social media can provide a way for people to connect with others who have similar experiences, which can help reduce feelings of isolation and loneliness. People with problems could trouble-free connecting with others who have the same experiences through social media like Facebook pages or websites where everyone can share their personal experiences. To show you what I mean, there is a website called “Alcoholics Anonymous,” which is a website for all alcoholics. They can find a helping hand there. And the highlighted part is that it can help you find a meeting to talk to the helper. Also, if you don’t want to talk to a person, you can personally email them at “firstname.lastname@example.org” there will be many helpers on standby for you there.
In conclusion, it is important to be mindful of the effects of social media, both positive and negative. Social media can be a powerful tool for promoting positive behaviors and connecting with others. However, it is essential to critically evaluate the information shared to ensure that it is accurate and appropriate. On the other hand, social media can also have negative effects on our mental health, such as increasing feelings of loneliness, depression, and anxiety. Since social media has become an integral part of our lives, it is important to use it mindfully and seek out professional support if needed. Everyone should be aware of their own social media usage and monitor their mental health accordingly. There are many resources available to those seeking help or advice regarding their mental health. It is important to remember that social media should be used as a means of connection and not as a source of comparison or insecurity. It is possible to use social media in a healthy way by keeping tabs on your mental state, unfollowing accounts that make you feel insecure, taking breaks when needed, and seeking out help if required.
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