How Social Media affects Society and People’s Mental Health.
When we think of social media today, we think of how it has changed the way people act, connect, and interact with one another. The effects of it promote our society to elevate itself and embrace the changes that are directed towards our self-confidence, self-esteem along with human connections, and how these platforms rely upon our data and insights to develop its features, which hugely influenced our society. And at the same time, it also proposes a direct positive and negative impact on our mental health.
As it has been noted, there are certain ways in which social media can affect society and people’s mental health, and in many ways, this has been a concerning factor for many different individuals despite their age range, ethnicity, experiences, and backgrounds. The concerns went over for so many factors that have affected people’s health, their mentality, and especially the self-esteem that they might have developed over the years. Additionally, one other factor that complements the effects of mental health on people is also how human connection has diminished within them, making it impossible for some of us to realize how far we have come over the addition of social media.
When we look at Facebook, for instance, we often see that teenagers and adults alike tend to create profiles that make themselves look elevated, yet fascinating enough to be something that they may take pride in. This enhances their self-esteem in such a way that it allows them to evaluate themselves to be more of the individual that gains recognition from the online community. The problem, however, is not the person who creates the social media profile to help themselves enhance their confidence, but it is more on the side of the online community that enables them to be more conscious about others rather than themselves. A great example that illustrates this kind of online behavior is how self-esteem is affected when a person that is addicted to social media that keeps themselves attached to various online individuals, tends to make themselves feel idolized to them. This can be a great motivational approach for people to overcome their low-self-esteem state. However, if a person is too addicted to another person’s profile, the problem that could occur would be in light of mentality and the difference of behavioral approach that can enable one to be envious of the other. Therefore, this directly affects the self-esteem of the people that use social media and thus the mental health of that individual. When mental health is affected within the self-esteem state of a person, it creates a friction where people then allow themselves to drown in self-doubt. What makes this even worse is the fact that when a typical person is in a state of self-doubt, their decision-making process tends to reduce as this would cause more stress towards their mental health. Thus, social media, at its core, can positively affect a person, but on the same token, it may also be negatively absorbed when not being properly handled. (Barr, 2020)
Human connection has been established in our society and our world throughout many decades. People and human nature have always been the pinnacle of how the standard of living towards the people’s lives are approached, and, in many ways, it has open doors for many individuals to comprehend and regard this as one of the most essential aspects of life. With the emergence of social media that has taken the world by storm throughout the 19th and 20th centuries, the human connection tends to increase and better yet involved in many different ways. People create more connections and interact with one another online as this makes it possible for the positive and negative effects for the mental health to develop.
Before humans making connections throughout social media, there were not any other online platforms that allow people to turn to one another and see themselves over the internet, or from one computer screen to another. Human interactions were primarily between one individual to another or in a way that people share connections through friends and groups of people. For instance, in that time when social media did not exist, human connections were made through friends, traveling, co-workers, and more. This makes certain activities that require humans to interact feel special as it develops more reliability from one person to the other. With the rise of social media and other related platforms and other usages of data, people tend to decide that they should interact with one another on an online platform. In addition, with technologies making it possible for extreme connections virtually without the need for real connection in terms of human presence and offline interaction (typically, this would have been the normal interaction people used to say). (Barr, 2020) This makes it possible for social media to develop profiles from the people and it enables them to create more rooms for development for features that allow individuals to feel more secured, but the question that everyone might need to ask themselves is whether it is really secured. To illustrate, an example of a social media profile of a celebrity would have had a lot of followers when compared with the ordinary users online. However, having more followers do not necessarily mean that they would not need better human interactions. Many including celebrities, models and more do feel alone or isolated and this is mainly due to the changes that have evolved throughout the years as mentioned in light of social media. Therefore, this has taken a toll on how human interacts with one another today and it can also propose a negative or positive effect towards human’s mental health and attitudes. (Robinson, 2020)
Despite the positive and negative causes of social media and how it affects the mental health, the people, and society, there is also another side of social media and its perks where it enables individuals to keep in touch with their families and loved ones. As has been noted, with the power of how technology has changed many factors affecting how people interact with one another through the use of social media within the online community or how it can reduce and increase the self-esteem of a person, one other important factor that affects the society and mental health of the people being the positive effect of social media is the platforms that are established thoroughly throughout the years to help keep the community, friends, and families closer than ever.
In the past, when we are far away from our families, people often need to travel to another country or a nearby hometown that they will need to spend time on planning, making budgets available for the travel and allow themselves to see the other side of the people. This traditional approach has still been the way for many people to follow, as it creates one-on-one communication that enables families and friends to see themselves during vacations, holidays, or important occasions. However, not all human lives are created equally as some people are not able to travel or financially make a budget or a plan for their journey, and this is where the internet comes in and how technology plays an important role towards the society and the mental health of the people. Since the emergence of social media and its development through the years, one thing that many of us many notices and glean from how they evolve is the fact that social media almost always will release one or two major features each year. These features are mostly well-researched and tested by the development team as the features themselves will feature the human’s problem, and it will tend to be the mechanism that establishes certain solutions to solve it. Subsequently, this makes social media and its effects on the mental health of the people are correlated in many ways. For example, when you look at something on social media that a friend may post, the feature of it will in resemblance or creates a feeling of nostalgia when you see them, where it brings back memories of the old days or this kind of feeling. That has been said, the mental health effects here can be considered as a major effect because it satisfies the emotions of us, as ordinary individuals, that may look for ways to use social media by being more conscious about the platform, while also maintaining the exploratory aspects. (Robinson, 2020)
All in all, social media has developed and has been one of the parts of technology that has evolved over the years, being in the part of our lives all throughout the decades where certain platforms also influence the changes within our society and the people. Furthermore, social media has also been integrated into a human society to a comprehensive degree that it changes the whole facet of how human connections, self-esteem, and more used to be viewed. It proposes certain impacts that are negative and positive while being the determining factor affecting our mental health and how we react within the society towards people of the moment and in the following future.
Barr, S. (2020, October 7). SIX WAYS SOCIAL MEDIA NEGATIVELY AFFECTS YOUR MENTAL HEALTH. Retrieved from Independent: https://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/health-and-families/social-media-mental-health-negative-effects-depression-anxiety-addiction-memory-a8307196.html
Gordon, S. (2021, January 4). Link Between Social Media and Mental Health. Retrieved from VerywellMind: https://www.verywellmind.com/link-between-social-media-and-mental-health-5089347
McLean – Harvard Medical School Affiliate. (2021, February 9). The Social Dilemma: Social Media and Your Mental Health. Retrieved from McLean – Harvard Medical School Affiliate: https://www.mcleanhospital.org/essential/it-or-not-social-medias-affecting-your-mental-health
Robinson, L. (2020, September). Social Media and Mental Health. Retrieved from Help Guide: https://www.helpguide.org/articles/mental-health/social-media-and-mental-health.htm#:~:text=However%2C%20multiple%20studies%20have%20found,about%20your%20life%20or%20appearance.