Social Media And Mental Health

We need the company of others to make headway in life. Simple. This is exclusively because we are social creatures. Thus, maintaining social connections with other people can alleviate feelings of stress, worry, and depression, whereas failing to maintain such connections can result in major menaces to mental health. Fact.

People choose to spend a substantial amount of time on social media platforms. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Messenger as a result of the relatively recent incorporation of these platforms into daily personal habits. As a result, a significant number of researchers and academics are analyzing the effects that social media platforms and applications have on numerous facets of people’s lives. Besides, the number of people who utilize social media platforms is always growing daily. There is no ignoring the fact that social media has now evolved into an essential component of the lives of a lot of individuals. The use of social media can bring about a variety of positive and delightful benefits, but it also carries the risk of causing issues with one’s mental health.

Researchers are finding that social media if not used in moderation
could have significant drawbacks, particularly in terms of mental health.

1. Depression may be enhanced by social media use

Ironically, a technology that’s designed to bring people closer together may have the opposite impact, particularly when arguments break out over social media platforms. The use of social media has been associated with feelings of loneliness, sadness, and anxiety It could cause people to feel isolated and alone. According to the findings of several studies, young people who use social media for more than two hours per day are significantly more likely to rate their mental health as being on par with or below average when compared to individuals who only use social media on occasion.

2. Social media could damage your self-esteem

You could start to feel like you don’t measure up in terms of both your life and your appearance if you spend too much time on social media. Even if you are aware that the photographs you see online have been edited or represent the best moments of someone else’s life, looking at them can still make you feel insecure, envious, and dissatisfied with your own life.

3. It is mentally bad to compare our lives to others

The comparison factor contributes, at least in part, to social media users’ perception that they are socially isolated, even though this perception may not be accurate. As we scan through our feeds, it is easy for us to fall into the trap of comparing ourselves to others and making snap judgments about how we stack up against them. One study looked at how we make comparisons to other people’s posts, either in an “upward” or “downward” direction—that is, feeling that we are either better off than our friends or that we are in a worse situation. It was shown that both forms of comparison made people feel worse, which was a surprising finding given that in everyday life, people only feel awful when making upward comparisons, in which they believe that another person has it better than they do. On the other hand, it seems that any form of comparison is associated with feelings of depression in the realm of social networking.

4. This can result in a vicious cycle of jealousy

It’s no secret that the comparison factor on social media leads to feelings of envy; in fact, the majority of people will agree that reading about other people’s idyllic vacations and well-behaved children on social media makes it difficult not to feel envious. There is no doubt that research has demonstrated that using social media can bring up feelings of envy. In an ongoing cycle of one-upping and feeling jealous, a person may find that experiencing envy motivates them to want to make their own life look better and post things that will cause others to feel jealous of them.

5. Having more social media friends does not imply being more social

There appears to be a limit to the number of friends a person’s brain can handle, and it takes actual social interaction to keep these friendships alive. According to several studies, having more friends on social media does not necessarily mean that you have a better social life. So feeling like you’re being social by being on social media doesn’t work. Getting genuine social support is essential given the numerous negative effects that being lonely can have on both physical and mental health. Time spent with an online buddy does not have the same curative effect as time spent with real ones.

6. The use of social media as an unhealthy survival tactic

The use of inappropriate coping mechanisms to deal with difficult sentiments or emotions is a risk that comes with using social media. For instance, if you turn to social media when you’re feeling unhappy, lonely, or bored, you may be utilizing it as a way to distract yourself from the bad feelings that you’re experiencing. In the end, utilizing social media as a kind of self-soothing is not a good idea. This is especially true when you think about how often looking at social media makes you feel worse instead of better.

How and why you use social media is typically the most important factor in determining the impact it has on your mental health. The use of social media may make you feel more disconnected from others and alone in the world. However, it also allows you to interact with people who are going through experiences similar to yours or who are interested in the same things you are.

Discovering how your use of social media influences you is ultimately the most important step in developing a healthier connection with these platforms. Taking small steps and using social media with more thought can lead to a better relationship with it and with yourself.

Keep in mind, too, that the majority of social media applications are structured in such a way as to encourage you to remain engaged and make frequent use of them. As a result, you may find that cutting back on your own is not always as easy as you had hoped. If this is your situation, a therapist may be able to give you more direction and help you set limits so you can use social media more thoughtfully.

Follow Naveeta Shokeen

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