How social media affects mental health

Over the recent decades, there has been a developing concern about the connection between social media and developing psychological wellness issues. With social media being the main platform that individuals use to communicate throughout the world, this makes it a crucial way to bridge this connection. 

People of all ages use social networking as a method for speaking with companions, family and even strangers all around the globe. Not only has social media-based life been demonstrated to cause unhappiness, but it can also prompt the advancement of emotional wellness issues, like anxiety or depression.

According to BBC, about three billion people (around 40 percent of the world’s population) are reported to use online social media, where they spend an average of two hours a day sharing, liking, tweeting and updating on these platforms. With social media playing such a big part in our lives, we could be inadvertently sacrificing our mental health and well-being, along with giving up our time. People can use social media to vent about everything from customer service to politics with the major downside being that it feeds into a seemingly endless stream of stress. 

Social media is one of the leading reasons for teen depression, because it seems to create unrealistic expectations about life. The things we see on Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat can often be exaggerated or even misleading.  A study surveyed people across the United States and found that over 66 percent of the people surveyed make posts on social media designed to make it look like their lives are more interesting and adventure-filled than they are. Research says that the more time you spend on social media, the more likely you are to suffer from mental health issues.

The more time people have engaged in social media the higher the risk there is for insomnia, low confidence, and increases depression and anxiety. The more emotionally involved they are in one site specifically, the more pressure and anxiety they may experience. In addition, Cyberbullying has turned into a worry for guardians of youths. Strangers, even companions, can hole up behind the screen and say things they regularly wouldn’t have the capacity to up close and personal. Adolescents regularly experience battles on Facebook, sub-tweeting on Twitter and harmful remarks on Instagram, strategies frequently utilized only to put down others.

Leslie Lopez, junior majoring in communications, thinks that social media is definitely a negative aspect of society.

“Social media is causing us to receive too much radiation and it can cause damage to our brain,” Lopez said. “I try to stay off my phone as much as possible. It can be difficult in modern society, since everyone depends on their phone. If people want to be mentally healthy, I recommend using electronics for about six hours or less to minimize the amount of radiation.”

According to National Center of Biotechnology Information (NCBI), with the development of social networks, the time children and adolescents spend in front of the computer screens has significantly increased which led to the further reduction of intensity of interpersonal communication both in the family and in the wider social environment. Although social networks enable an individual to interact with many people, these interactions are shallow and cannot adequately replace everyday face-to-face communication. Research demonstrates that individuals convey by means of social media sites more than utilizing their cell phones. It is also important to note that social media does not affect all people equally, the researchers add, as some individuals may be more susceptible to the negative aspects than others.

Adhyatma Singh, Actuary Math major, also gave his opinion on social media.

“Social media affecting mental health depends on how you use it,” Singh said. “If you use it to keep up with the world through news and articles, then it will benefit you. If you use it to pass your time chatting or stalking people then your brain becomes lazy which will decrease your productivity.” 

Without a doubt, there are upsides to social media, such as a feeling of community and being able to reach out to others almost anywhere at any time. Social media has provided access to opinions and information that can expand our minds and points of view. Although Social media is a powerful tool and a major part of our life now, it is important for people to understand its negative side effects. As long people are aware of the potential negative consequences that can be caused by their actions, they can make more educated choices about their behavior.