The Impact of Social Media On Mental Health
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Social media is an integral part of our lives in today’s world. However, with its prevalence, also comes concerns about its impact on mental health. Online platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat can have both positive and negative impacts. Mental health is a state of emotional, psychological and social well-being. This article details the impact of social media on mental health and shares tips on how to use social media.
The Positive Impacts of Social Media
Psychological benefits provided by in-person interactions are more valuable than virtual networks. However, there are still some benefits to having a virtual network. Virtual network allows you to:
- Stay connected with friends and family
- Find support, discover new interests, share experiences and knowledge
- Connect with people who have similar interests and find groups offering mutual support
- Amplify social voices and spread awareness
- Motivate, encourage, inspire, and help people to develop self-confidence
Negative Impacts of Social Media
People who frequently use social media may have a heightened risk of depression, anxiety, loneliness, self-harm, and suicidal thoughts. Social media can result in negative experiences such as:
Fear of Missing Out (FOMO)
Fear of missing out refers to the feeling of anxiety and stress that arises from the belief that others are having better life experiences than yourself. It’s often triggered by posts and updates of friends on social media platforms, that causes users to compare their lives with others and feel as if they’re missing out on something.
The pressure to keep up with one’s peers can lead to a compulsion to check social media frequently, leading to distraction and difficulty focusing on other activities. Those who suffer from FOMO may often neglect their relationships and other activities and instead spend time on social media, which leads to further isolation and depression.
Cyberbullying occurs when someone uses the internet to deliberately intimidate, or harass another person on the internet. Cyberbullying involves sending threatening messages, spreading rumors or posting embarrassing photos or videos online. Victims of cyberbullying may experience feelings of social isolation, and helplessness. It can also lead to serious long-term consequences such as depression, anxiety and suicide.
Self-absorption is when people compare themselves with others and their achievements, causing a sense of inadequacy and unworthiness. The need for likes, comments, and followers can lead to an obsessive focus on self-image, leading to anxiety and stress. Self-absorption can lead to a lack of empathy for others and a decrease in social skills and emotional intelligence.
How to Use Social Media
To ensure you’re getting the most out of social media platforms, here are some tips and resources to help you protect your mental health:
- Set time limits – Limit the amount of time you spend scrolling through social media.
- Follow people who lift you – Find people who inspire you and make you feel good about yourself. Filling your newsfeed with positive and uplifting content will help foster positive mental health.
- Use social media as an outlet – Sharing content on social media can be a great way to express yourself and connect with others. Consider social media marketing agencies such as Timmermann Group that will help you in your marketing strategy by creating fresh content.
- Seek help – If you find yourself feeling overwhelmed or unable to cope due to social media, seek help from a professional or family members.
- Recognize and address cyberbullying – Report any cyberbullying attacks and block abusive users.
While social media can help individuals connect with others and access valuable resources, it can also contribute to negative impacts on mental health. By using social media responsibly, individuals can enjoy the benefits while minimizing its negative impacts on mental health. Social media platforms can help to promote healthy online behaviors and advocate for policies and practices that support positive mental health for all.