In today’s day and age, social media has become an important tool. It helps people stay connected, keeps them up to date, provides news and updates on global affairs, as well as offers a platform for learning and growth.
However, research has shown that the use of social media websites such as Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter, and YouTube adversely affects the mental health of individuals, leading to a number of problems. If you feel you are negatively being impacted by social media and do not know what to do, please visit the best mental health specialist in Karachi or your region.
Some of the effects of social media on mental health include the following:
- Feelings of inadequacy
It is no secret that people project the best version of their lives on social media. Everyone also knows that photography shared on social media have been edited and manipulated to appear much better than the reality. Yet, the constant influx of information is said to make people feel insecure about their appearance or what’s going on in their own life. Moreover, it instills feelings of envy and dissatisfaction when people see flawless, airbrushed photos of their friends vacationing at an exotic location like a tropical beach or when they read about someone’s exciting new promotion at work.
- Depression and anxiety
Studies show a strong link between social media usage and mental illnesses such as depression and anxiety. The constant influx of information about other people’s lives results in the brain making constant comparisons with one’s own life. This can trigger the fear of staying behind and also exacerbate anxiety and depression. Moreover, prioritizing social media interaction over in-person relationships increases the risk for developing or exacerbating mood disorders such as anxiety and depression.
Studies have shown that the more a person uses social media, the more s/he starts feeling lonely. Decreased use of social media on the other hand, reduces feelings of loneliness.
Many teenagers in present times report being bullied on social media. Many other users are also subjected to offensive and hateful comments. Moreover, social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram have made the spreading of rumors, lies, and abuse very easy. Within seconds, people’s reputation is tarnished. This can leave lasting emotional scars on the minds of these individuals.
Over-sharing every minute of one’s life, their innermost thoughts, everyday experiences etc on social media, can result in an unhealthy, self-centeredness. It can also distance him or her from real-life connections.
- Fear of missing out (FOMO)
Although FOMO has been around far longer than social media, sites such as Facebook and Instagram seem to have exacerbated the ideas and feelings that others are having more fun or living better lives than you. The belief of missing out on certain things may impact one’s self-esteem, trigger anxiety, and fuel even greater social media use. FOMO can compel people to pick up their phone every few minutes to check for updates, miss out on sleep at night, compulsively respond to each and every alert, as well as take risks while driving, or prioritizing social media interaction over real world relationships.
Thus even though social media is highly beneficial for all age groups, it has a number of harmful effects on mental health as well. While this article provides you with a preliminary knowledge of the downside of social media, in order to get proper assistance, please visit the best mental health specialist in Lahore or your city of residence.