In this mordern fast world, social media has become an integral part of our lives. While altering the way how we talk with each other, it has also altered how we exchange information with one another. In this way, social media has linked our lives with each other effectively.
As the use of social media has increased, the topic effects of social media on mental health has become widespread. Its use can affect the mental health positively and negatively in both ways. However, if we want to have more positive effects than its important to understand the effects of social media on mental health as a whole. I will discuss the effects of social media on mental health and explore the ways what could be done to mitigate these negative effects further in this article.
The Rise of Social Media:
Social media has altered the way we talk with each other and our behaviors aswell. The first social media platform, Six degrees, was created in 1997 but it didn’t get much recognition at that time but later in 2000s the social media really began to take off. With billions of users across the world, the social media websites like facebook, google and twitter has become brands in every house. It has become inevitable to keep yourself away from these platforms.
Social media and mental health:
Social media has a lot of benefits and let us connect with out loved ones which are living far away from us. But on the other hand it can also damages the mental health. Research has shown that social media’s excessive use might raise emotions such as anxiety, despair and loneliness. Here are some ways through which social media can have a negative effects on our mental health:
Comparison and envy:
Social media often portrays an ideal view of people’s life. People frequently often share the best and most memorable moments such as fun trips, achievements and family ocassions. This can create irrational expectations and lead to the feeling of inadequacy and jealousy. People may develop FOMO(fear of missing out) if they believe that their own lives do not measure up to the images they see of the other’s lives they see online.
Social media site can also be a platform for cyberbullying, People can also use social media to spread rumors,make harsh comments or even post humiliating videos. The result of these actions can have catastrophic impact on mental health causing worry, despair and ocassionally suicidal thoughts aswell.
Excessive use of social media can have alot of negative effects on the health and it can cause addiction in people. People can lose focus from their work or studies, can develop sleep disorders, or neglect other crucial facets of thier lives. This may lead to the feelings of guilt and sorrow
Reduced face to face interactions:
Reduced face to face interactions is one of the most significant effect of social media on the mental health. People spend much time on the social media and causes people to overlook the interpersonal ties in the real life. As a result of this, the feelings of isolation and loneliness may prevail which can have detrimental effects on ones mental health.
Social media’s beneficial effects on Mental health:
Apart from the negative effects of social media on the mental health, its vital to recognize that it can also be beneficial. Social media can provide a feeling of connection and support to the people who are alone or marginalized in real life. Social media can also serve as a resource to get knowledge and instruction about mental health to the people for educating them on this crucial matter.
Social media can help people to share their experience with mental health problems and reduce stigma by providing them a platform .This is extremely crucial for people who might be feel ashamed or reluctant their mental health in real life.
Limit the negative effects of social media on mental health:
The detriental effects of social media on mental health can be reduced by applying different strategies. Below are some strategies that maybe helpful:
Limit overuse of Social media:
To lessen the detrimental effects of social media on mental health limiting the use of social media is a very important method. One strategy that we can use to avoid the excessive use of social media is to reduce the screen time of our phones or select specific times to use social media.
Curate social media feeds:
To limit their exposure to undesireable and unfavourable content, people may also decide to manage their social media feeds. This may entail unfollowing, muting such accounts which are causing anxiety or stress and choosing such accounts to follow which promotes mental health awareness and positive content.
Being mindful involves paying attention to the present and objectively observing ones thoughts and feelings without judgement. It might be helpful for lowering social-media related stress and anxiety. People may opt to engage in mindfulness exercises to help control their emotions before or after using social media
Engage in relationships in real life:
In person connections should be prioritized in order to combat against loneliness and isolation from the excessive use of social media. There are different options for people like spending more time with friends and family, joining organizations or engaging in social activities.
Seek professional help:
It maybe beneficial to seek for help from professionals in the field if the social media use is affecting everyday life or is causing significant distress in the life. In order to manage the excessive use of social media and addressing any occuring mental health problems, the guidance and assistance of a mental health professional is needed.
Social media has ingrained into this mordern life, but it can also be detrimental for mental health as well. Excessive use of social media might increase emotions of loneliness, despair and anxiety. Social media can also give a sense of belonging and support in real life to those who feel lonely and think that they don’t have anyone. In order to reduce the negative impacts of social media, people may choose to limit social media use, curate social media feeds, practice mindfulness, and seeks professional help if needed. By following these guidelines, people can promote their mental health and wellbeing by controlling the social media use.
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Hi, I’m Affan lateef , a pharmacist by profession. I have a degree in pharmacy and over 5 years of experience helping people achieve their health goals. I write about various topics like health, artificial intelligence in health, mental health, diet and weight loss. Follow me here on these platforms given below.