How is Social Media affecting Your Mental Health?
Social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat — to name a few, are right on the minds of people, especially the youths. They spend ample time scrolling through and getting fascinated by tempting airbrushed photos people exhibits!
Without any doubt, social media brings opportunities to stay connected with our dear ones who don’t live nearby, develop better social skills, have fun, and let people showcase their creative side. Now, people not only forge bonds with friends, but they also learn about world events, cultures, and current affairs.
“ANYTHING IN EXCESS IS A POISON.” (A QUOTE BY THEODORE LEVITT)
The passive use of social media gradually takes over life. You never know when your obsession with visual marvel hits hard on your mind. That said, social media is affecting your mental health in a drastic way.
The saddest part is people do not even know that bit by bit, they are getting down into the well of mental chaos. Researchers state that increased use of social media is associated with anxiety and depression among young adults.
How do you know if social media is affecting your mental health and life?
So, exactly how social media is affecting your mental health, and how can you recognize if it is influencing your life as well? Well, do you do any of these?
· You are in the mid of a conversation, and you get a notification, you immediately leave the conversation and check your phone.
· You are sitting with your family or friends, but are using your phone and not participating in discussions with surrounded people.
· You are not able to resist the urge to use social media.
· You mindlessly scroll and check the feed, be it Facebook’s or Instagram’s feed.
· You have a strong desire to post your feelings and share pics, locations, or anything you can, on social media.
· You check social media in the middle of your work or class.
· You use mobile phones late at night.
If maximum incidents sound familiar to you, then it is clear you are addicted to social media.
Worrisome outcomes of social media
People, especially youth, compare themselves to the filtered and aesthetically perfect photos on Instagram. This leads to a decrease in self-esteem and confidence.
Using phone/social media before you hit the hay makes it difficult to doze off. Meaning, screen time in bed can drastically affect your sleep cycle. Then, you end up waking up sleep-deprived.
Now, people are more focused on capturing the best shots to post them, flaunt their lives, and get more likes, shares, and comments. Due to this, they are not able to enjoy real-time experiences.
Where boys compete to get noticed, girls click multiple photos and agonize over which one they should share. Not standing out of the crowd make the youth feel melancholy.
Offensive comments, bullying, abuses have become common in the world of social media.
Not to mention, depression, self-harm, and even suicidal thoughts can land on the minds of youths anytime, just because of comparisons.
Escaping from your emotions
Studies elucidate that passive use of social media is correlated with depression symptoms such as inferiority complex and depressed mood. Also, spending more time on these platforms is associated with loneliness, fatigue, concentration problems, and lack of interest.
This means people who already have some sort of mental health issues make use of social media to mask their underlying problems. These people need to seek medical help and should not consider social media as their security blanket.
How to help yourself and live your life to the fullest?
Accept yourself: You are unique; always remember this. No matter how hard you try, you will not become the carbon copy of other people who post photoshopped pictures.
Cut down your online time: Ditch your fear of missing out. Whether you are online or not, people will continue to live. You need not available immediately to others. Set a time when you will and when you will not use your phone. You may use an app tracker to limit your online time.
Make your life real: Online friends are virtual people. If they live far, then they are not going to come and help you in person when you are in need. So, build long-lasting relationships with your real-world buddies.
Limit your screen time: Light emitting from the screen suppresses the release of melatonin (a hormone that helps you feel tired and improves sleep). This disrupts your sleep cycle, which may have a serious impact on your mental health. So, do not bring your phone to bed.
Have a life: Passive use of social media not only kills your time but also leads to disappointments in your life. Have a hobby, goal, and focus on improving and achieving something in your life, and not on mindlessly scrolling your social media feed.
Signing off from social media at intervals is of utmost importance. You don’t necessarily have to quit social media. You just have to allocate social media-free time slots and pay attention to what actually matters in your life. Make better use of your life, and of course, of social media. By doing so, you will help yourself in improving your mental health, living your life to the fullest, and eventually kicking off social media from affecting your mental health.