What kind of mental health effects do social media have?
Do you check your social media accounts first thing in the morning? And finish your day in the same manner. Perhaps you check in periodically throughout the day for brief updates. Still, before you know it, you’ve spent nearly an hour scrolling through recent postings.This is not unusual, and social media usage is relatively standard. According to the Pew Research Center, 72% of adults in the United States alone reported using social media in 2021.
About 70% of the participants in a 2018 study by Trusted Source admitted to accessing social media before bed. You’ve probably heard a lot about social media’s possible detrimental effects on mental health. Whether you’ve only recently begun using it or have been active there for years, social media isn’t always terrible, despite what many people might think.
Is Social media bad for your health?
Britt Frank, a certified psychologist and the author of “The Science of Stuck,” claims that social media “frequently gets bad press for being a contributor to undesirable outcomes.” Frank continues by saying that the coin does, however, have two sides. In other words, social media may be beneficial as well as destructive. The secret to effectively using social media is determining how to minimize the drawbacks and maximize the benefits.
How can you have a better interaction with social media platforms?
According to Goodman, recognizing social media as a tool is the first step in creating a positive relationship with it. it may be utilized positively, like most things, or it can cause problems if used improperly or excessively, according to her. So, how can you utilize social media platforms to enhance rather than harm your mental health? These pointers provide a place to begin.
How can social media affect you?
You may already know that it may harm your mental health. But you could be less aware of the specifics. Social media may harm one’s mental health in the following ways:
● Bringing about self-doubt in you
Have you ever felt this level of self-doubt? or you feel terrible about your financial situation because of seeing your childhood buddy on Instagram thanking God for providing him with a new Ferrari and six duplex mansions when you are still unable to afford two filling meals each day? There are many possibilities on social media to compare yourself to others.
You could become envious of the lives of those in your social circle while scrolling, including fancy getaways, comfortable, spotless houses, close-knit, happy, dressed-up family and the seeming perfection of bodies. This is something that Whitney Goodman, a certified marital and family therapist and the author of “Toxic Positivity,” frequently encounters in her practice.
She observes that her clients frequently experience feelings of inferiority following their use of social media. She then noticed that social media either breeds feelings of “never being enough” or strengthens the notion that perfection is achievable.
While you are aware that you are not living in pure joy, seeing filtered glimpses into someone else’s life might make you believe they are. Additionally, regular exposure to photoshopped and filtered photographs might exacerbate self-consciousness and dislike of one’s appearance. In fact, this feeling is known as “Snap dysmorphia.”
● Disrupting your sleep
According to 2019 research, those who use social platforms incredibly late at night have a tendency to go to bed late, have less sleep and take less rest.
Fear of losing out is one factor that may motivate excessive usage, despite any possible adverse effects (FOMO). It might be difficult if you think you could miss something crucial if you log off.
But this outlook might easily interfere with sleep. Utilizing social media after hours may increase brain activity. When ready to settle down for the evening, turn to a reliable source. You could find it considerably more difficult to fall asleep as a result.
● Contributing to sadness and anxiety
Numerous studies have found a link between social media use and depressive and anxious symptoms. 2016 research Using survey data from 1,787 American people between the ages of 19 and 32, Trusted Source discovered a connection between social platforms use and elevated sadness. Data from the same poll was utilized in a 2017 study to examine the effects of using social media sites.
The study discovered those who operate between 7 and 11 social media platforms are more prone to despair and anxiety than those who use between 0 and 2 platforms. However, the authors of the research note that the relationship may be reciprocal. For instance, some people utilize social media to manage their anxiety or depression symptoms.
Additionally, a 2018 study including 143 college students discovered that reducing daily social media use to 30 minutes might aid wellbeing.In this study, it was discovered that participants who used Facebook, Snapchat, and Instagram for just 10 minutes a day for three weeks reported less despair and loneliness compared to individuals who used social media as they usually would.
● Displacing gratifying pursuits
According to Goodman, “excessive social media use steals time away from doing other activities that may enhance your mental health.” She claims that if you use social networking applications excessively, you may find yourself doing things like establishing direct contact with others, time spent enjoying nature, taking additional essential steps to discover who you really are.
Are there benefits in using social media?
Despite all of these, social media may still offer many benefits. Social networking might encourage better health in the following ways.
● Greater availability of resources
Social media may provide you access to various resources, whether you’re looking for support groups, educational publications, or helpful tools and ideas. However, you should always be careful of the Source due to the possibility of bias or inaccuracy.
● Easily partaking in activities
Additionally, social networking can help users overcome obstacles they may have while seeking to access services. According to Frank, sitting in front of a screen virtually minimizes social danger. For whatever reason you find it difficult to get out and about, social media may make it simpler to do activities like, joining an advocacy organization, discovering suggestions for medical experts, taking part in online events, obtaining details about local activities and finding out more about available services, activities, and events that are free or inexpensive. According to Goodman, social media may also aid in spreading awareness of many issues.
● Opportunity to explore and connect to people
You can also explore the available volunteer possibilities and support groups that make a big difference in the world. You also have the platform to make genuine connections with those who share your beliefs and the same concerns. It links you with individuals who share your interests.
● Socialization opportunities
Your possibilities for socializing were, for the most part, geographically constrained before social media. If you had lived in a small town, it could have been difficult for you to meet people. Thanks to social media, you may now swiftly and simply “travel” beyond your city, state, or even continent to widen your inner circle.
There are communities for almost anything you can imagine, including homeschooling, online book clubs, Minecraft, and crafts, to name just a select few. Regardless of how obscure your interests are, you can probably find a group of others that share them.
● Sharing and improving your abilities
Socials gives people a platform to express themselves, which is crucial for mental health since it provides them with the chance to discuss your hobbies and interests with others and hone your abilities by studying individuals who share your interests. You may expand your creative and cognitive boundaries by learning about new activities and how to try them.You may, for instance, impart abilities from music to photography, art, poems, original writing, flower-making and decorating.
● Enhancing your skills
Also you have the opportunity to enhance your baking and culinary abilities while also learning more about the cuisines of other civilizations and discover enjoyable methods to exercise your physique. You can also learn more about a variety of cultures’ ways of life.
It is important to become observant of your actions. Frank advises considering your motivations for using social media. Doing so can reduce harmful usage patterns and help you recognize actions that better meet your needs. Start by considering what purpose social platforms provides in your life. Perhaps you require a diversion from a recent setback or a trying work environment.